There’s been multiple studies that have shown that a website’s load speed has a direct correlation to the bounce rate of a site (meaning the amount of people who leave a web page before performing an action).
In this article we’ll look at how to make a website load faster through various techniques and optimizations.
In order to know how to make a load faster, you need to have knowledge about what is actually slowing down your site. As websites have many different technical parts, there can be many different reasons that a site’s performance is poor.
Websites are essentially just files and code running on a computer (server) in another location in the world. This means that in order to access a website, your device needs to send a web request to that server and wait until the server sends back a response before you can see the website. If a hosting provider has unstable servers or poor bandwidth, this will affect your website’s loading speed significantly.
One of the main culprits of slow loading speeds on websites are large file assets such as image or video files. As previously explained, a website’s assets are stored on a server in another geographical location, so before being able to load your website, visitors first need to download the necessary files to their own device. This means that if your website displays large and unoptimized images and videos, it’ll take longer before the web page is able to be displayed.
Now that we know about the potential reasons that a website is slow, we can start optimizing. If you are still unsure what may slow down your website, you can also perform a website performance audit, which you can read more about in our article on how to test your website performance.
As previously mentioned, your hosting can be one of the biggest bottlenecks in terms of performance of your website. While it can be tempting to go with hosting providers that provide really cheap solutions, it is more than often not worth it as poor load speeds will lead to visitors bouncing and leaving your website in dissatisfaction.
When choosing a hosting provider, it is a good idea to do some initial research and reviews by other users as these are often some of the best sources to know if a hosting solution is good or not. A thing to note is that many hosting providers provide affiliate links and referral programs to many blog posts and influencers, so you should not trust anyone blindly as they may not recommend the best offers for you.
Files like images or videos are some of the largest files that a visitor needs to download in order to see your web page, so it is very important that you server images and videos in the correct sizes and that they are optimized and compressed in order to take up as little space as possible.
You would for example not want to display an image as 200 x 300 pixels when the original image is 2000 x 3000 pixels.
There are many websites on the internet that allow you to optimize your images. Some of the most commonly used tools are:
These images can be very helpful if you want to optimize your images, though handling all your image optimization manually can eventually become a tedious task. If you are using a CMS such as WordPress or Wix, there are a large variety of plugins that help you automatically optimize your images on your website. For WordPress, some of the most popular image optimization plugins are:
Some of these plugins also include additional functionality in order to optimize how your images work on your website - one of which is lazy loading, where images are not displayed before a user encounters them when scrolling. This is especially useful if you have many pictures on your site that are not needed initially, making your website load a lot faster when a user first visits a page.
Some platforms also include image optimization out of the box, which is the case for Wasabee, which automatically compresses, scales and lazy-loads the images on your blog.
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a service that takes your images and other static files and uploads them to multiple other servers located geographically close to your users. This means that if your website’s hosting provider for example is located in Europe, a North American visitor does not have to wait for files to be downloaded from a server all the way back in Europe but will get them delivered from a CDN server in North America, which can significantly reduce the load speed of your website. A CDN will often also handle caching of your assets, making the response time even smaller.
One of the most popular choices when picking a CDN is Cloudflare which also comes with additional benefits such as DDoS protection and other security measures.
If you are using a blogging platform or CMS such as WordPress, Wix or SquareSpace, you are probably using a handful of plugins or extensions to provide additional functionality and enhance your website. Though plugins are a good way to customize and sometimes optimize your website, it is important to remember that plugins are still extra code that runs in the background of your website, and having too many plugins installed can lead to a significantly slower load speed on your website and can generally have a negative impact on your website’s user experience and overall performance.
It is a good idea to regularly go through your list of installed plugins and delete the ones you see as unnecessary and superfluous, as sometimes the benefit of a plugin may not outweigh the extra overhead it adds to your website’s performance.
While I hope that this article has helped you get an insight into which some of the most important factors are when optimizing your website, it is again important to note that there are many different moving parts on a website and that there’s not always a single correct answer to any question regarding website speed and performance.
At Wasabee we put a lot of attention towards optimizing your blog out of the box without you needing to do anything, and we are always ready to support you if you happen to experience any hiccups
Wasabee is the easiest way to get up and running with a food blog and provides both hosting and an admin panel for creating recipes.