HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS OPTIMIZED FOR SPEED
Do you know how slow your site loads?
Website speed needs to be a top priority for all websites in 2019. Why?
Just a one-second delay in loading time results in:
16% decrease in customer satisfaction
11% fewer page views
7% loss in conversions
Amazon says that one second of load lag time would cost them $1.6 billion in sales each year.
So, how fast should your website load? 47% of people say they expect pages to load in two seconds or less and 64% of mobile users expect sites to load in less than four seconds. However, the average loading times for various industries in the United States don’t meet those benchmarks. Take a look at this research from Google:
As you can see, the average website speed for all of these industries is significantly higher than the best practices line.
If you can speed up your website, it will give you a huge advantage over your competitors with slower loading times. You’ll want to aim for your pages to load in three seconds or less. That’s because 40% of visitors will abandon sites that haven’t loaded within three seconds. But obviously, the lower you can get that number, the better.
OK, now that you understand why website speed is so important, it’s time to do something about it. I created this guide of best practices that will help you speed up your website.
So read carefully and make any necessary changes to your site moving forward. Don’t be intimidated by any technical terms that you’re unfamiliar with — I’ve done my best to explain everything in plain English, so it’s easy for everyone to follow along.
Minimize your HTTP requests
HTTP requests are made for each element on your website. I’m referring to things like images, scripts, and stylesheets.
Research shows that 80% of website loading time is related to downloading on-page elements. So for those of you who have lots of these components on your website, you have more HTTP requests.
Using your developer tools settings, you can figure out how many requests your website currently makes. Then, take steps lower that number. Reduce clutter on your website and simplify the design.
You should also eliminate unnecessary redirects. While these are often needed for fixing broken links, they create additional HTTP requests. This will slow down your website speed.
I’d recommend using a tool like Screaming Frog to help you identify all of your redirects. Once they’ve been identified, get rid of the ones that you can live without. Only keep the ones that are absolutely necessary.