Website Speed and Performance Optimization Best Practices + Tips

According to recent research, website loading speed has emerged as a critical factor influencing user engagement and business success.

A visually appealing website alone is no longer enough; optimizing loading speed has become an indispensable strategy for businesses looking to excel in the digital landscape.

We know that once the user clicks away from the site, there is no coming back, and trust us when we say there is nothing that annoys them more than a slow loading speed.

Websites with optimized performances yield much better results than websites that take forever to load. For beginners, they have low bounce rates and relatively high conversions and rank higher in Google Search Engine. 

Now, there are various reasons why your website loading speed is slow; however, we have some valuable tips and best practices to optimize your website and ensure that users enjoy their visit. 

What Is Website Performance Optimization? 

Website performance optimization is a set of practices you can apply to ensure that your website is running as fast as possible. However, studies have shown that website optimization is related to other perks, such as higher conversion rates, more excellent user retention rates, and low bounce rates. 

In fact, according to a recent study by Portent, a website that loads in 1 second has three times higher conversation rates than a website with a loading speed of 5 seconds. 

Moreover, search engines like Google consider website load speed as one of the crucial ranking factors; thus, a faster website has a higher chance of ranking in Google search results, ultimately leading to more organic traffic and better visibility. 

Good website performance also helps your business appear more reliable and professional in the market and helps build trust with the users. 

Best Practices to Optimize Your Website Speed

Research shows that most users will wait for the website to load before exiting in 3 seconds. Now, if you do not want your website to be amongst the ones that users click away from, here are some tips for optimizing your website performance that you should start implementing today! 

1- Cut down the number of HTTP Requests

Web Browsers use HTTP requests to connect different elements, such as images and scripts, from the web server. The catch is that every request (made using HTTP/1.1) will cause some suspension while linking the browser to the remote server. 

Additionally, most web browsers have a particular barrier on how many parallel networks they can engage with, meaning all the requests outside that limit will be blocked. 

The first step to optimizing web speed is eliminating unnecessary HTTP requests. Identify your ideal website rendition time and link external resources that fit that time frame. 

Experts from a Dallas web development company say that streamlining HTTP requests can significantly enhance website performance, resulting in a faster and smoother user experience.

2- Optimize Image Sizes

The size of the image on your website influences your website speed since some of them use high resolutions and graphics that can slow down your website. Unless your users view the site through HiDP screens, using high resolution for images is doing you no good instead, you are just wasting all the bandwidth. 

Reduce your image resolution to an optimal visible and light point for your website bandwidth. Also, look through the type of image file you are using; using JPEG for images with lots of colors and PNG format for less complex ones is suggested. 

3- Choose the Right Hosting Service Plan

The type of hosting service that you are using also impacts your website performance. Here are the most commonly used hosting plans. 

  • Shared: this is the cheapest option, where you share the server’s resources with other users, and it has a low running speed. 
  • VPS: it stands for Virtual Private Server and has a relatively higher running speed than a shared server; however, it depends upon multiple devices.
  • Dedicated: this is the most expensive option on the list, but the price gets you a separate server you can use as you desire. 
  • Serverless: with technology evolving, users now have access to a serverless option that provides better adaptability at a lesser cost.

4- Switch to HTTP/2

As mentioned earlier, HTTP/1 requests add a little overhead while connecting to the server, which affects your website speed. You can solve this issue by reducing the number of requests as well. 

However, a more lasting solution would be to switch to the HTTP/2 protocol since you can send multiple files simultaneously using the same connection, preventing requests from piling up. 

The procedure of switching the protocols differs depending upon the hosting provider you are using. 

5- Write Mobile-First Code

Believe it or not, Mobile devices are the future, and if your website is not optimized for mobile users until now, we hate to break it to you, but you are way behind the competition. 

Usually, web designers and developers code their website on a desktop during the testing phase and then amend it for the mobile view but to be quite honest, it is an exhausting and long process whereas if you choose to use a mobile device during testing and write code on it first and then fix it as per your desktop requirements, the process gets a lot simpler.

It is also beneficial since around 70% of users view your site through their phones. 

Mobile-first web design not only simplifies the process but also ensures that your website is tailored to the needs and habits of the majority of your visitors, making it a win-win for both user experience and staying competitive in the digital landscape.

What Affects Site Speed? 

Usually, there are multiple reasons why your sight is taking forever to load. For proper diagnosis, we suggest asking an expert. However, here are some common reasons websites have a slow speed. 

  • Your website is loaded with excess CSS and JavaScript use
  • You are using a meager hosting plan 
  • The images on the website are graphic-loaded or have high resolution 
  • You do not use the Browser cache regularly
  • The website has unnecessary plugins connected (usually if you have a WordPress site) 
  • Mobile users have a poor network connection 
  • You are hotlinking resources from mediocre servers 
  • The website is experiencing an overwhelmingly high traffic volume 
  • Older browsers are still linked to the server. 

If you suspect your website might be victim to one of the above issues, then using the above-mentioned techniques might be helpful! 

Bottom Line

Optimizing your website’s performance is a daunting task considering multiple browsers and devices; however, improving the speed and performance can be fruitful in the longer term, especially if you are a business operating online. For businesses seeking professional assistance, partnering with a reputable web development company, or considering outsourcing web design, can prove to be a valuable asset.

It is also important to remember that there is no exact process for optimizing your website, nor must you apply all the techniques mentioned in this blog. We recommend taking your time to go through your website and identify where the problem lies. Try applying the technique and observe the difference. It might also help to consult an expert or outsource web design to help you come up with a good solution.

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