A fast website, or what kind of website? What factors affect page load speed, where to check them and which ones can be optimized on your own?
- 1 Site speed - why is it so important?
- 2 Page speed vs. page ranking on Google
- 3 What exactly is website speed?
- 4 What factors affect page speed?
- 5 Where can you measure the speed of your company website?
Site speed - why is it so important?
The paradox of a well-performing website is that its speed or high level of responsiveness usually "can't be seen." In the belief of the average user fast website is simply supposed to work - that is, provide instant access to content, images, animations and any, interactive elements such as forms.
Any shortcomings in these features can be read by the user as an obstacle that lowers the level of positive experience(UX - user experience) when using the site. Remember that the term "slowdown" in the context of loading site elements refers to fractions of a second. As little as 3-5 seconds of delay - when loading images on a page, for example - can cause user discomfort. A slight slowdown in loading content that repeats itself on each of the subpages of the site (store, catalog, subcategory of the company's offerings) can prove to be a key reason affecting the high rejection rate.
Page speed vs. page ranking on Google
The tech giant's algorithms are ruthless - sites with content that loads too slowly, lowering the positive user experience, drop in search results. Example: a site will fall in the ranking, for example, which in the desktop version falls within the parameters of the required speed, but on mobile devices loads slowly or only partially.
What exactly is website speed?
Two concepts that are worth distinguishing are:
- page speed - that is, the loading speed of the content of the page - in the case of a store, portal or extended site, we are talking about one particular subpage,
- time to first byte(TTFB) - the speed at which the server responds, or more precisely, the speed at which the browser receives the first byte of data.
What factors affect page speed?
Or rather, excess content that needs to be removed or reduced to speed up the browser's download. Some pages may require minification, that is, reducing the volume of code, shortening it or removing elements that delay the page.
Photos too large
It's hard to imagine an online store or, for example, the company website of a professional photographer without high-quality photos. The problem is that the excessive volume of these files definitely slows down the site. The golden mean is to optimize the size of photos - you can do it yourself with programs such as GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, OptiPNG, IrfanView, Fotosizer or Bandizip, among others (you can find free software on the web with simple, intuitive use).
If you're using WordPress, you've got it easy at the outset - efficient, automatic compression of images will be provided by one of the many available plugins like EWWW, Optimole, ShortPixel or Smush.
Outdated photo and graphic formats
Too large a photo size is not enough, efficient page loading can be accelerated by choosing files with formats that facilitate compression, such as WebP (also supports animation and transparency), JPEG XR (HD Photo) or JPEG 2000. It's worth knowing that these are Google-recommended formats, making it easier to compress images without sacrificing their quality - contrast, color, sharpness.
Server response time
An issue that is particularly important for sales sites. Obviously, extensive stores and sales platforms with high conversion rates require fast servers. In this case, dedicated solutions, such as a private server (VPS) with the option to expand resources, work best.
Key tools that make WordPress easier can also affect the lower functionality of the site. Excessive plug-ins or plug-ins that are outdated, too heavy, incompatible with the add-ons already in use can contribute to the speed delay. The performance of connected add-ons can be tested, among other things. Using the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) plugin. It will help you see which element is putting the most strain on your site and may need to be replaced with a newer or "lighter" version.
The speed of loading a page depends on many overlapping factors. In addition to the aforementioned, they can also be embedded payment systems, animations or complex forms on the site. If the user is using an older model of phone, it is certain that the loading time of the website page will be slower.
Where can you measure the speed of your company website?
The basic address you should know is, of course Google PageSpeed Insights . Just type in the site address and check the page load speed results for the desktop and mobile versions. The tool allows, among other things. Determine the time of full site interactivity and TTFB speed. You will also see optimization suggestions, such as a recommendation to use newer photo formats.
PageSpeed Insights is Google's baseline tool for measuring page speed. More accurate data (including location) can be obtained, among others. using paid programs like GTMetrix - you will do a basic web site speed test for free.