Your Site Should Load in 3 Seconds
According to research done by Google, more than 50% percent of mobile internet users turn away from a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This amounts to a lot of lost traffic, as mobile users now make up the majority of internet users. This is not helped by the fact that, by Machmetrics’ numbers, it takes 87% longer for a page to load on a mobile phone than on a PC.
Web performance, defined as the time it takes for a page to fully load on a browser, is crucial. A website’s loading speed matters because it is a factor in Google search and user experience. The slow loading speed will mean poor search engine ranking and low web traffic. There are three main factors that affect web performance: page weight, hosting location, and network conditions.
- Page Weight is the total size of all a page’s files. Large files such as high-quality video and high definition images can add to a page’s loading time.
- Hosting Location affects loading speed greatly when content needs to travel a long way. For example, if someone in Asia is trying to access content from North America, that person will experience slow page loading speed. This can be mitigated through the use of a CDN (or Content Delivery Network, more below).
- Network Conditions indirectly affect web performance. While this is out of a web developer’s hands, the use of methods like minification and compression can improve a website’s load speed.
There are a number of ways web performance can be improved. Image Optimization, Minification, Caching Plugins, and using a CDN are some of the best ways to do this.
This is the method of increasing web performance by reducing an image’s file size without sacrificing quality. Image optimization can be done in three ways: resizing, compression, and caching.
- Resizing – Manually resizing an image to reduce its file size.
- Compression – Involves changing the data within the image to adjust size, quality, and detail.
- Caching – This reduces loading speed by storing the image on the user’s browser. When the user clicks on the image again, it will be accessed from the browser’s folder instead of being downloaded from the site again.
A process of removing extra or unneeded characters from a page’s source code and script files. Once minified, this version of a page will be sent to the user. Minification helps improve web performance by reducing the amount of information that needs to be downloaded before a page fully loads.
These web components help reduce page loading times by creating static HTML pages for your website and saving it on the server. When a visitor next accesses your website, this lighter version of your website will be shown instead.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
A content delivery network is a group of servers placed in different locations to increase the download speed of internet content. It helps increase web performance by reducing the physical distance content needs to travel between the server and user. CDNs can also help improve internet security and provide a means to keep your website online in case of network failure.
If you are looking to improve your web performance but you are unsure of where to start, do contact us for a free website consultation.