Importance of Designing the Websites for Maximum Speed

The site speed and page load times are obviously important metrics that decide the user experience, Google search ranking and customer engagement. Site loading time is critical especially if the businesses are completely relying on the websites for their survival. No matter how anesthetically designed your site is or how good your website ranks in search engines, if it takes too long to load, then users will no longer be interested to continue with it. It is hard to decide how much site speed is acceptable but many internet sites that have loading time within the limit of first few seconds are said to be performing well.

As a matter of fact, those who are targeting mobile traffic and have already invested money in making their sites mobile friendly should be more concerned about their websites speed. Downloading a heavy website for extended time on the Smartphone doesn't really excite any user. Adversely, the users will have negative perception about the company and website. To be precise, a quick loading website gives good user experience and delivers higher conversions & business revenues.

Nevertheless, many businesses do not realize that their sites are bloated with lot of plugins and third party applications, which are making their sites inefficient with insecure design. There are certain aspects that every website owner should be working on to benefit their websites with faster speed.

Limit Number of Images and Optimize Their Size

Page load time is directly dependent on the load placed on the server which means number of HTTP requests made to the server. Every time the image is loaded, a HTTP request is initiated to the server. For multiple images, server gets overloaded with multiple requests, which further slows down the page performance. To speed up the site and enhance the efficiency of pages, the images need to be combined into CSS Sprites using image optimization technique. CSS Sprites consolidate multiple images into one so that they can be loaded with fewer HTTP requests.

More specifically, images should be no larger than they need to be, because images that use lot of bandwidth negatively impact the page load times. Before uploading, it is better to scale the images to the right size and check if they have standard formats such as JPG, PNG and GIF. Changing the image size merely in HTML code doesn't mean that the actual image size is going to get reduced. You need to use specific image editing tools like Photoshop, JPEG & PNG Stripper etc to optimize and bring it to the right size.

Avoid Complex Apps and Plugins

Using too many apps and plugins may slow down your page loading speeds. To keep sites simple and fast, it is better to reduce the elements that unnecessarily exhaust valuable system resources. Some of the main culprits that hinder the site performance are the third party applications and social share plugins. If plugin is necessary, then it is better to look for alternatives that adds least amount of weight to your page such as using CMS with built-in social plugins.

Optimize Browser Caching

Browsers can store images, JavaScript files, CSS and other information in cache to facilitate the easy retrieval of resources for subsequent requests. It takes lot less time to get the files from cache rather than making repeated HTTP requests whenever the user tries to access the same web page. Unlike past, where developers used to write complex coding for caching, these days most standard CMS software offer easy to install cache component plugins for improving the site speed.

Improve Server Response Time

While optimizing the site for better speed, tuning server response time is important as it is the primary criteria that tells how fast the server responds to the requests made by the users. Typically, it is influenced by the website design & resources, site traffic, software tools used, efficiency of hosting solution etc. No matter how hard people work on optimizing their sites for maximum speed, all their efforts will go in vain if the server response time is slowing down their web pages.

As a routine activity, hosting companies usually check on the response times and keep their users informed about the site performance. However, they have no ability to evaluate and analyze the performance of each component that adds up to the overall performance of the site. For this purpose, many site owners by and large use third party website monitoring services, exclusively meant for measuring various site metrics that determine the performance and uptime.