3 ways to improve website performance

Nobody likes a slow website. As well as being extremely frustrating for the end user, a poorly performing website results in fewer page views, decreased customer satisfaction and lower conversions. In fact, research shows that even a one-second delay in page loading time can lower the conversion rate by as much as 7%! In addition, 40% of users say they will completely abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.

With this in mind, it is clear to see why optimising the speed of your site should be a key priority for any website owner. Here are three practical steps you can take today to improve website performance…

1. Reduce the number of HTTP requests

Every time a webpage is loaded, a HTTP request is made for each element contained on the page. This includes things like images, Javascript, plugins and CSS.

By reducing the number of items that need to be downloaded in order to load each page, it is possible to significantly increase website performance. You should consider removing unnecessary images and plugins, as well as reducing excessive CSS and Javascript.

2. Minify and combine HTML, CSS and Javascript files

HTML, CSS and Javascript files account for a large number of the HTTP requests that are required to load your site.

To improve website performance, you should remove all unnecessary characters, spaces and lines from your code. This is known as minification.

In addition, you should consider combining multiple files into a single separate file. Again, this reduces the number of requests that need to be made in order to load the page and results in faster loading times.

If you are using WordPress, you can use a plugin like WP Rocket to do this for you.

3. Optimise images

Images are an essential part of any website, but they are also often the type of file that take longest to load.

If you want to improve website performance, you should take steps to reduce the file size of any image you plan to use. You can do this by “compressing” the image using a tool like Photoshop, and/or one of the many available plugins.

Remember: these steps might not seem like much, but they can make a big difference to the performance of your website.

Photo: website by medithIT licensed under Creative commons 2
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