Web performance optimization: 8 things you should do
In today’s highly connected world, if you want to stay ahead, you have to be fast. This is true not only of your business model but also of your website. While you might have a fantastic-looking site, if it takes forever to load your visitors will lose interest quickly. This will ultimately hurt your brand and lose you money. If you’re having trouble with a slow site, you need to engage in web performance optimization. This will ensure that your users have a positive experience, leading to higher conversion rates and better rankings on a search engine results page.
8 tips to improve your web performance optimization
1. Measure your website speed
The first step to web performance optimization is ensuring you know where your website stands. Knowing this will let you compare how well your website performs before and after you make changes. While there are many metrics you can use to measure performance, there are three that Google considers very important:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) tells you how quickly the main content of your website loads.
- First Input Delay (FID) refers to the time it takes for your website to respond to any user interaction – such as clicking on a link or button.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) tells you how “jumpy” your website is and how well it loads.
2. Cut down on HTTP requests
3. Enable Gzip compression
Gzip compression is a technique that allows you to reduce the number of HTTP requests your website makes. It lets you find similar instances of code in your file and replace them with shorter characters. This compression happens at the server level. For visitors to your website, their browser will unzip the files and present the original content to them. Keep in mind that this technique is usually used only for textual content.
4. Optimize the size of your images
Most websites these days rely heavily on graphics and images. You can improve your web performance optimization by compressing your images. You might be tempted to use high-resolution graphics so that they are displayed well on high-definition screens. However, not all of your visitors will have access to such monitors.
For someone accessing your website on a mobile device with a slow data connection, this will only increase the load time of your website. The solution is to use responsive images that each browser can choose from based on screen resolution. In addition, the type of file makes a difference as well. JPEG is best for images with many colors, while PNG is better for simpler graphics.
5. Use caching
Caching is a procedure that saves a version of your files in a temporary location (called a cache) so that they can be accessed faster. Since cached web pages don’t need to send requests to your database, this practice can help you improve your load time, and even reduce bandwidth consumption. The drawback to this is that there will be at least two versions of your website at any given point in time. This can be an issue if your service relies on real-time data.
6. Employ a content delivery network (CDN)
A content delivery network relies on the principle of caching. People may access your website from anywhere in the world, and a CDN can help you optimize page load time regardless of the location of your visitors. A CDN is a collection of web servers spread across various geographical locations. Each of these servers stores a copy of your website, which allows the server that is closest to your visitor to serve them the files. The added benefit of this is that it reduces the load on your servers, making them more efficient. Unfortunately, CDNs aren’t very cheap. However, they are worth the investment, especially if you have an international audience.
7. Choose the best hosting plan for your website
In general, there are three options you have – a shared server, a VPS, or a dedicated server. A shared server is the cheapest, but also the slowest. This is because you will be sharing the disk space of one server with multiple other people. Another option you have is a virtual private server (VPS). While this is also a shared configuration, it is considerably faster because your website will be hosted on multiple servers instead of just one. A dedicated server is the most expensive but allows you to configure it however you wish. Of course, you can use a mix of these that best supports your efforts toward web performance optimization.
8. Minimize your time-to-first-byte (TTFB)
TTFB measures how responsive your web server is by telling you how long it takes one byte of data to be transferred from the server to a browser. While it is a server-side matter, it plays a huge role in your website performance optimization. A TTFB of less than 200ms is excellent, while the normal range is between 200ms and 500ms. If your TTFB is consistently higher than 600ms, you need to make some changes. You can upgrade your server to have more memory and processing power. You should also regularly clean up your database and get rid of any unnecessary data. Setting up a CDN can help you reduce your TTFB as well.
Want to enhance your web performance optimization?
iTrobes is a web development company that can help you no matter where in the world you are. At an affordable web development cost, we will build and maintain your website, all while making sure that it performs optimally. Write to us today to get started!