Long webpage load times aren’t just frustrating, they’re also bad for your online business. Users are more likely to navigate away from sites that take a long time to load. In addition, there is a slight SEO advantage to having a fast site. In some cases, sites have seen significant increases or decreases in organic search traffic due to fluctuations in page load time.
Below I’ve compiled a few quick tips for helping you minimize your page load time and keep your site visitors happy.
One of the easiest ways to reduce load time is to optimize your site images. First you need to decide which image type you’d like to use. GIF files are ideal for images that don’t require too much color, such as logos. JPEG images are preferable for high-quality photographs and the PNG file type will work well for high-quality transparent images. When adding an image file to your site, don’t just scale down a larger image to fit it into the content area. Users still have to download that larger image, even if it doesn’t appear that way on the page. Instead use a photo editor such as Adobe Photoshop to resize the image to the necessary dimensions and then add the resized image to the page.
When you compress your content, all of your web page data is sent in a single, smaller file instead of many different files. Compressing your HTML will reduce the size of your HTML response and also reduce the page load time.
Sometimes page redirects are necessary to connect different parts of a site together or move users to a new URL. However, too many redirects can slow down your response time. You should never use redirect chains (page A redirects to page B which redirects to page C) but always keep redirects simple, from point A to point B. In addition, you should try not to reference pages that are known to redirect to other pages.
Broken links result in 404 and 410 errors and are bad for both user experience and site response. A broken link is a wasteful request that doesn’t serve any purpose. There are a number of free link checkers online that can help identify broken links on your site.
Caching your webpages will make it faster for users to navigate back to pages that they’ve already visited. While it won’t help the first time that a user hits a page, once that page is loaded it will save a copy of itself on the user’s local server and save on loading time the next time the user returns.
Eliminating unnecessary data, white spaces and empty elements will reduce your page size and decrease your page load times. There a number of online tools that can help minify your code. If you’re using WordPress, Autoptimizer is probably your best bet for optimizing your code.