As a Webmaster, if you are not concerned with the load time of web pages then you may be losing traffic FAST! A recent study by Aberdeen Group found that even one second delay in the load time of pages signifies 11% less page views, 16% drop in customer satisfaction and 7% less conversion. So, is your business ready for this loss? Amazon has corroborated these findings. They recorded 1% revenue increase with every 100 ms website speed improvement. Similarly, Walmart experienced 2% conversion rate increase for every second improvement.
Speeding up websites means better rankings on Google and high bottom line profits. Here are a few quick tips to save the crucial seconds off from your site speed.
Bring down HTTP requests
Do you know 80% of the load time of your web page consists of requests made for downloading different elements of the page? This includes the scripts, images, stylesheets, Flash, and more. For each of the components, separate HTTP requests are needed to make page render. So by keeping these low you can always bring down the load time and consequently increase website speed. Simple designs work best.
- Streamline page elements
- Replace images with CSS whenever possible
- Combine multiple stylesheets
- Reduce scripts, plays them at page bottom
High quality content pages are mostly 100 kb or more. These being bulky will slow down the page loading. Zipping or compression is the best way to deal with this issue. It will help you to reduce the page bandwidth, which in turn will reduce HTTP response. Different tools are available for the purpose. For example, when you use Gzip for the purpose, reduction of download time occurs by 70% as per Yahoo.
Reduce response time of server
You should target response time below 200ms (milli-seconds) for the server to bring down the load time of your website significantly. Use of monitoring web application solution is the Google recommendation. Also, you should check for bottlenecks in performance to get the best results.
Browser caching enablement
Cache or temporary storage stores the various elements of the websites that you visit. After this, when you next visit the same site, it will load automatically in your browser or without HTTP requests for the various page elements. In an average scenario, almost 30 components are downloaded in a web page, which takes approximately 2.4 seconds. Even if additional components required download during subsequent visits it takes miniscule time such as 9 seconds for three components as per Theurer’s test. Therefore, cache enablement is crucial for websites at least for second time visitors.
Oversized images signify more load time. With editing tools, you can remove the comments from images, reduce the colour depth, and crop them as required. As far as image format goes JPEG is the best, PNG is also acceptable, TIFFs or BMPs is strict no-no. GIFs are good for animated images and simple, small graphics under 10×10 pixels or 3 or less colour palettes.
While some of these quick tips are easy for you to implement for others you may require professional web design services. Do as needed because your website speed is too critical to take lightly. You may be losing visitors even as you read this.