Here’s what we usually think about website speed optimization: “What else do we need besides following the best practices?” Well, a lot actually. The nuances comprising website loading speed are immense.
In an era with shorter attention spans and a digital landscape, there is a need for speed. Search engines favor swift-loading sites. And your online party popper is your page loading time.
This article won’t be your usual ‘x tips to increase website loading speed.’ From the intricacies of front-end optimization to the nitty-gritty of the back-end tweaks, we will leave no stone unturned in bringing you the most actionable strategies that have worked wonders for websites. Let’s embrace the quest for speed, then!
Is Website Speed Optimization Still a Thing in 2023?
Website speed plays a pivotal role in shaping your visitor’s user experience and, in the current scheme of things, is more relevant than ever, given the behavioral patterns of this generation. We want it all done too quickly.
So, website speed optimization improves a website’s loading speed and overall performance. It is about ensuring that your website loads quickly and smoothly. There are no delays or glitches. Visitors can have a seamless browsing experience. Pay attention to the echoes of ‘user experience’ here. A visitor takes an average of 50 milliseconds(0.05 s) to form an opinion about your website. Thus, the margin of error is very low.
Factors Considered By Google To Evaluate Your Site Speed
1. First Contentful Paint (FCP)
It measures how long it takes for the first visible portion of a webpage to load once a user makes a request. A Google-recommended FCP is 2.5 seconds or less.
2. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
This metric tracks how long the page’s most prominent piece of content takes to load when a user sends a request. This might be anything from still photographs to full-length motion pictures. Google suggests aiming for an LCP of 2.5 seconds or less.
3. Total Blocking Time (TBT)
The time it takes for the user to go from seeing the First Contentful Paint to being able to interact with the page entirely. Google suggests aiming for a TBT of 200 ms or less.
4. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
This metric tracks the cumulative amount of layout changes that occur while a page is loading, hence the name. When the CLS score is high, users may find that links and buttons shift, which might lead to inadvertent clicks. Google suggests aiming for a CLS score of 0.1 or lower.
5. Speed Index (SI)
- This shows the time in which the contents of a page are visible after loading. Google suggests a SI score of 3.4s or less.
You can test your website’s speed optimization score with PageSpeed Insights now.
Factors That Govern Website Speed Optimization
Now that you have learned about the current situation of your website, it’s time to address the chinks and strive towards attaining the optimal loading speed. And for that to happen, we will have to consider the factors that govern website speed optimization, which is plenty.
But we will only discuss the ones that have the most significant impacts.
Can you score 100 on that Lighthouse Performance Score? Well, Google is ready to befriend you, then.
- Optimize images: Use optimized, compressed images of the right size and quality.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN): You can assist users worldwide to access your site’s information quickly by using a content delivery network (CDN).
- Minimize HTTP requests: Combine many files and scripts into one to lessen the number of requests your website needs to perform.
- Use a caching plugin: By storing frequently visited data in the user’s browser or server memory, a caching plugin can speed up your site’s load time for returning users.
- Optimize code: Code optimization entails compressing and minifying stylesheets and scripts used on a website.
- Enable Gzip compression: By compressing files using Gzip on your web server, you can reduce download times for users.
- Prioritize above-the-fold content: Keep the most vital information above the fold so that it loads first.
- Reduce server response time: Choose a dependable hosting provider and a content management system (CMS) suited for speed to optimize your web server and decrease server response time.
- Use a fast and reliable DNS provider: To guarantee the quickest possible DNS lookup times for your website, it’s essential to use a reputable and quick DNS service.
- Monitor your website’s speed regularly: Continuously test your website’s speed and performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix, and make necessary optimizations to improve the overall speed and user experience.
- Use lazy loading: It only loads non-critical resources like photos and videos to load only when the user scrolls through them.
- Use responsive design: Use responsive design to make your site accessible from any device, especially mobile phones.
- Reduce the number of plugins: Limit the number of plugins you use on your website, as they can slow down your website’s load times.
- Optimize database queries: Reduce the strain on your web server and boost your site’s speed by fine-tuning your database queries.
- Use browser caching: Use browser caching to save data on a user’s device and speed up page loads for returning users.
- Use a fast theme: Select a lightweight, fast-loading theme to improve your site’s performance.
- Optimize fonts: Choose web-safe fonts and minimize font variants to improve your website’s readability.
We hope that you found what you were looking for and more. These tips and strategies will help you offer a seamless user experience to your visitors. And as the old adage goes, the first impression is the last impression. The more you optimize your website loading speed, the more your visitors are likely to fancy your website and If you want help and support with website development or SEO related services you can contact Mavlers!.