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12 Techniques to Optimize Website Speed: Performance Testing and Improvement Practices

Reduced internet site speed is among the most discouraging points that will keep people away from your resource. The speed of the website gives the first impression about your company. It’s important to understand that you don’t get a second chance regarding individual experience.

High-performing websites lead to high traffic, low bounce rates, higher conversion rates, higher engagement, better organic search rankings, and better user experience. Slow websites cost you money and hurt your reputation. By reducing page load time, you will positively impact marketing and sales processes. You will receive more visitors and gain more qualified leads that can convert into clients. In this blog, we will give you recommendations on how to improve your website performance and page load time.

The importance of optimizing website speed

Web page lots time is a web performance statistics that suggest how long it considers a web page to display on a customer’s display.

Let’s have a look at how website speed optimization affects key factors for website success:

  • Conversion
  • Visibility
  • Usability

Conversion: Website conversion is an essential factor in the success of your business, which means obtaining your visitors to do what you desire them to do. For example, you want them to buy your product, sign up for newsletter campaigns, register for a webinar, or download a guide.

The faster the page loads, the greater the conversion rates: According to research from Hubspot, a 1-second delay means a 7 percent drop in conversion rates. For example, a web page stagnation of 1 second might set you back from Amazon’s $1.6 billion annual profits annually.

Visibility: Internet site speed is one of the elements Google thinks about when rating websites. Your website’s load time also affects how easily users can find your website. A website with a low loading time provides a poor user experience and is, therefore, less promoted in search results.

In December 2017, the Google search engine likewise started based on mobile variations of web pages for desktop computer searches. This choice aims to shield individuals from websites that choke up and are inappropriate for all gadgets.

Usability: A good user experience is a way to build a large customer base and a strong brand. The usability of a website, such as page speed, load time, and responsiveness to user requests, directly impacts customer engagement. The better your site’s performance, the happier users will be.

Ways to evaluate the speed of your website

Before you optimize your website’s speed, you should determine your current load time and what is slowing down your website. Then, you should set your goals for website performance. The recommendation for web page load time in 2018 is under 3 seconds. According to Google’s study on average mobile speed in various industries, only a fraction of websites achieves the recommended speed.

So, optimizing your website speed to an acceptable level will give you a significant ranking advantage over your competitors.

The website speed optimization options listed in this article vary widely; sometimes, solving one problem can affect another aspect of your website. Therefore, we recommend analyzing website speed after each change to determine which actions provide the best results.

Several performance evaluation tools are worth trying out:

Google Pagespeed Insights is a free tool from Google that performs a performance test on your website and makes recommendations to improve performance. It works for both desktop and as well as mobile versions.

Pingdom is also an excellent tool for website speed testing with several valuable features. It tracks your website’s performance history, gives data-driven recommendations to improve website speed, and generates easy-to-understand reports. Pingdom also offers website speed testing apps for Android and iOS. There are both free and professional paid monitoring plans.

YSlow also gives recommendations on how to improve site performance, creates statistics, and summarizes all components.

Performance Budget Calculator is a free device that assists you in finding out what sort of web content you can use to keep your site running ideally.

Standards for accelerating your site

As soon as you have tested the speed of your site, you can begin optimizing it. There are many means to make your site run quicker, and we’ve noted the most reliable ones.

1. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network is a team of web servers spread across different geographical locations that serve web content to end users through their location. Hosting the website on a single server sends all user requests to the same hardware. Because of this, the time needs to process each request increases.

Moreover, the loading time increases if the users are far from the server. With CDN, the user requests are forwarded. As soon as you have tested the speed of your site, you can begin optimizing it. There are many means to make your site run quicker, and we’ve noted the most reliable ones to the nearest server.

As a result, the web content is delivered to the user faster, and the website works faster. That is quite an expensive but very effective method to optimize the loading time.

2. Move your website to a better hoster

There are three possible types of hosting:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
  • Dedicated Server

You must choose a fast web host to ensure better optimization. The most popular kind of hosting used worldwide is shared hosting. It is the most affordable way to get your website online quickly and for a small fee. In shared hosting, you share CPU, disk space, and RAM with other websites that also use this server. Shared holding is not as fast as VPS or a devoted web server.

Virtual private web servers and committed web servers are much faster. VPS uses multiple servers to distribute content. With VPS, you share the server with other users and have your part of the virtual server where your configurations don’t affect other customers. If your website has average traffic or you have an eCommerce website where traffic spikes during specific periods, VPS is the optimal solution for you.

The most expensive hosting option is to utilize a dedicated server, which can be your physical server. In this case, you’ll pay a server rental fee and hire a system administrator to maintain the server.

Another option is to rent dedicated cloud resources from AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, or another public cloud provider. Can also combine approaches to create a hybrid cloud, which we talked about recently. With dedicated servers, all resources are yours alone, and you have complete control over them. Cloud infrastructures can also offer unlimited and on-demand scalability under different packages.

Serverless architecture is another option that eliminates the need for server maintenance and setup. Please read our separate article on the features and benefits of serverless architecture.

3. Optimize the size of photos on your website

Everyone loves eye-catching images. In successful eCommerce websites, images are the crucial part. Many photos, images, and graphics on your product pages improve engagement. The downside of using images is that they are usually large files that slow down a website.

The best method to reduce the image size without compromising the quality is to compress the images using tools like ImageOptim, JPEGmini, or Kraken. The process can take a little time, but it’s worth it. Another way to reduce image size is to use the <secret> and <size> HTML attributes for responsive images, which adjust the image size based on the user’s display characteristics.

4. Reduce the number of plugins

Plugins are standard components of any website. They add specific functions suggested by 3rd parties. Unfortunately, the more plugins are set up, and the more sources are required to run them. Because of this, the website works slower, and safety and security concerns may also occur.

Over time, the number of plugins grows, while some might use them anymore. We recommend checking all installed plugins and deleting unnecessary ones. First, run the performance tests on your site to find out which plugins are slowing down your website. Website speed depends not only on the various setup plugins but also on their high quality.

Avoid plugins that load many manuscripts and styles or create plenty of database inquiries. The best service is to set up the necessary plugins and guarantee they are up to date.

5. Reduce the variety of JavaScript and CSS files

If your site includes many JavaScript and CSS files, this will result in many HTTP requests when your website visitors want to access specific files. These requests are handled individually by the visitor’s browser and slow down the work of the website. If you reduce the number of JavaScript and CSS files, it will undoubtedly speed up your website.

Try to combine all JavaScript and CSS files into one file. That will reduce the total number of HTTP requests. You can use several tools to shrink HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files quickly. For example, you can use WillPeavy, Script Minifier, or Grunt tools.

6. Use website caching

With caching, the current version of your website is stored on the hosting and displayed until your website is updated. It means that the web page is not rendered repeatedly for each user. The cached website doesn’t have to send database requests every time. When many users access the site simultaneously, the servers work slowly and take more time to deliver the web page to each user.

The techniques for website caching depend on the platform your website is developed on. For WordPress, for example, you can use the following plugins: W3 Total Cache or W3 Super Cache. Utilizing a VPS or a dedicated server, you can also set up caching in your general settings. For a shared server, website caching is usually not available.

7. implement Gzip compression

Gzip compression is an efficient way to lower the size of files. It minimizes the HTTP demands as well as reduces the server action time. Gzip presses the data before sending them to the internet browser.

The browser unpacks the files and displays the contents on the user side. This technique can collaborate with all data on your internet site. You can enable Gzip on your site by adding some code lines or using a gzip utility.

8. Database optimization in CMS

Database optimization is an effective method to increase efficiency. If you use a material management system (CMS) loaded with intricate plugins, the database size boosts, and your internet site functions slower. Each CMS requires its optimization measures and also has several specific plugins.

For WordPress, you can consider WP-Optimize, for example. For example, the WordPress CMS stores comments, blog posts, and other information that takes up a lot of storage space.

9. Decrease making use of web font styles

Web typefaces have become popular in site design. Sadly, the use of internet fonts. Affects the speed of page rendering. Web fonts cause additional HTTP requests to external resources. You can reduce web font traffic by taking the following steps:

  • Use modern formats WOFF2 for modern browsers;
  • Include only the fonts that are used on the website;
  • Choose only the styles you need

10. Detect 404 errors

A 404 error means that a “page not found.” This message is passed by the hoster to browsers or search engines when the accessed content of a page no longer exists. To detect and fix a 404 error, you can use error detection tools and plugins.

As mentioned above, additional plugins can harm the speed of your website, so we recommend running the error detection resource through external tools. For example, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, Google Webmaster Tools (GWT), and 404 Redirected Plugin For WordPress.

Once you have tracked down all the 404 errors, you need to evaluate the traffic they generate. If these dead links are no longer bringing in visits and thus not consuming server resources, you can leave them as they are. If these pages still have some traffic, you should set up redirects for external links and correct the link addresses for internal links.

11. Reduce redirects

Website redirects generate additional HTTP requests that harm performance. We recommend keeping them to a minimum or eliminating them. Initially, you need to identify all redirects on your site by running a site scan. Then you need to check if they serve a necessary purpose and leave only the binding redirects. You can use Screaming Frog to identify redirects quickly.

12. Use prefetching techniques

Prefetching involves reading and executing instructions before a user triggers them. This technique is relatively standard. It works well if you can anticipate the user’s actions and, for example, load some content or links in advance.

Usually, modern browsers allow prefetching by default because they assume user behavior patterns. However, it is more likely that UX specialists and engineers understand user behavior and provide “hints” to browsers so that they can perform prefetching.

There are three main types of prefetching:

DNS prefetching: This practice resolves domains into IP addresses in advance.

Link prefetching: If you are unsure that a user will click a specific link to navigate a specific page, you can apply this prefetching. This method is helpful for stable user actions, such as redirecting to the shopping cart page after adding one or more items.

Prerendering: This technique implies rendering a whole web page or some elements beforehand.

While prefetching is effective, it requires a deep analysis of user behavior to make accurate assumptions.


A regular customer expects websites to load in less than 3 seconds. If you fail to meet this expectation, you will lose a lot of website traffic and revenue.

Therefore, we recommend you optimize your website speed in a simple but effective way:

  • Check and evaluate the critical factors for your website’s success, considering conversion, visibility, and usability.
  • Test the current speed of your website and prioritize the pages and features that need the most attention in terms of these three factors.
  • Start your optimization with the aspects that reduce speed and focus on the most important pages for your conversion success.

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