Page Load Time- How Does It Matter in Anyway?

Over the years, Google has cited multiple factors that would determine the organic ranking of the site. While some were related to the webpage content including the URL, web copy, titles, headers, etc. some stressed on the measurements of the authenticity of the website like the age of the domain, number and quality of inbound and outbound links etc. However, it was back in 2010 that Google announced is obsession with page speed. The search engine giant declared that website’s speed would be one of the factors that would impact the search ranking. According to Google, “Faster sites create happy users. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed – that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.”Google thus makes it clear that websites that are extremely slow distort the user experience and sites with poor user experiences will have negative impact in search results. Several surveys show that 75% of web visitors expect a site to load within 2.5 seconds, and they move off when the site does not load within three seconds. Furthermore, 79% of online shoppers facing trouble with the site’s performance tend to ignore visiting the website again and some 44% of them would not refer the site to their friends for shopping online.

Well, this means a site that takes longer time to load will not only lose out on conversions but will also run out of positive referrals hence bringing down its potential sales! A matter of few seconds will make a difference!

How to Decrease Page Load Time?

A website usually weighs around 130 KB which includes scripts, images and stylesheets. There are multiple ways to Analyze Your Page Speed Online, but then what are the things that you can do to decrease your page load time? Given below are few of the steps that can help a site chop down the page load time by few seconds:

(I) Using GZIP Compression

GZIP Compression

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If your site’s speed is below average, one of the immediate things to do is enquire whether your web hosts are using GZIP compression and deflation on their servers. These two techniques can really do real good to the website speed; reduce file size by almost 70% without even disrupting the image or the video quality video.

(II) Flap Your Javascript and Stylesheets

Flap Your Javascript and Stylesheets

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Instead of thwarting the CSS and Javascript in every webpages, get these to load in external files. This will make the browser to load the files once, instead of load every time when visitors visit each page of the site. Place the external CSS in the portion of your site and your external Javascript file as close to the tag as possible. This will prevent the browser from being overburdened and paddling through all those requests for external files, right from the start.

However, you need not do it if the Javascript is required to load near the top of the webpage so as to load up an image carousel or display a name.

(III) Optimizing Images

Optimizing Images

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While saving the image in Fireworks or Photoshop, use the “Save for Web” option. This would reduce the size of the image. An image quality slider will help you view the visual trade-offs between graphic file size and conciseness.

(IV) Need Not Rely on HTML to Resize Images

Resize Image

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HTML and WordPress blogs by extension are feasible for creating smaller version of larger graphics. However, it does not mean that loading smaller size is consuming less room in the server. As a matter of fact, the browser will have to load the image to every bit, check the height and width required and resize it accordingly.

(IV) Cache

Cache

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CMS such as WordPress usually have plugins that will cache the updated version of the webpages and display those to the visitors. This ensures the browser won’t be forced to generate the page dynamically every single time.

(V) Stop Confusing Browser with Redirects

301 Redirect

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301 Redirect is the best way to alter the website structure without losing that valuable search engine juice. However, a lot of 301 redirects compiled can puzzle the browser and eventually affect its speed as it moves through the older destination to access the new one.

(VI) Have the Network Carry the Load

Content Delivery Network

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Your website is popular but then, page loading time is giving you a tough time, then you need to consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Amazon Cloud Front! This works by serving the webpages based on the location of the user. Faster access to a server that is in geographical proximity would have the site load faster.

Wrapping Things Up…

It is unfortunate that the exact definition of “site speed” is open to speculation mainly because of the fact that there are multiple aspects that Google use while determining the search rankings. It is however recommended not to turn deaf to the page speed either; rather, you should be optimizing the webpage load time to entice your visitors. Even though the page speed isn’t a high-end patron that determines Google rankings, it can significantly affect the conversion rate. For every second the page load time is trimmed, you are actually boosting the customer’s confidence and enhancing your site’s credibility. Can’t help being repetitive, but mere seconds can make a big difference!