How to Increase Website Speed
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - June 12, 2020
How does page speed insights help in overall website optimization?
How web pages that take too long to load can lose visitors due to sub-par user experience?
This article will point out some methods to increase website speed that developers can use in their optimization activities.
Let’s get started.
With endless variations available for server configurations in the market, every website is built differently. This means that improving a website’s speed isn’t as simple as following a single checklist. However, there are a few common techniques that help with boosting website speed.
1. Reducing the size of High-Resolution Images
Images are an integral part of websites, and they play a major role in a site’s loading speed. Images with high resolution tend to have larger file sizes. As a result, they can cause slow load times. Web developers need to ensure that image sizes are well compressed without suffering a visual loss in quality.
One can use software like Adobe Photoshop to help compress image file sizes significantly – from 3MB to 200KB. WordPress users can use plugins like WP Smush for image compression. This will be an easy win for image-heavy websites with respect to page speed optimization.
2. Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network, also known as a Content Distribution Network, is a geographically distributed group of servers. CDNs help website owners host their websites on servers across the world as per their target audience.
It basically helps to deliver all assets required for loading the web-content (HTML files, images, videos, etc.) faster based on the geographic location of the user.
For example, if a business owner has a website hosted in India, but a considerable amount of customers visit the website from the US, they might experience slow page loads. In such a case, it makes sense to host a version of the website in the US region using a CDN. Popular CDN services include Amazon Cloud Front and Cloudflare.
4. Boost Server Response Time
Server response time depends on multiple factors like:
- Amount of website traffic
- Resources consumed by each web page
- Hosting solution and the software used
Teams must ensure that they are investing in a reliable and high-performance server. Web developers must also look out for any performance bottlenecks related to slow routing or database queries that can result in increased page load time.
5. Incorporate Browser Caching
6. Reduce Redirects
Redirects are mandatory when there are considerable content changes (migrating, deleting specific pages). However, having too many can result in the generation of additional HTTP requests. This can lead to a negative impact on page load speeds, particularly on mobile devices.
This drives us to an important subject regarding website load speed on mobile devices.
Bear in mind that Google uses the mobile-first indexing technique to rank websites.
Note: Mobile-first indexing is a technique that focuses on ranking and indexing the mobile versions of the websites.
The count of mobile searches has significantly surged from 2015. As a result, Mobile-first indexing was introduced, considering the exponential growth in mobile users. One can conclude how Google is constantly working to enhance the web experience, particularly for mobile users.
For web developers, this translates to testing their website speed for mobile devices. Teams can leverage website speed test tools for this purpose. BrowserStack’s SpeedLab helps users to instantly test the speed of a webpage across a range of widely used mobile browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and more. All these tests are conducted on real mobile devices hosted on BrowserStack’s real device cloud.
Once the test is executed for a specific web page, users get detailed reports regarding the website’s page load time in milliseconds for both mobile and desktop platforms. At a high level, the scores for both desktop and mobile platforms are rated on a scale of 100.
In a highly fragmented digital landscape, SpeedLab makes it an effortless task to test the speed of websites across a range of real device-browser combinations. Optimize websites with the steps detailed above, see the result of your efforts with SpeedLab and offer users a top-notch online experience when they access your website.