Your website performance matters; it impacts your conversion rates, user experience, and rankings in the search engines. But how do you know if your website performance is up to par? Thankfully, there are tools available to help you determine your website performance so that you can take the necessary steps to improve it. Learn more about these 10 actionable tips that can help improve your website performance today!
By tracking your website’s performance over time, you can learn more about what types of content are slowing down your page and where that content is located. If a lot of above-the-fold content is blocked, then there’s a good chance you’re blocking important resources or scripts from loading properly.
2) Enable compression.
Compressing your site’s assets and loading them through a content delivery network (CDN) will help speed up page load times. There are two different types of compression: gzip, which works well for HTML files, and brotli, which is better for images and CSS/JS files. Use a CDN in combination with both compression types to really optimize your page performance.
To enable gzip compression, simply change your .htaccess file with a tool like FireGento and set AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/HTML in your mod_deflate section. For brotli compression, you can use a caching plugin like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache. Just add brotli as one of your output formats.
3) Optimize images.
Optimizing your images is one of those no-brainer web performance tasks that many people overlook. This isn’t so much because they don’t understand how it helps their website perform better, but because they just can’t get themselves around to actually doing it. One way you can easily optimize all of your images is by using a service like TinyPNG or Kraken. These online tools convert your original images into compressed, lightweight files that load faster on your site and across other platforms (such as mobile apps).
4) Enable browser caching.
One of the easiest ways to help speed up your website is by enabling browser caching. Basically, whenever someone visits your site, their browser saves a copy of some elements of your page (such as images) on their computer. When they return and load that page, instead of needing to load everything from scratch—the image can be pulled from their local cache (thus speeding things up).
5) Reduce redirects.
While it’s true that a single redirect (wherein you move a visitor from one page to another within your site) isn’t necessarily going to slow down your website, if you have dozens or even hundreds of them on a given web page, you can definitely impact its performance. Redirect chains—wherein you redirect someone four or five times before they get to their actual destination—are among the worst offenders.
6) Use HTTP/2.
7) Prioritize visible content
Internet users are impatient. It’s up to you, then, as a content creator, blogger, or web designer, to take action and make your site usable at all times. When it comes to optimizing a website’s performance, your users will thank you—and so will Google. Make sure your site loads in three seconds or less.
8) Leverage browser caching.
When a browser makes an HTTP request for a file on your website, that request includes metadata about how long your content can remain valid. Browsers will cache files in memory and re-use them for subsequent requests as long as they’re still considered valid.
9) Enable text compression (gzip compression).
If you’re on a shared host, you can likely enable text compression in your control panel. Doing so will result in smaller page sizes, better response times and faster load times. If your host doesn’t support it—or if you want more control over how pages are compressed—you can install a plugin for WordPress or other content management system. For example, Google PageSpeed Optimizer and Yahoo! YSlow both offer plugins that can be installed with one click.
10) Avoid landing page redirects.
Landing page redirects occur when you click on a link that sends you from one page to another page (this type of redirect is also called a hop). Redirects are usually sent from landing pages and can be an indication of website performance problems. A good rule of thumb is: if it’s not broken, don’t fix it! If your website is already sending visitors where they want to go in one hop, then avoid unnecessary redirects.