In today’s fast-paced, digital world, website visitors demand an exceptional user experience that includes blazing fast page speeds. A website that lags in loading risks losing potential visitors, which could lead to fewer conversions and lower revenues. Because of this, optimizing a website’s page speed is a crucial aspect of website design.
In this blog post, we’ll review why assessing a website’s page speed is critical for its success, what site owners should ask themselves when reviewing their page speeds and how to combat common issues that can hinder site performance.
What to Consider
When reviewing their page speeds, site owners should ask themselves:
• How fast does my website load?
• How does the website perform on desktop and mobile devices?
• What are the factors affecting my website’s page speed?
A website’s page speed can be affected by several factors, including:
Page Size is Too Large
Page size plays a vital role in page speed, as the bigger the page size is, the longer it will take for the page to load. This can be especially detrimental to SEO, since page speed is a primary factor in determining page ranking. In general, every single component of a page that requires downloading adds time to page speed; this includes HTML code, CSS files, images, videos and scripts.
Reducing page size by compressing images and videos, hosting videos off-site using YouTube or Vimeo and removing any unnecessary content can help improve page speed and positively impact page rankings. Furthermore, using smaller page elements such as fewer scripts or less markup also helps reduce page size. Developing pages tailored specifically with page size reduction in mind can save time, bandwidth and money while enhancing page loading speeds.
Contentful Paint is Delaying Loads
The contentful paint of your web page can have a huge effect on page speed. This refers to the first content that appears on screen for viewers. The more items included in the content, such as images and scripts, the longer it can take for the contentful paint to appear.
Even if an image has already been cached on a browser, additional graphics or videos may generate slower download times on the contentful view and thus cause poor page speed. To ensure good page performance and contentful paint, review your content with each new release and update.
Render-Blocking Java Script and Critical-Path CSS are Delaying Page Loads
By evaluating render-blocking Java script and reducing or reorganizing critical-path CSS, website owners can use easy fixes such as deferring scripts or combining files in order to maximize page load speeds.
Caching Issues are Preventing Optimized Page Loading
Caching issues can be a major problem when it comes to page loading speeds and optimizing a webpage for long-term performance and power. Caching involves a server storing data locally so that requests made by users can be answered faster. When caching fails to take hold or is improperly configured, problems arise. Page loading speed can suffer greatly when caching does not work as intended, leading to a less than optimal user experience which can, in turn, impact search engine rankings.
Maintaining caching correctly is essential to running a successful website and ensure the pages have quick loading times. Careful attention should always be given to caching configuration and checking up on it regularly can help avert performance difficulties.
Utilizing caching solutions such as CDN (Content Delivery Network) or a private proxy server along with HTTP caching and compression are some methods administrators might see success with to improve their site’s speed.
Missing Files are Causing Errors
Ensuring file integrity is necessary for optimizing page loading, as missing files can slow the process down. Such files may include missing images, missing or incorrect URLs or missing HTML elements. Certain browsers will actually fill in the missing elements with their own default content which can lead to an inconsistent user experience or undesirable visual appearance.
Missing data also increases the amount of overhead needed to render the page and consequently leads to slower loading times. To maximize your page’s load speed, be sure to properly check for missing files and correct them accordingly.
Plugins are Weighing Page Speeds Down
Plugins are a great way to add functions and features to a website, but too many plug-ins can affect the page load speeds. Every plug-in installed requires resources from the server, which could cause strain on your system. Additionally, plug-ins may contain code that is not optimized for speed, which can considerably increase page loading times.
As plugins become more advanced and feature rich, they tend to weigh more heavily on page speeds. It’s important for website owners to find a balance and routinely monitor their plug-in usage to ensure optimal page speeds. By using only necessary plug-ins and keeping them updated regularly with the latest versions, website visitors will have a more pleasant experience with faster loading pages.
How DOJO Creative Can Help
In the initial phase of a website redesign project by DOJO Creative, our team collaborates with clients in a thorough review. Together, we evaluate an existing site’s page speeds and performance prior to planning changes for a new site. Using such tools as Google’s Page Speed Insights, our development team can pinpoint origins of page speed issues and determine appropriate areas of improvement. We then use these insights to guide aspects of the redesign.
Are you mulling over a website redesign for your business or starting from scratch? Have a question about augmenting your current site’s performance but not sure where to start? We want to hear about it.
Contact DOJO Creative partner Doug Elder today at 574-276-4998 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services!