Website Speed can be generalised as the time it takes for information to transfer from a web server to be displayed on a user browser. A website that loads fast on the different device types that include tablets, mobile phones and desktop computers will make a positive impact on user experience and ultimately improve traffic performances. In this chapter we take a detailed look at ways we can improve website loading times using various up to date techniques and methods. There are many online speed testing websites such as Google Speed Insights, Web Page Test and GT Metrix that can accurately test the speed of a site. They will also detail a website with an accurate diagnosis list of issues that can be fixed to improve page rendering (loading). Let’s take a look at a few important factors that can be used to improve the user satisfaction, experience and engagement by creating a site that is better and loads faster than the competition.
Minifying website codes will certainly increase the chances of appearing on the first page of Google and the other top search engines. Though reducing the code size can sometimes only have minimal affects on webpage speed. Ensuring that every user experience and ranking signal is accounted for will ultimately make a website more professional and increase traffic its pages. Find more information about Minifying Codes here.
Expires caching is one of many modern SEO techniques that will improve page loading speeds, keep the end users happy and help to gain a higher search standing. Expires cache should be utilised to improve the user satisfaction along with positively impacting SEO scores. Continue learning more on the Expires Cache Tutorial here.
Inline critical CSS
Also generally known as critical path rendering, this technique can give a website a winning edge over a competitors site. It can also improve and enhance the user experience and engagement by enabling pages to load extremely fast. Learn more about Inlining Critical CSS here.
Optimising images can also enhance the user experience along with improving the visibility and find-ability within search results. Image optimisation plays an important role for creating a site that loads fast and displays well on various devices. Image ALT text and image captions also play a big role for website find-ability, as search engine use these signals to find relevance for the content of a webpage. Continue reading more about Image Optimisations here.
Reduce HTTP requests
Reducing the amount HTTP Requests, essentially means to lower the amount of images and scripts on a web page. To improve the position of a website within the top search engines, there are many factor that need to work together successful to create a site that is search and site user friendly. Reducing HTTP requests will certainly help to achieve this. Learn more about Reducing HTTP Requests here.
Compressing code with GZIP can significantly reduce the size of data transferred from web server to user browser. This makes for a more efficient transfer and a faster loading website. There are many studies that correlate fast loading websites with successful traffic to sale conversions, so compression is surely a good one to go into the SEO tool box. Find the Website Compression Tutorial here.
Eliminate JS – CSS
Eliminating JS and CSS above-the-fold simply means that a website will load a lot faster without these elements being called on by the browser to display the top of a webpage. The top search engines want to see the top visible part of a web page (above-the-fold) display the content without waiting for the render blocking JS and CSS to load. Find more information about Eliminating JS and CSS here.
Reducing server response times
Simply means to lower the time it takes for a server to respond to a request by a site user. From the server side it can come down to simply paying more for better server performance. From the web design and development side it can come down to lay-out of content and the website resources and processes. Find more info about Reducing Server Response Times here.
CSS image sprites
Image sprites work by firstly combining multiple images into one file. Secondly by reassigning the image locations and positions within the CSS. This will reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve page loading speeds. The SEO best practice is to keep HTTP requests to around or even below twenty. Image sprites can help to achieve this along with improving user satisfaction and engagements. Fast loading websites can help to convert traffic into sales and image sprites is one of many SEO techniques that may help to bring in lots more online traffic. Read more on the CSS Image Sprite Tutorial here.