About a decade ago, Google announced that site speed affects web search rankings. Although this post did not clarify the impact of rate on orders, website managers reading this notice understand that website speed optimization should be at the top of their development plans.

In addition to the benefits of SEO or speed optimization, page load time is essential in determining the number of users on your website.

Optimizing site speed: What You Need Before You Begin

  • It would help if you were on a reasonably fast host.

Optimizing website performance is essential in technologically superior website designs and a critical success factor for modern online businesses.

Website speed optimization tools

Before we get into specific techniques that will help you optimize your website, let’s take a moment to review the tools that help analyze web page speed.

If you’re a beginner looking for a simple testing tool, you can use Pingdom’s suite of tools to assess your website quickly. You can refer to Google Speed Page Insights for a complete solution.

The first step of this guide focuses on optimizing static files – most popularly, CSS and JavaScript files.

Move CSS to the top and JS to the bottom.

The first optimization that can be done is to make sure that CSS pages are in the <head> section of your page structure, while all JS is moved to the top of the </body> tag on your page. The logic behind this is simple:

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Generally, CSSs are smaller in size than scripts
When CSS <head> tags are loaded before the browser renders the page content, each element rendered on the page is styled accordingly.
Functionality Scripts generally appear when page content is loaded so scripts can be placed at the bottom.

This method ensures that your website visitors do not leave the page in frustration while waiting to load.

Use asynchronous loading for Optimizing site speed

A web browser presents resources sequentially and displays them on a web page. This is referred to as concurrent loading. However, you can change this default browser property by using the async property to load resources as soon as they are accessed. For example, you can concurrently load a script as follows:

<script src="script.js" async></script>

Image optimization

As discussed above, the primary source of the increase in the size of web pages over the years is images.

What kind of image format do you use?

The two most common image types on the web are JPG and PNG.

They are not alike.

  • JPG images are helpful for photos and other complex ideas that contain a lot of color information
  • PNG images are great for graphics with little color information, such as interface screenshots.

Optimizing HTTP requests for Optimizing site speed

Earlier in this post, we discussed that when a user’s browser starts to load a web page, the actual transfer is done through dedicated HTTP requests. A single request fetches each resource. Hence, increasing the number of such requests will load your web page.

Minimize redirects

Redirection instructions transfer the client automatically from one source location to another. Therefore, any redirect will speed up your web page load, and you should avoid any redirects in your code unless necessary.

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Optimized for mobile

In the previous parts of this article, we discussed relevant optimization techniques for both desktop and mobile. However, the consumption of content on mobile is increasing, and there are new challenges that their smaller screen brings. Therefore, this section discusses methods to optimize website speed for mobile devices.

Mobile optimization refers to ensuring that mobile visitors to your web page have the same functionality and performance as their desktop counterparts. The following list includes specific sanity factors for cleaning web content for mobile devices:

  • Use responsive web design to ensure that different devices receive different versions of the same web page
  • Avoid using flash and pop-ups, as mobile devices may not support it
  • Do not place interactions such as links too close to each other

Remove unused plugins for Optimizing site speed

Regarding WordPress plugins, quality is better than quantity—since each plugin is like a small piece of software on your website, running too many at once can negatively affect your site’s load time. Even if you don’t use a particular plugin, there’s a chance that it’s doing unnecessary work in the background and consuming resources. It may be time to cut back.

Start by disabling any plugins you’re sure you’ll never use again. Test your site after each deactivation, then remove these plugins after making sure everything still works. Then disable the plugins one by one to see which ones make a difference in speed. Finally, consider finding lightweight alternatives to these plugins.

Use a light theme

Like plugins, your active WordPress theme may place an unnecessary load on your web server. Pieces packed with high-quality images and effects may look cool, but they come at a cost. Fancy products can require a lot of code, and many themes are inefficiently programmed, increasing file sizes and slowing down your page’s performance.

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