A slow-loading website can be frustrating for visitors, resulting in high bounce rates and poor user experience. Optimizing website performance is crucial for keeping visitors engaged, reducing bounce rates, and improving search engine rankings.
In this post, we’ll be discussing 10 tips for optimizing website performance, reducing image sizes, using a content delivery network (CDN), implementing browser caching, minifying and combining files, utilizing gzip compression, lazy loading images and videos, using modern technologies, and monitoring and measuring website performance regularly.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to improve the speed and overall performance of your website, resulting in happier visitors and better search engine rankings.
1. Reduce Image Sizes
Maximizing your visuals with Squoosh can ensure your images look sharp and stunning on any device or platform. With only a few clicks, you’ll be able to make sure the photos you use are optimized for maximum performance.
Recommended image size for large images is about 150kbs and for thumbnails, it can be a lot smaller, you only need to load the image resolution with the image width, and height of the website design.
JPEGs may be the more common image format due to their low-bite size than PNG, which you should avoid using, but WebP rapidly surpasses other formats with its wide support from all major browsers.
For icons and logos, developers used .png so the background would be transparent, but with SVG we can now achieve higher-resolution logos and icons with transparent backgrounds, and they weigh a lot less.
2. Lazy Load Images, Iframes and Videos
This is a great way to improve the First Contentful Paint, which means users will only see what first loads in their view inside the browser and images and videos can load when the user scrolls closer to it.
Rather than loading all images and videos at once, you can use lazy loading to only load images or videos when they are visible on the screen. This can lower your page’s load time significantly.
loading="lazy" attribute to your images or iframes, for example:
<img src="image.jpg" alt="..." loading="lazy" />
You can also apply the same technique for iframes:
<iframe src="video-player.html" title="..." loading="lazy"></iframe>
For videos, you can use
preload="none", as this will only start loading when the play button gis pressed, here is an example:
<video controls preload="none" poster="video-poster.jpg">
<source src="video.webm" type="video/webm">
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4">
If you are using WordPress you can use a plugin such as SiteGround Optimizer to minify CSS and JS.
Alternatively, you can use extensions in your code editor such as Visual Code Studio, for example, I use the MinifyAll extension for Visual Code Studio.
4. Use fewer embeds on the websites
The use of embeds (such as YouTube videos, Instagram Feeds, and Google Maps) can be an easy way to add media to your website. But this often comes with a cost—the more embeds you have on your site, the slower it can load, as this requires loading additional code from their hosted servers.
Whenever possible, try to optimize the number of embeds used on your website. This can be done by linking back to the original source instead of embedding content directly within your page.
You can also use
loading="lazy"if the embed is with an Iframe.
5. Choose a reliable hosting provider
When it comes to website performance, having a good hosting provider is essential. The right hosting plan can make all the difference in ensuring that your site runs smoothly and quickly.
Whether you opt for a shared or dedicated server, always be sure to research the company’s reliability and customer service record before signing up. Additionally, you should consider what type of content your website will be serving, and choose the right kind of hosting plan accordingly.
In my experience, I have used a lot of shared servers from Irish companies such as LetsHost and Blacknight and had bad experiences with loading speeds, this is probably due that they have too many websites hosted on a single shared server. Of course, I have not tested their dedicated, they do come with a higher price but may be a lot better.
I’ve used SiteGround with shared hosting plans and their cloud hosting and never had any issues with performance or page load time.
6. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN is an effective way to increase website speed by reducing latency and boosting performance. CDNs are networks of servers located around the world that are used to cache static content such as images, videos, and scripts, allowing them to be served up faster. By using a CDN, your website can take advantage of server locations near users, resulting in faster loading times.
In some cases, it’s not required, for example, if your customers are based in Dublin, and servers are located relatively close to users then there is no need for a CDN.
7. Enable browser caching
Browser caching is a technique that allows web browsers to store certain elements of a webpage so they don’t have to be re-downloaded each time the page is visited. This helps reduce latency and speed up page load times, as browsers don’t have to re-request elements from the server.
Enabling browser caching can be done by setting specific expiry headers that tell browsers how long they should cache certain types of content. This can vary depending on the type of file, and you should consult your web developer for help configuring this properly.
8. Utilize Gzip Compression
Gzip compression is a great way to reduce the size of your webpage and improve loading times. It works by compressing webpages and other files before sending them to the browser, which reduces the amount of data that needs to be downloaded.
Most modern browsers now support Gzip compression and there are plugins available for WordPress that can help you enable it for your website. It’s a relatively simple process and can provide a noticeable improvement in performance.
9. Use modern technology to build a website
The technology used to build websites has evolved significantly in the past few years. Instead of building a website from scratch, you can now use modern web development frameworks and content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or Magento. These tools provide faster development times, better scalability, and easier maintenance.
Using modern technology to build a website can help you create a faster, more optimised site that will perform better and requires less maintenance in the long run.
10. Monitoring and measuring website performance regularly
Finally, it’s important to remember that website performance is an ongoing task. You should be monitoring and measuring the performance of your website on a regular basis in order to ensure that it remains optimized.
There are many tools available for benchmarking, such as Pingdom or Google Page Insights. These can help you identify areas where there might be room for improvement and track how your website is performing over time. It’s important to make sure that you check in with your performance regularly in order to make sure your website remains in good shape.
By following these 10 tips for optimizing website performance, you can ensure that your website is fast and user-friendly. From optimizing images to using modern technology to build a website, taking the time to optimize your website can help you improve page speed and give your customers the best experience possible, Google will love it too.
These tips should help get you started in optimizing website performance, but keep in mind that it is an ongoing process. Monitor and measure your website regularly to make sure it remains optimized for success!