The speed of web loading is a fundamental aspect for any web page and one of the most neglected. When you work on a website, you tend to focus your efforts on web design , usability, navigability … But, what about the loading speed? If you want to learn how to improve the web loading speed , pay attention.
What is the loading speed of a web page?
The loading speed of a web page is the time a page takes to load completely when a user accesses it. The slower the loading speed of a web page, the more likely it is that the user will leave that page.
2. Why is web loading speed so important?
Web loading speed is important because it directly affects the user’s experience . As users, we are demanding and we like immediacy. So when a page does not load quickly we tend to leave it to visit another one.
That’s right, the higher the loading speed of a page, the higher its bounce rate will be . The bounce rate is a metric on the percentage of visitors leaving when they access a website. The bounce rate is also known as bounce rate . Although there are several factors that can condition the bounce rate , the web loading speed is one of the main ones.
As I said, the web loading speed directly affects the user experience. It seems that Google is betting lately to reward sites that offer a positive web experience to their users, proof of this are the AMP . Web loading speed plays a fundamental role in this regard .
3. How to measure the speed of your web page
Surely right now you are wondering about the loading speed of your website . Do you want to know how to measure the speed of your web page?
There are several tools, many of them free, to measure the loading speed of your web page . Today I’m going to focus on Google PageSpeed Insights, although there are others like Pingdom.com or Webpagetest.org .
3.1 PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insight is a free Google tool that analyzes the content of a web page to indicate its loading speed. PageSpeed Insights distinguishes between loading speed for web and computer versions. In addition, it also provides information on the aspects that slow down your website and that you have to work better.
The results of PageSpeed Insights are ordered from 0 to 100 , with 0 the minimum score and 100 the maximum. In addition, this score may be accompanied by a red exclamation mark, an orange exclamation mark or a green checkmark.
The red exclamation point alerts you about slow loading speeds. If these problems that slow down the web are solved, a measurable impact on the performance of the page could be obtained.
The orange exclamation point is indicative of average load speeds. Working a bit the aspects that PageSpeed Insights indicates you could achieve a website faster.
Finally, the green check mark is the one that refers to fast loading web pages. This means that you have done a good job in this regard.
4. What does it mean to have a slow web loading speed?
Having a slow web loading speed can translate into a high bounce rate and, therefore, in the loss of sales and potential customers. If a potential customer enters your website because he wants to buy a product from your online store and leaves because your page takes too long to load, you will be losing a sale. In addition, that customer will end up buying the product in another store, so you will be favoring your own competition.
5. Tips to improve web loading speed
5.1 Choose hosting
When we start a web project from scratch it is normal that we try to minimize the initial expenses. One of the first decisions in any web project is the one that has to do with choosing hosting .
Saving money when choosing hosting can be expensive in the long run. The servers of average and low range usually bring with them slow speeds, because it is shared servers in which there can be a simultaneous connection of several users that makes the hosting collapse.
5.2 Choose CMS
Choosing CMS (Content Management System) is another of the initial steps in a web project. A CMS is a content management system and we must optimize it to improve the web loading speed .
WordPress , Joomla and Drupal are three of the best known content managers. It is important to optimize the theme that you use in your CMS and make an intelligent management of plugins to improve the web loading speed .
5.3 Optimize images
It is clear that the use of images on a web page plays in favor of the user’s experience. It is important to optimize images in both size and weight to reduce loading times.
5.4 Gzip compression
In many cases, the HTML and CSS files of a web page take up too much space on the servers. Gzip compresses the files of a web page, saving bandwidth and accelerating the loading speed of the web page. All you have to do to enable Gzip compression is to add a piece of code to the “.htaccess” file, located at the root of the server.
Another good way to improve the loading speed is by storing files and objects in the browser’s cache . In this way, when you access a website for the second time there will be files and objects that do not have to be reloaded, such as logos or CSS files.
To specify the browser cache you have to add a code fragment, as we said with the Gzip compression, in the “.htaccess” file of the server root.
Keeping all these tips in mind, you will surely get your website going like a thunderbolt. What other tricks to improve the web loading speed do you know? Do not hesitate to share them with us through the comments.