A slow website impacts user experience. Although we live in an era of hyper-fast connections and lightning-quick broadband, it’s important to remember that not everybody has access to the highest speed internet. Users won’t wait for a website to load. They’ll click close and navigate elsewhere, losing you traffic and engagement.
#1 Cut Down on Http Requests
An HTTP request occurs every time something on your website needs to load. That includes images, plugins, stylesheets, and scripts. Each HTTP request takes time, so the more that you have, the longer it will take your site to load. Cutting down on these is basic practice, and it’s the first thing that a design agency will seek to do when they design your site. The first step is to find out how many requests are actually being made. Developer Tools on Google Chrome are a good way to do this. From there, you can see exactly how many requests your site sends and the elements that those requests are linked to. Streamline accordingly for a quicker experience.
#2 Turn on Asynchronous Loading for JAVA and CSS
Java and CSS are crucial components of any website. They offer a wide range of functionality, although they can be slow to load. One way to offset this is to turn on asynchronous loading with your hosting platform. The two-use synchronous loading by default, which means that they load separately, taking up more time. Forcing them to load together means one HTTP request instead of two, making your website more streamlined. This is a useful way to retain the functionality of Java and CSS without compromising on loading times.
#3 Look at Server Response Times
One of the more often overlooked methods, cutting down on DNS lookup time, can make a massive difference to how quickly your site loads. A DNS (Domain Name System) is simply an online server that matches web addresses to their specific IPs. When someone types a web address into a browser, the server searches through DNS to link that URL to an IP. How long this takes largely determines how quickly your website loads. While you can’t do a great deal about DNS lookup times yourself, you can investigate response times by running a speed comparison test. If your site is slow, it’s time to switch to a new DNS provider.
#4 Get the Hosting Right
Choosing a web host is a difficult process, but your host plays a big role in how quickly your website loads. You have three options: shared hosting, VPS hosting, or a dedicated server. Shared hosting means sharing the server with lots of other websites. It’s the cheapest option but also the slowest as bandwidth is usually congested. VPS is a compromise option. You still share a server, but you retain a dedicated section of it, meaning quicker load times. The most expensive (but best) option is a dedicated server. Your site is hosted in isolation, ensuring rapid load speeds.