How to increase website speed?

Timi M.
Jun 22, 2022

You know you’re living in the fast lane when 0.1 seconds can make all the difference. Increasing page speed by just a split-second influences website views, customer engagement, conversion rates, bounce rates and more. Check out our 7 easy tips on how to make a website faster.

Statistics on page loading speed

Conversions grow by up to 10% with a mere 0.1 second increase in page load time. Page views go up 8%. Customer engagement and bounce rates improve by 5% (Deloitte, 2020).

Now imagine what 0.5 seconds could do! You’d win the internet! If you want to build websites that are successful, make sure you understand the basic ways of making a website faster.

Just looking at these statistics shows us that a faster website makes customers happier. Another thing a fast loading website does is make search engines like it more and rank the website higher in their search results. And that again makes customers happier. Happy customers, happy business.

What can you do to increase website speed?

Now that we’re certain that page speed is important, let’s take a look at what you can do to make a website faster. We don’t know about you, but even just thinking about a slow-loading website makes us want to close our browsers!

1. Utilize caching

Caching means storing a copy of the website’s files, so when a visitor opens the same page or website again, part of the work needed to generate it has already been done. Things like images, stylesheets and JavaScript files get cached. Less work means less time needed to load the page.

You can do this at the server level or use a plugin. Make sure to set up an appropriate cache time as well. For a page that is static, one year should do the trick. For pages that change often, you can set the cache’s expiration to one week.

2. Compress images

Pictures are worth a thousand words and that is true for websites as well. They draw the eye and are a simple way to enhance the appeal of a website for customers. But large photos (and videos!) can drastically increase the time needed to load a page.

Before using a photo, be sure to resize and compress it with a program like Photoshop or one of the various optimization plugins available. Look out for features such as lazy loading and lossless compression. There are also free websites out there that can do a simple, bulk resize for you in a matter of seconds.

If you are competent in CSS, look into CSS sprites for frequent images like buttons or icons. Remember, we’re talking about split second loading time differences, so even tiny changes like this can make a difference.

3. Reduce redirects

Each redirect starts up the HTTP request and response cycle, slowing down the loading time. Things like internal links, menus and duplicates can put a break on your page’s loading time. Focus on minimizing the need to redirect and eliminate unnecessary redirects on a page to help increase website speed.

4. Optimize your code

Less is more, right? Minify your CSS, JavaScript and HTML by removing extra spaces, commas, unnecessary characters, code comments and formatting. All of these little bits of code can slow down page loading.

And then, compress your code files with a free compression algorithm such as gzip or brotli. You’ll get a cleaner website and increased loading speed. There are many to choose from, just give it a Google.

5. Use a CDN

A Content Delivery Network is like a team of servers sharing the load of delivering the content of a website to the user.

A copy of the website is stored at each network participant. The servers are located around the world, and work in strategic cooperation with the website’s host. Depending on where the user is accessing the website from, a member of CDN is chosen based on its location. The content of the website is then loaded from that server, minimizing the distance data requests have to travel.

This optimization again increases website speed.

6. Check Core Web Vitals

In the web dev world, a big trend is to leverage the use of Core Web Vitals. This is a set of three metrics that show a user’s experience of loading a web page.

By checking Core Web Vitals, you will see not only how fast a page loads, but also how quickly a browser can respond to the visitor’s input, and if the content is stable when loading. You can then use this information to optimize and tweak the website’s performance.

7. Test using Ybug

Tools like Core Web Vitals are a fantastic way to get technical info, but you are designing and developing for humans. Ybug has an easy-to-use feedback widget and browser extension that you can add to any website that you are working on and allow users to send you feedback on the website.

Your testers or team members would be able to send you a quick note, with user browser info and optional screenshot automatically included. If they encounter anything that loads slowly, or a image that doesn’t load at all, or any other bug, Ybug is a really simple way to give you, the dev or designer, a heads up.

Once you know that a website is performing worse than you’d hoped, you can work on fixing its bugs and improving the website loading speed. It’ll increase the website’s visibility in search engine results and give users a better experience.

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