The definition of page speed is the length of time the website takes to display all content on a particular page or the time it takes for the browser to receive your site server’s first byte. Page speed isn’t quite the same as site speed, which is the average time it takes to load several pages on your website.
Why It’s Important
Page speed is essential to users because faster pages are efficient. If your page takes more than three seconds to load, almost 25 percent of users will already have left. Mobile users require speed, as well. About 73 percent of users have reported that they visited a website that didn’t load quickly enough. Page speed can also affect your conversion rates. Many corporations that study these things note that, as the page speed increases by one second, there was a two percent conversion increase.
While slightly less so, page speed can also help boost search engine optimization needs. Back in 2010, Google announced that website page speed was one of the ranking factors of its search index. In 2017, it announced that it gives more consideration to page speed, while also incorporating mobile site speeds to rank websites on mobile-first pages (pages with individualized rankings for mobile websites). Google is currently experimenting with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project), which focuses on making pages load quicker on mobile devices.
Slow Down Factors
Analyze Page Speeds
You should consider analyzing page speeds, especially if you aren’t currently sure how users are interacting with the website. PageSpeed Insights from Google can help you see the load speed score of your pages and give reasons why your page isn’t loading as fast as it could.
However, these Google tools only show the averages and might not paint a full picture. You may want to use PageSpeed Insights along with other tools that offer more useful and in-depth insights and suggestions. Then, you can make the changes and see the positive effect. It might be helpful to do a before-and-after analysis of your page to make sure that a tactic tried resulted in the traffic increase and conversion rate of your site.
Ways to Speed up Your Site
While a few ways to speed up your site have already been mentioned, there are plenty of others that can help. You can minimize the HTTP requests, which are counted when browsers fetch files, pages, and pictures from a web server. These requests can take almost 80 percent of your page’s load time. The browser itself also limits requests with about eight connections per domain, so you can’t load more than 30 assets at once.
The more HTTP requests you have to load, the longer it takes for your page to get them all, which decreases page speed.
Another way to reduce HTTP requests is to use the queries to load what is necessary. If you only need to load a few images on the desktop or run a particular script in mobile devices only, you can utilize conditional statements, which only loads these things when particular parameters are met. That way, the browser isn’t forced to load images and scripts it doesn’t need.
Speeding up your site is essential, and you can do that by optimizing your files and compressing images. Images can take up to 60 percent of the bytes loaded per page, which is about 1504KB. Other page assets, such as CSS (45KB), scripts (399KB) or video (294KB), take up much less space.
Once you remove the assets you don’t need, you should check the sizes of your images. You’ve probably downloaded stock photo images and immediately upload them to your server without optimizing them for the website. Instead, make sure that you run these large images through optimization software, such as Image Optimizer or Compressor.io. It’s also helpful to keep all your images under 150KB.