5 Tips on How to Optimize Website Performance [2024] 

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5 Tips on How to Optimize Website Performance [2024] 

Imagine a small business owner named Alex who has just launched a stylish online boutique. Despite the attractive design and high-quality products, Alex notices that visitors aren’t turning into customers as expected. After looking into it, Alex discovers that the site is slow to load, which is the main culprit behind frustrated visitors and high bounce rates. Many website owners face similar challenges.

So, the big question is, "how to optimize website performance?" To put it simply, reduce page load times by compressing files and minimizing HTTP requests, and use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver content faster. Also, make sure your website works well on mobile devices and regularly check its performance with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights.

Your website will never feel sluggish again! Here’s a toolbox full of tips to optimize your website’s performance in 2024.

Know the Facts First

The average website load time is 2.5 seconds on computers and 8.6 seconds on phones.

Faster websites (under 4 seconds) lead to more sales and happy customers.

On mobile, a page that loads in 10 seconds has a 123% higher bounce rate than one that loads in just one second. 

More than half of mobile visitors leave a page if it takes over three seconds to load.

For every second of load time between zero and five seconds, website conversion rates drop by 4.42%.

Nearly 70% of consumers say that page speed affects whether they will buy from an online store or not.

Know How You Can Test Website Performance

Know How You Can Test Website Performance

Before you can make your website super speedy, you need to see how it's doing right now. 

Here's how to test it in just a few clicks with free tools:

Step 1: Open the Hood (Sort Of!)

Google Chrome is a popular web browser. If you don't use it, that's okay! Most browsers have similar tools. Look for something called "developer tools" or "DevTools."

Inside DevTools, you'll find a tool called Lighthouse. This is your virtual mechanic!

Step 2: Take it for a Test Run

Tell Lighthouse which website you want to test (yours, of course!). Then, Lighthouse will run some tests and give you a report.

Step 3: Understanding the Report

Don't worry; you don't need to be an expert to understand the basics. Lighthouse focuses on three key areas called Core Web Vitals:

  • How fast the biggest stuff loads (Largest Contentful Paint).
  • How quickly the site reacts to clicks (First Input Delay).
  • How steady the content stays on the screen (Cumulative Layout Shift).

Lighthouse will also show you other things to improve, like how long it takes for the website to even start loading (Time to First Byte), how long it takes to find your website's address on the internet (DNS Lookup Speed), and how long it takes for your website to be fully loaded and ready for you to click and play around (Time to Interactive). 

Bonus Tip: There's another free tool called Cloudflare Observatory that works similarly.

Alarming Signs to Take Immediate Action

Alarming Signs to Take Immediate Action

The website testing tools give you a report card, but don't worry; it's not rocket science! Here's how to understand the results and see if you need to take action right away:

Slow Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

An ideal LCP score is 2.5 seconds or less. You'll need to meet this score to pass Google's Core Web Vitals check. 

On the other hand, an LCP score between 2.5 and 4 seconds suggests your website speed now needs improvement. 

Plus, an LCP of more than 4 seconds means your website speed is poor and needs instant, significant improvement.

High First Input Delay (FID)

If your site takes more than 100 milliseconds to respond to user inputs (like clicks), it's too slow.

High Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

According to Google, a good CLS score is anything below 0.1. A score between 0.1 and 0.25 needs improvement, while a score above 0.25 is considered poor.

Long Time to First Byte (TTFB)

If your server takes more than 600 milliseconds to start loading the page, it's too slow.

Slow DNS Lookup Speed

If finding your website's address takes too long, this can delay the start of loading your page. Generally, a DNS lookup takes between 20 and 120 milliseconds. Anything within this range or under is considered very good.

Long Time to Interactive (TTI)

If it takes more than 5 seconds for your site to become fully interactive, users might leave before they can use it.

If any of these metrics are in the "red" or "poor" range according to Lighthouse, it's a clear sign you need to take steps to optimize your website's performance.

Here Comes the Main Topic: How to Optimize Website Performance 

You've seen that many things affect how quickly your website pages load. But there are also many ways you can make your website work better. 

Here Comes the Main Topic: How to Optimize Website Performance

Here are some of them.

Increase Page Load Speed

There are various methods you can apply to increase your page load speed. Check those things out.

Reduce HTTP Requests

So, when you visit a website, your browser sends requests to the server for files like images, CSS stylesheets, and JavaScript files. Each request takes time, so the more requests your browser has to make, the longer it takes for the webpage to load.

So, to optimize website performance, you can reduce the number of HTTP requests by:

  • Combining Files: Instead of having separate CSS and JavaScript files, you can combine them into one. This way, your browser only needs to make one request instead of multiple.
  • Using CSS Sprites: CSS sprites combine multiple images into one image file. By doing this, your browser only needs to request one image instead of many.
  • Minimizing Extras: Remove any unnecessary elements from your website, such as extra plugins or large images that aren't necessary for the page's content.

A speed test can show you which HTTP requests are slowing things down. 

Optimize Images

Optimizing images is important because they often take a long time to load on web pages. Here's how you can do it:

  • Choose the right format: Use WebP for better compression and quality, JPEG for photos, PNG for simple images, and SVG for icons.
  • Compress images: Tools like TinyPNG or ImageOptim can make your images smaller without losing quality.
  • Lazy loading: Only load images when they're about to be seen. This can help speed up your website.

Enable Browser Caching

Browser caching saves some website files on the user's browser. This means they don't have to download them again the next time they visit.

For that, you can set expiration dates. Use Cache-Control and Expires headers to decide when these files should expire and be replaced with newer versions.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Minifying code means making it smaller by taking out things like extra spaces and comments, but still keeping it working the same.

You can use tools like —

  • UglifyJS for JavaScript, 
  • CSSNano for CSS, 
  • and HTML Minifier for HTML.

Reduce Server Response Time

Server response time means how long it takes for your server to answer a request from a browser.

To make sure your server responds quickly:

  • Pick a good web hosting provider: Choose a plan that works well for you. Think about using VPS or dedicated hosting instead of shared hosting.
  • Make your database work better: Use tricks like indexing to speed up how fast your database finds things.

Speed Up Your Website with a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Speed Up Your Website with a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is kind of having copies of your website stored in many places globally. When people visit your site, the CDN shows them the closest copy, which ultimately makes your site load faster.

Here's how to use a CDN:

Sign up for a CDN service:

Pick a CDN provider that fits your needs and sign up for their service.

Integrate CDN with your website:

Follow the instructions given by your CDN provider to integrate their service with your website. This usually involves updating your DNS settings or installing a plugin.

Let the CDN do its job:

Once integrated, the CDN automatically stores copies of your website on servers worldwide. When people visit your site, the CDN delivers content from the closest server, which reduces load times.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

The world is going mobile, and your website needs to follow suit! If your website isn't mobile-friendly, it's like having that tiny doorway – people might not be able to see your amazing content!

Here’s how to make your website mobile-friendly:

Make your website responsive: This makes it adjust to different screen sizes, like those on phones and tablets.

Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): These are special pages that load really fast on mobile devices. Think about using them to make your site quicker on phones.

Test on different devices: Check how your site looks and works on different phones and web browsers. 

How to optimize for mobile devices:

Choose a mobile-friendly design: Pick a website theme or template that's designed to be mobile-responsive.

Simplify navigation: Make it easy for users to find what they need by keeping menus and buttons clear and easy to tap.

Optimize images and videos: Use smaller file sizes for images and videos to reduce load times on mobile devices.

Prioritize content: Make sure that people can easily access and see the most important info on smaller screens.

Monitor and Analyze Performance

Monitor and Analyze Performance

Keeping an eye on how well your website is doing helps you spot areas where you can make it better.

Here are some tools you can use:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights: This gives you tips on how to make your website load faster.
  • GTmetrix: It checks your page and tells you how well it's performing, plus gives suggestions.
  • Pingdom: This tool watches your website to make sure it's always up and running smoothly.

Also, do regular checks on how your website is doing. Look at things like how fast it loads, how quickly the server responds, and how many people leave right away. This helps you catch and fix any problems before they become big issues.

Apply Advanced Techniques

Here are some of the advanced techniques you can apply for optimal website performance.

Use HTTP/2

This makes your website faster by letting it do more things at once over one connection.

Enable Compression

Making files smaller helps them download quicker. For that, you can turn on Gzip or Brotli on your server to compress files.

Optimize Web Fonts

Fonts can slow down your site if you're not careful. For that, stick to just a few different fonts. For example, WOFF2 format makes fonts smaller and load faster.

Use Prefetching Techniques

This speeds up how fast pages load.

  • DNS prefetching: Figures out domain names ahead of time.
  • Link prefetching: Loads stuff like CSS, JavaScript, and images before you need them.

To Protect Your Website from Cyperattac, What Cybersecurity Measures Can You Take?

To Protect Your Website from Cyperattack, What Cybersecurity Measures Can You Take?

Cyber attacks like DDoS and malicious bots can make a website slower or even crash it. It's a big topic, but website owners should pick a security provider that stops bad traffic without affecting the good traffic.

How Next Level Connected Helps Improve Web Performance

If you want to improve your website's performance, Next Level Connected can help. We make sure your site runs smoothly by updating it regularly with new content and features. 

On top of that, we also make sure it loads quickly and stays safe from threats. With our premium Website Management Services, you can focus on your business while we take care of your website.

Wrapping Up

In today's fast-paced world, website speed is very important. By following these tips on how to optimize website performance, you can make sure that your website is fast, user-friendly, and SEO-friendly. This will keep visitors happy and your business growing! 

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