In an age of lightning fast internet speeds, users expect content to be delivered in a fraction of a second. That includes your website. With an array of devices to consider, serving the right content can be tricky, but overlooking this crucial piece in the development of your website risks a loss in customers, user engagement and search engine ranking. Fortunately, a few simple optimization tricks will have your website humming, satisfying both your customers and Google.
The first step in increasing your website load speed is to do an audit, identifying areas that can be improved. Measure the time it takes for a page to load–both the time it takes to get a response from the server and the time it takes for a browser to render the page. Be sure to test the site speed from a cold start, and remember web browsers will cache assets.
With the audit completed, your development team will be able to put together a roadmap for implementing the optimizations. Here are 4 ways that we’ve optimized client websites to improve site speed in the past:
1. Speed up your web server
- Increase the memory available to your server
- Upgrade the version of your operating system or programming language
- Use an HTTP accelerator such as Varnish
- Use caching strategy to reduce load on your servers
2. Reduce the amount of data sent on the wire
- Be sure to optimize your images and videos for the web. It’s not uncommon for an optimized image to be half the size of the raw image.
3. Improve the page render speed
- Lazy load images and videos on media-heavy pages
- Optimize the “above the fold” user experience
4. Serve the right assets
- Use a “mobile first” approach in building CSS, cutting out unused assets for mobile devices
- Deliver a resized image that fits your user’s screen and the dimensions at which the image will be displayed