If you think that it is not that important to speed up your website and improve your server’s performance, think again. A few seconds is all it takes to lose visitors and face a slump in the sales. Most of the people prefer a website that loads in three seconds or less. For instance, the supermarket giant Walmart saw a boost in its sales after it made the necessary changes to make its site faster.
Just like there are tons of factors that deter the speed of your server, there are tons of unique ways out there to help you out with this issue.
Most of the loading time is spent in downloading the parts of the page itself like images and scripts. A large Number of components means a number of HTTP requests and thus longer loading time. So, here are few core steps to increase the speed of Website or blog for better SEO results.
Minify and combine
To minimize the number of HTTP requests, it is initially important to know many your site presently makes. For that, open Google Chrome and visit your browser’s Developer Tools. Then, out of the list of pages right click on the one you want to inspect. From the drop-down menu, select the “Inspect” option. Next, go to the “Network” Tab. The bottom right corner of the page will show just what you are looking for -. The number of HTTP requests your site makes. Reducing the number may seem like a tough task for now. However, you can combine some of them and thus reduce the overall number.
Though combining files is exactly what the name itself suggests, if you do face any difficulties in this regard you can install plugins like WP Rocket for a WordPress site. Once you install this plugin, just go to “Static Files” and proceed with the task.
Go for asynchronous loading
There are two ways to load scrips like Java: synchronous and asynchronous. The difference being that while synchronous loading refers to only a single page loading at any given time in the order in which the pages appear on the website, asynchronous loading functions the loading of a few pages simultaneously.
On observation, you realize that speed increases in asynchronous loading because the browser instead of loading just one page goes on to load other elements too and just multi-tasking facilitates the process. In the very same file that you loaded in the previous suggestion, just check the options next to “Render blocking CSS/JS”.
Deferring is a technical term used here. In layman’s language, it simply means avoiding loading one time-taking file and postponing it to until after the other contents have been loaded properly so as to increase the speed.
IF you are on WordPress, the plugin, WP fastest Cache or WP Super Cache, makes this work easy for you.
Give close attention to TTFB
TTFB or Time to First Byte is another factor which plays a huge role in loading your website faster. TTFB, which as stated by Google should be less than 200ms, simply refers to the time for which the browser has to wait to get its very first byte of data from the server.
Most of the websites just focus on the front-end performance factors and make the unpardonable mistake of ignoring this server-side factor.
Imagine the time it takes to perform these three steps in the while when the browser sends an HTTP request to the server of the person who opens your page and loading of the first byte – DNS Lookup, Server Processing, Response- if you use Chrome’s or any other third party’s developer tool. This also implies that using a developer tool means that the speed of your internet connection and the speed of the server are directly proportional.
You can have a look at your TTFB in the “Waterfall” section in the “Network” tab. Do not panic if your TTFB turns out to be slower than 200ms for the reasons behind this are traceable and can range from network issues, dynamic content creation, web server configuration to the traffic that your server is dealing with. Two of the factors, dynamic content creation, and the server configuration, are in your hands. Having a WordPress site means that it is indeed dynamic and you can reduce the loading time by enabling caching.
Lastly, compressing your files to the smallest size is in your best interest as this will miraculously boost the server speed. If you focus on burdening your pages with a lot of images, the size of the page can go up to approx. 100 KB which will reduce the server speed. These days it is a standard practice to compress your pages with the help of GZip. This software is known to work well with CSS and HTML. If you are on WordPress you use free cache plugins like Wpfastest cache and W3 Total cache both support the GZip compressing.
Boosting the load times of your page can surely be a challenge. However, blogging teaches you something new every day. Remember, that it is not crucial for you to implement all of these steps in a single day. It is more important for you to first analyze what hindrances are slowing down your speed the most and then work on them separately. While some of the steps in this article may seem minor to you, a small step goes a long way while reducing the loading time.