Poor load speeds and inadequate performance can be a huge turn off for those visiting your website.
In fact, the majority of people quickly get fed up with waiting and expect a site to load in two seconds or less. If it fails to do this, users will often abandon your site and look elsewhere for information, your product or service.
This may sound a bit harsh, but how many times have you quit a website because it was taking too long to load and function correctly?
Page load times are as important as quality design and eye-catching copy. If your design won’t load, users won’t even get to see it, let alone use it or be incentivised to buy from you.
On top of this, one survey found that 79% of customers wouldn’t even return to a site with poor performance.
Google also favours websites with speedy load times and will take this into consideration when ranking you on their search pages.
You can find out your website’s page load time with this tool.
Simply enter your URL and Pingdom will test it and analyse it and tell you ways that you could improve it.
Don’t fear if you need to improve your loading speed, we’ve rounded up some key ways you can optimise your website’s performance today.
Reduce image sizing.
Photos are really useful for increasing engagement and telling your brand’s story. But, images have large file sizes, which can really hinder your page load time.
Of course, removing them altogether is not an option, but what you can do is resize and compress files before you upload them.
The most straightforward way to do this is with Photoshop or another photo editing tool. Meanwhile, if your site runs on WordPress, you can use the plugin WP Smush. This automatically resizes all of the new files you upload.
Reduce the number of HTTP requests.
HTTP requests occur whenever your browser fetches a file, page or picture from a web server. When a site has multiple, complex files, the number of HTTP requests can add up and weigh heavy on your page load time.
Minimising these requests can lead to faster pages. One of the most common ways to do this is by simplifying your website’s design, but you don’t necessarily need to compromise the quality of your website for a quick response time.
You can combine files, scripts and images to decrease the number of requests.
Enable browser caching.
Browser caching is where assets on a website are downloaded to a user’s hard drive into a temporary storage space called a cache. This allows for subsequent page loads to be improved.
By enabling browser caching, you can help users to browse through your site with speed.
Third-party items – such as adverts and widgets – will only last a day, but static assets can have a cached lifetime of a week or more.
Add a loading page symbol.
If you’re still not content with your page load time. You can add a loading screen to keep viewers engaged whilst your website loads. Some creators have been really creative with this, incorporating animation and microinteractions into their designs.
Here are some of our current favourites:
Have more questions about web design and website optimisation? Get in touch with a member of our team right now.