Page speed is crucial in web development. And, according to Walker Hill, unless you do something about your slow page speed, you cannot expect high return visits, high conversions, high traffic, low bounce rates, enhanced user experience, and high search engine rankings—practically everything you need to attract leads and convert them into profits!
Here are some web development tips to help you improve your page speed for a better overall website performance:
1. Pick a performance-focused hosting provider
Your hosting provider plays an important role in your website optimization efforts, so don’t make the mistake of getting a mediocre one just so you could pay less fees every month.
Typically, cheap hosting means having to share resources between several websites on an overloaded server. And the result? Longer page loading times.
That is why it pays to choose performance-optimized hosting solutions that offer a powerful platform especially designed for speed. These providers usually don’t offer shared hosting, so you don’t have to worry about other websites draining your pool of resources and hurting your page loading times.
2. Cache your web pages
Caching web pages is all about storing copies of your website’s files to minimize the work required for the server to serve a web page to your site visitor’s browser. When you cache your web pages, you require the server to use less resources to load a page, therefore reducing the Time to First Byte (TTFB) or the time it takes to get an initial response from the server.
You can cache your web pages either at the server level or by using a caching plugin. When you cache at the server level, your host handles the caching for you. But when you use a caching plugin, you install and activate a plugin that makes caching your web pages fast and easy.
3. Compress your images
While images help optimize your web content and enhance the overall appeal of your web pages, they can delay loading times if they are too large.
One of the easiest ways to improve your page speed is to compress and optimize your images either by changing their file formats or by enabling lazy loading. The idea is to reduce the “weight” of the images so your web pages load more quickly.
Note, however, that you should not resize your images in HTML. Instead, resize and resave the images using an image editor. This is because a large image will naturally always be bigger in file size than a smaller image.
5. Disable and delete unnecessary plugins
There are many reasons why minimizing the number of plugins on your site is a smart move. Eliminating unnecessary plugins does not only help improve your page speed but also secure your website.
Did you know that the more plugins you have, the longer it takes to load your web pages? Not only that—outdated plugins can also pose security threats to your site or introduce compatibility issues that may cause your site to slow down.
To make sure that your plugins don’t affect your page speed, review the plugins you have installed and assess whether they are actually necessary. You may also try testing your plugins individually to identify the ones that are significantly reducing your page speed.