Now that Google takes speed into consideration when ranking pages, the load times can also affect how easily users can find you in the first place. This is especially true now that it is rolling out its mobile-first index. Search engines have started to list all search results based on mobile versions of pages as of 2017. For the first time in 2015, smartphone searches outnumbered desktop searches and their share of overall search is only increasing. It means it is in Google’s best interest to provide mobile users with their search results. We don’t want to guide their users to sites on their phones that won’t load fast or work well.
Here are ten ways to keep your website speed up to standard:
- Combine images into files of CSS. If you have multiple images on a page, you will need several server round trips to protect all resources, slowing down the page speed. Sprites combine all background images on a page into one image, meaning that when the main “file” loads, all images appear. It reduces the chance of flickering photos and a smoother user experience.
- Assess the plugins. Plugins can bring new features and functionality to your website, but the longer it takes to load, the more plugins your website has. Weak or obsolete plugins can significantly slow down the performance of the website, which can be resolved by removing plugins and duplicate features that are outdated or no longer used.
- Review your hosting package. It is very important to understand that Hosting plays a very important role in the page speed of the website and its overall performance, You may want to consider a new hosting package if you have taken these previous steps and your website is still loading slowly. You may share server space with dozens of other companies on a typical shared hosting account, which can affect the speed of your website as a number of people use the same server. Try dedicated hosting if shared hosting no longer meets your needs. That option allows you to access the database on your own, or a VPS (Virtual Private Database), a physical device separated into multiple servers each running their own operating system.
- Enable HTTP keep-alive response headers. HTTP requests are simple: they grab a single file, distribute and close. That said, this process is not always fast. Keep-alive allows the web browser and server to agree to use the same connection to grab and send multiple files. In other words, the server holds the connection open while a user is on the site instead of opening a new connection with every request, easing the load for the processor, network and memory.
- Reduce Server response Time. The amount of time your DNS lookup takes is one of the biggest factors in how often your site loads. A DNS is a server with an IP address list and its related hostnames. When a user types a URL into their browser, a DNS server is what converts the URL into the online location of the IP address. If you’re using a slow DNS, this increases the time it takes for browsers to locate your site. Switching to a faster DNS provider can speed up the process.
Thus these are the few important factors that play a very important role to improve the speed of your website.