Issues that could be slowing down your site – the most common culprits:
- Large images are the biggest culprits of slow loading web pages.
- Hosting issues could be another cause
- Plugins, apps and widgets – basically any third party scripts that is added could slow down the loading of web pages.
- The theme you choose could also be one of the reasons.
- Redirects and the number of hops that are required to get to the webpage also defines how fast the page will load.
All of this impacts the website speed – but let’s get to the part about what you can do to improve it.
Page speed – how to check and improve?
Google expects a quality website to load anywhere between two to three seconds. The faster the better.
- Chrome User Experience Report: This is Chrome real user metrics. This is only available for larger, popular websites and it’s housed on BigQuery so works on some basic SQL.
- Lighthouse: Lighthouse is available in Chrome Dev Tools and you can simply click on Inspect Element and then go to Audit to run a Lighthouse report in your browser.
- Page Speed Insights: Page Speed Insights has now incorporated Chrome User Experience Report. If you aren’t a large site it may not be able to measure actual speed.
Ways to improve your page speed
HTTP/2 can definitely speed things up.
Preconnect, prefetch, preload: Even Google uses this for its SERPs. Google prefetches some URLs so that it is faster for you if you were to click on the results. You can speed up the loading process on your site.
Enable caching and use content delivery network (CDN). Set up caching for your website. Content delivery networks also make sure that your site’s content loads fast.
Compress images: Again, images are one of the main culprits. Make sure that you compress them. There are a number of tools available to do that. Optimizilla is one of them. You can use a number of free tools too.
Minify resources: Minification is the bundling and compression of resources. It can definitely add to the page speed.
Page speed is important – not only from a search engine point of view, but from a user experience point of view too. Technology is consumed by a generation that was born with the need for speed. Everything that is quick is good and they have no patience for slow loading web pages – a few second more than your competitor and you’ve lost a visitor!