No matter how good your site looks, if it does not load fast, chances are users will dump your site.
Why page speed is vital for your website’s online success? Google clearly says that Page speed is one of the top-ranking factors. Moreover, Google’s recent ‘page experience’ update paid stress on user experience as well, comprising many factors like LCP, FDP, CLS, etc.
Seems technical, right?
But the truth is – You do not need a technical expert to make your pages load fast. You also do not need to know how to code.
In this guide, we will tell you 10 easy ways to make your web pages load faster:
- Optimize images
- Use lazy loading
- Combine images with CSS stripes
- Spread your static content with CDNs
- Enable HTTP keep-alive response headers
- Use an optimized theme
- Use browser caching
- Enable compression
- Use a cache plugin
- Use page speed testing tools
1. Optimize images
Unoptimized images can be a reason for your website’s slow page speed. In most cases, they are also a reason for bad LCP and FDP.
Optimizing images and other visual elements can boost your website’s speed by a significant amount.
Some ways to optimize images for your site:
- Tinyjpg.com: It is an easy-to-use site to quickly compress WebP, PNG, and JPEG images without compromising the quality of images.
- Photoeditor.com: A free site with basic image editing tools that you can use to resize images, or change the image format to optimize images.
But you might be wondering how to optimize the existing images on your website? A plugin can help you easily optimize your existing images.
If you are using WordPress, a free plugin named smush can automatically optimize images existing on your website.
2. Use lazy loading
Enabling lazy loading on your website can significantly boost your website’s page speed.
So what is lazy loading?
As the name suggests, lazy loading is a practice to delay the loading of objects and resources on a webpage to improve the performance and speed of a webpage.
In simple words, the resources or images on your website load as the user scrolls the webpage, and not as a user opens the webpage.
You can easily enable lazy loads by installing a plugin on your website. Some cache plugins like W3 total cache comprise this feature within the plugin.
This feature is so common that from WordPress version 5.5, you get this feature as default. So, if you’re using a WordPress 5.4 or later version, you might be already using this feature by default.
3. Combine images with CSS stripes
If you have many images on your page, you are forcing multiple roundtrips of the server to get all the resources secured. This slows down page speed.
Sprites combine all background images on a page into one single image. The proper image segment will be displayed because of the CSS background-image and background-position properties.
CSS sprites reduce:
- Delays caused by roundtrips made as the server is downloading other resources.
- Request overhead.
- The total number of bytes a page downloads.
To make the process easy, you can follow the stripe recommendations made by Google.
4. Spread your static content with CDNs
Because the location of the user impacts page load speed, spreading your content across servers will speed up this process. You can use a content delivery network (CDN) to make this happen.
What exactly is a CDN? It’s just a collection of servers that exist at different places in the world.
CDNs do two things:
- Send files faster – Cached files are sent from locations that are closer to the specified user.
- Shrink file size – CDNs deliver content that is without cookies. No bloated files.
For example, a CDN service provider could have servers in California, New York, Sweden, and Hong Kong. When a user accesses your site, the server with the fastest network hops or quickest response time delivers the content. Someone in the Philippines might get served from Hong Kong. Someone in Mexico might get served content from California.
Using a CDN is a pretty simple code change, but it can be expensive. And while some large Internet providers have their own CDN, it’s best to use a service provider devoted to CDNs.
5. Enable HTTP keep-alive response headers
HTTP requests are simple: they grab and send a single file and then close. That may be simple, but it isn’t very fast.
Keep-alive is a trick that basically says the web browser and server agree to use the same connection to grab and send multiple files.
In other words, the server holds the connection open while you are on the site instead of opening a new connection with every request. This way your processor, network, and memory don’t have to work too hard.
Here are two common ways of enabling keep-alive:
6. Use an optimized theme
The theme is one of the major factors affecting a website’s loading speed. Using an unoptimized theme
Have you installed a beautiful theme of your choice on your website, with a lot of features? If yes, then it can be the reason behind your website’s slow loading speed. These beautiful themes are often made up of unoptimized code and comprise a lot of style sheets (CSS), making it hard for your webpage’s content to load faster.
In simple words, using an optimized theme is a must for your website to load faster.
But how to know if your theme is optimized? Using a page speed testing tool, for example, Google page speed insights can help.
To prevent using an unoptimized theme, we would suggest not randomly choosing a theme based on its looks and features. Instead, you should research for an optimized theme meeting your requirements.
7. Use browser caching
Browser caching allows visitors’ web browsers to download your web page’s resources (HTML, JS, CSS, and images) to their local storage, making your webpage load faster on subsequent visits by the users.
Simply put, when you allow/enable browser caching for your site:
- When a user visits your web page for the first time, their web browser download and store your webpage’s resources in the browser cache.
- So when the user revisits the web page, the browser loads the resources downloaded earlier, instead of downloading them again.
You can easily leverage browser caching for your website by installing a plugin.
8. Enable compression
You still need to optimize your content for compression. There are two things you need to do to make sure your web content compresses effectively:
- Create consistency across your HTML and CSS code. This happens when you:
- Order the CSS key-value pairs in a common-sense way, e.g., alphabetically.
- Do the same with your HTML attributes.
- Be consistent with your casing and use lowercase as often as possible.
- Make sure you are consistent with your HTML tag attribute quotes.
Not familiar with coding? Using a cache plugin can help:
9. Use a cache plugin
Using a cache plugin can be the one-stop solution to boost your site’s speed.
These add-ons comprise many cache management features within the plugin that you enable by just clicking on the toggles. Best of all, there are many plugins that provide basic to advanced features for free.
A cache plugin can help you with:
- Minifying JS and CSS.
- Combining scripts.
- Browser caching
- GZIP compression
- Purging cache, etc.
If you are using WordPress, you can use W3 Total Cache, a free plugin that comprises basic to advanced cache management features for free.
If you have implemented the suggestions mentioned above, then your website most probably has become faster. But if you are still having trouble, you should discover the issues with your site using page speed testing tools.
10. Use page speed testing tools
Page speed testing tools help you know the page speed performance of your website. Using them is also beneficial to get personalized suggestions for your website to increase its loading speed.
Some of the industry-approved page speed testing tools that you can use are – Google Pagespeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTmetrix.
By using these tools, you will not only get to know the exact reasons behind your website’s slow loading speed but also get to see the opportunities to make your site fast.
Furthermore, these tools will also help you know if your website satisfies Core Web Vitals or not.
For example, below is a screenshot of suggestions provided by Google Pagespeed Insights to increase a website’s loading speed:
So now you must have got an idea of how to make your website fast. And for your website to succeed online, it’s vital that it loads fast.
But the truth is – webmasters often don’t care about their website’s loading speed. You might also be thinking that why not focus time on building backlinks rather than optimizing for page speed.
Indeed, page speed is not a crucial ranking factor as backlinks but good page speed is vital for your website’s user experience. And if you fail to satisfy the users, most probably, you will fail to satisfy Google as well.
So make sure your website loads fast if you want to succeed online.