Page Speed

Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads. Page speed is also a metric that google uses to help rank your website.

What is Page Speed?

Page speed is often confused with "site speed," which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either "page load time" (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or "time to first byte" (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server). You can see how fast your website's page speed is with Google's Page Speed Insights. PageSpeed Insights Speed Score incorporates data from google’s CRUX or Chrome User Experience Report and reports on many different metrics that add up to a total of 100 points. Page Speed insights measures your website’s speed on desktop and on mobile on a score from 0-100. 100 would be a perfect score and would mean your website will rank better on google. Which means more organic traffic for you!

Does Page Speed Affect SEO?

In short, yes. Google has made it very clear that site speed and page speed are absolutely ranking factors in SEO. So if your site is super slow, Guess what? Google won’t put you at the top of the list. Why would they? How would it make them look if your slow site was the first thing their users see? It’s because of this that you absolutely need to have a fast loading site on mobile devices and on desktop devices. Not only has google flat out stated that page speed affects your websites ranking, there have been several studies over the years proving this! So, if you don’t want to take google’s word for it, then feel free to look at any of the many case studies that have shown just how important page speed is to your websites ranking. In a more technical stance, a slow page speed means that search engines will crawl your website much slower than a faster website, which means when you update your website you’re less likely for these changes to affect your seo as fast as you like. In fact your competitor will probably benefit from your slow page speed!

Page Speed and UX

Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions. I mean think about it. UX literally translates to User Experience. What part of a slow site sounds like a good user experience? None of it! Not only is it unprofessional, but it’s not fun for your customers and let’s face it, without customers are you really in business? You need good UX to succeed in business.

How can I increase my page speed?

Enable compression

When using different style sheets and javascript files use the minified versions of these. Don’t run these locally either just call them for when you need them. Fonts are no different, don’t load the entire google font in your folder, just link the style sheet. You can also use Gzip to compress your files. You can also use affinity photo or photoshop to convert your png or jpg files into more modern or next gen images such as WebP, JPEG2000, and JPEG XR. These smaller next gen image formats allow for a much faster page speed. When you use google’s page insight tool it actually recommends it ALL the time!

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

By using minified versions of any css stylesheets and javascript files you can greatly increase your page speed. We would also recommend that you Optimize your code by removing commas, spaces, code comments and other unnecessary characters.

Reduce redirects

Each time a page redirects to another page, your visitor faces additional time waiting for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. If your website goes from to for example you may notice a delay in load time. Which is not something you want at all.

Remove render-blocking JavaScript

Browsers have to build a DOM tree by parsing HTML before they can render a page. If your browser encounters a script during this process, it has to stop and execute it before it can continue. One way to overcome this is to just remove unnecessary animations and load all your js at the bottom of your page. Google suggests avoiding and minimizing the use of blocking JavaScript.

utilize browser caching

Browsers cache a lot of information (stylesheets, images, JavaScript files, and more) so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the browser doesn't have to reload the entire page. Use a tool like YSlow to see if you already have an expiration date set for your cache. Then set your "expires" header for how long you want that information to be cached. In many cases, unless your site design changes frequently, a year is a reasonable time period. Google has more information about leveraging caching here.

Improve server response time

Your server response time can negatively affect your website's speed. So check to make sure your website's speed is not being bogged down by a slow performing server. We provide web hosting to our clients but we also recommend Bluehost to our clients. Bluehost has super fast speeds and uses the latest in l3 caching and wehosting technology. Bluehost has also offered an average load speed of 581 ms where google basically demands your website to load in 1-3 seconds for best page speed.

Use a content distribution network

Content distribution networks (CDNs), also called content delivery networks, are networks of servers that are used to distribute the load of delivering content. This basically means your site can be loaded faster in different parts of the world by allowing your website to load faster by being more available to isps and data centers in different parts of the world. You can use a cdn such as image kit to host your images to allow for faster image loading. This will help immensely with your websites page speed. There are other cdn’s you can use beside image kit, but as it happens google recommends image kit and well, we like them too especially for our page speed.

Optimize images

Be sure that your images are no larger than they need to be, that they are in the right file format (PNGs are generally better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors while JPEGs are generally better for photographs) and that they are compressed for the web. However as mentioned above it is best to use next gen image formats to help with your websites loading speed or page speed.

Lazy load images

You can lazy load your images on your site so that your website loads all the styling and other necessary components of your website first to increase your websites loading time and then load your images once you scroll to them. This can help immensely with your website’s page speed. We were able to cut our loading time in half by just doing this for our website!

Preload css and JS

The last way and actually one of the best way to increase your website’s page speed is to simply preload your css and js files. (it works better when you use minified css and js files of course). Preloading your css and js files basically works the same as lazy loading images. It allows your website to load other necessary components first to allow your website to load much faster.

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