On the internet, as in life, people want things to materialize as quickly as possible, so a slow web page is never a good thing. A delay in load times can cause customer satisfaction, page views and drop conversions to decrease rapidly and drastically. However, there is a fast and smart way to improve each of your web pages’ load times: compression, compression, compression.

Consider the Placement of Your Javascript Files

Scripts or Javascript files should be placed after your content. If they’re not, then they will load before the rest of the page loads. The loading of these files first, means that users will have to wait until they are finished loading before they can view your page’s content. However, there are a couple of solutions for this:

  1. Javascripts can be placed at the bottom of the web page before the body tag so that the page loads before the scripts
  2. You can use defer or async attributes, which will place external Javascript files onto your page.

Reduce the Size of Your Images

Images take up a lot of bandwidth on a web page, thus slowing the page down greatly. However, optimizing images through scaling and compressing is a great way to prevent this slow down.

  • Scaling: Large images can be scaled down with CSS, but they must be scaled before they are uploaded onto a site. Why? A scaled image may have less pixels, but because it was loaded at original size a user’s browser will have to work harder to load that image on their end.
  • Compression: Images can be compressed using online tools. These tools simply reduce the size of an image without sacrificing quality. They can then be reduced by as much as 80% of their original size.

Optimize Your CSS

CSS or resource files load before a website loads, and slow CSS means slow web pages. But, optimization is the fix for this.
There are two ways to optimize CSS:
  1. get rid of all of the coding that is not needed in your files:
  2. compress CSS files. Unused, unneeded data simply slows down a web page.
CSS files can create extra spaces in stylesheets and increase the sizes of files. These large files can be compressed or minimized by using a service or CSS may already be minimized by your Content Management System.

Implement Browser Caching

Browser caching is a great way to speed up a web page. Caching allows websites to temporarily store data on a user’s device so that, that data doesn’t have to load each time a user comes back to a page. The length of time data can be stored depends on your cache settings and the user’s browser configuration. Browser caching can be setup through your Content Management System (WordPress) or by using resources like Apache, Nginx or IIS.

Here are some more tricks that can help you reduce page load time. Gone in 4 seconds: The nedd for website speed infographic courtesy of DigitalNext.


Wrapping up

Reducing the size of your pages is a great start to increasing the speed of your website, but it’s only the start. As the demand for a greater web experience grows, so will the size of web pages. To keep up with competition, you may have to implement more CSS tricks, fancier Javascript and even more third-party analytics, which means that compressing web pages may not be enough. Fortunately, there is more that can be done to increase your website’s speed.