You might be wondering why you should ask yourself, “How fast does my website load?”
Nowadays, we use the Internet to search for products, learn information, and entertain ourselves. Imagine visiting a web page with slow website speed. Do you think you will be patient enough to wait for a five-second page load?
Unless you know that a web page is full of useful information you need, I do not think you will have the patience to stay on that page. You will surely try to visit another website to look for the information you need.
As you can see, how fast the website speed is, is crucial, especially if you are running an online business or service. According to Maile Ohye, the former Developer Programs Tech Lead of Google, Akamai found out that the e-commerce web page’s acceptability threshold was only two seconds.
Besides, John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trend Analyst, verifies that website speed is a ranking factor. Therefore, if you do not want to lose your customers and rank high in the SERP, better improve your web performance.
In this article, we will delve into this topic on what you should know about website speed and how you can optimize your web performance.
What You Need to Know
How fast should a website load 2019 – 2020?
Yes, you probably hear website speed matters for ranking for the thousandth time, but you are probably unaware of how serious it can be. You are also likely unaware of why you should take this advice more seriously in 2019.
I know that you are busy doing other important stuff to make your web pages compliant to the GDPR, but it does not mean that you should neglect your web performance on the site speed.
By 2019, slow web pages can already affect your conversions negatively, and Google has plenty of reasons why it can kill your conversions for it.
According to Google AI Blog titled “Speed Matters,” the slower performance cost increases as time goes. It is the reason why Google encourages developers to provide web pages with fast performance.
In February 2017, according to thinkwithgoogle.com, the slower the load times of your web pages are, the higher the bounce rate is. The bounce rate refers to the page visits percentage in which the visitor leaves the page without browsing further from the time he or she lands a page.
Think With Google also indicated that the average loading time of a website on a mobile device like Samsung Galaxy is 22 seconds. However, the percentage of visitors leaving a web page is already at 53 percent in more than three seconds. In 2019, the average of 22 seconds became 15.3 seconds.
If the page load time is between 1 to 3 seconds, the bounce probability increases by 32 percent, from 1 to 5 is 90, from 1 to 6 is 106, and 1 to 10 is 123 percent.
For this reason, Google has been helping web developers, designers, and marketers to improve mobile and web performance site speed. By May 2017, Google introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages that enables a website to load pages not more than a second on a mobile device.
Google worked hard from 2017 to 2018 to provide and enhance tools to give fast load times on a web page on mobile devices and other platforms. It only proves that Google is serious about delivering a fast site experience for its users.
What is a good average data load time?
As for the number on how fast a site should be, Google said that they could not give an exact threshold. What they only said was to make your site performance fast for your visitors as your goal.
How can you check your website performance?
Now that you know the importance of speed on a website, it is time that you should check the performance of your site.
With tons of websites offering a free website check service, there is no reason why you should neglect the speed of your site.
We will elaborate on some of my suggestions where you can check the speed of your page. Since Google is the most popular search engine, we will discuss some tools that they offer, which can make your page speed faster.
To test speed, Google has a tool called PageSpeed Insight. It is a free website analyzer that looks into the content of your page. It also makes suggestions on how you can make your page faster.
To run the Google Speed Test, all you have to do is copy the URL of your site, paste it on the field on top beside the ‘Analyze’ button, and click ‘Analyze.’ The result varies on mobile and desktop platforms.
Speed test by Google gives you score 0 to 49, it means that your site is slow, 50 to 80 is moderate, and 90 to 100 is fast.
Mod_PageSpeed is another term for this Google tool. It is an open-source package that you can use to optimize your page or site. It resembles a WordPress Plugin, but you only have to install it on the webserver that hosts your WordPress site.
You can choose between Apache or Nginx.
Why do websites take so long to load?
There are plenty of reasons why some websites take a long time to loads. The following are some of the reasons.
OPcache works for websites that make use of the PHP code. It makes use of the caching system in which it saves your content in the memory of the server on the first loading of a page. By the time a user looks up for this page, the server only has to retrieve it from this memory to display.
Overhead refers to plugins, themes, logs, and the like that adds to the loading process of your site when it should not. Excessive overhead can also cause the server to time out as it waits for your database response.
Not making use of the content delivery network
Content Delivery Network is a handy solution for your site. It consists of servers at different locations. What it does for your site is to copy it on each server in these different places. For this reason, if a visitor looks up for your page, your page will load at a faster rate because the location to the user is closer.
Usage of large files
Media files like videos and images are large. Without optimization, your website will take a long time to load.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Boost Your Site Speed
OPcache is enabled by default in some web hosting services. However, it is best to check if it is disabled because it is one of the reasons why a site loads slowly.
Optimize your database
You can optimize your database by going to the database management platform if your Web host allows it. If you cannot access the data management platform, use the WordPress Command Line Interface (WP-CLI).
Once you get into your database management platform, which is commonly the phpMyAdmin, remove the excessive overhead.
Use a content delivery network
There are several service providers where you can avail of the use of the CDN. CDN improves your site’s speed, protects your site from crashing, improves SEO, and improves user experience.
Improve the placement of your CSS code
You can improve the placement of your CSS codes in several ways. Here are the three.
First, you can combine all your external CSS file into a few files.
Second, you can make use of media types for specifying which of the CSS file to be loaded.
Third, as much as possible, make use of the inline CSS coding.
Compress your media files
Compressing your media files is easier than you think. You can compress images through using online tools and plugins that compress and optimize images.
However, you cannot compress videos with simple tools, but you put the video on sites like YouTube and embed the link on the page.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned a lot about how to boost the loading time of your website.
Asking yourself, “how fast does my website load” can save you some clients and grow them more, especially now that Google is serious about it. Not only will it affect your ranking on the SERP, but it will also diminish your page’s bounce rate.
If you find this article useful or you know anyone who needs this guide, please share it. You may also give some additional insights in the comment section below.