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How to Speed up a Website


Increasing the speed of your website is of paramount significance today as in the fast-paced digital age where people are accustomed to accessing everything in the blink of an eye, an immediate website connection is a crucial pre-requisite of digital marketing as users can no more be tricked into exonerating slow-loading websites on the grounds of a poor Internet connection.

On top of that, the Internet is flooded with a variety of consumer choices, so instead of waiting for your website to load, a customer will quickly jump on to the next website even if it loads quicker by a seemingly inconsequential 3 seconds.  President Obama’s fundraising campaign increased its conversions by a dramatic 14% by reducing page load times from 5 seconds to 2. This may not sound like a big change, but in the long run, that resulted in the donation of an additional $34 million dollars, a huge difference achieved only by regulating website maintenance to improve overall loading speed.

Consequently, striving to improve website loading speed will not only increase traffic to your website but also persuade this traffic to convert into loyal customers, research promises an increase in conversions by 7%, not to mention that the user satisfaction and user experience will be tremendously improved. Conducting a thorough audit of your website in order to measure its loading time, identify what is impeding it and finally addressing those impediments might be quite an overwhelming task were it not for the comprehensive lists of tools we have compiled that will enable you to measure and increase your website speed without squandering unnecessary time over it!


According to a study done by KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of the users will abandon the website in favor of a more efficient one if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Surprisingly, the average website load time is 22 seconds, and it goes without saying that the major discrepancy in the loading time preferred by the consumers and actual website loading time contributes to driving users away and culminating in significant revenue losses. Thus, the ruling is clear; unless your website loading time is two seconds or less, not only are you testing your users’ patience and pushing them away but also damaging the chances of them returning to your website, by a solid 75%, as shown in a study. Anything below 3 seconds is acceptable, after which the bounce rate accelerates sharply.


However, before one can engage in initiatives to improve website loading speed, it is necessary to measure the current website speed in order to detect the degree of improvement required. Website speed can be measured against two yardsticks, Time to First Byte(TTFB) and page load time.

TTFB measures the time it takes for a user’s browser to receive the first byte from your server after submitting an HTTP request to it. That means, the sooner the first byte is sent by your server to the user’s provider, the quicker the webpage will load. In other words, a high TTFB value in your website speed test is the harbinger of reduced conversion rates and loss in page views since if your server takes exceptionally long just to send the first byte, the entire webpage might not load until much later, and its highly possible that by that time, a staggering number of users might have abandoned your website, irredeemably disgruntled. Hence, a TTFB value of less than 200 milliseconds is perfectly acceptable while anything beyond 500 milliseconds is slow and will negatively impact the overall performance and speed of the webpage.

Page load time, in contrast, measures the time it takes for a user’s browser to download and serve up the entire web page. This metric is more important to user experience as compared to TTFB value, and should be kept as low as possible because anything above 3 seconds is a major put off.

Numerous tools can assist in identifying and monitoring website speed but here are some of our hot picks!


Pingdom is a user-friendly speed test that enables you to not only observe your website load speed but also categorically dissect it into speed-sucking factors, as a quick waterfall report, illustrating information in a tidy and comprehensible way, allows you to gauge what exactly is causing the slow load time. Pingdom’s most prominent credential is the ease with which it can be operated which means that apart from being a favorite with expert web developers, it also caters adequately to novices and tech amateurs alike, requiring no tedious and mentally exhausting efforts and delivering concise reports simply at the input of website URL.


GTMetrix Performance Report summarizes all elements pertinent to page speed in an acute report and measures website performance by ranking it through grades from F to A. One of the most celebrated features of GTMetrix is that it allows you to authenticate the results of the performance report through repeated testing by alternating variables e.g. you can select the browser type (Firefox or Chrome), test from 7 different locations, and check site performance on different connection types (broadband, cable, or mobile). Entries in the report can be individually analyzed and scrutinized by clicking on them and observing how each element contributes to the overall webpage loading speed. Although as opposed to the Pingdom Website Speed Test it demands an increased time investment in order to thoroughly browse through all the resources, it is time well spent in terms of long-term benefits e.g. higher conversion rates and lower page abandonment rates. Moreover, it is far more comprehensive than Pingdom.


The Network tab of the Inspect Element tool for Chrome also enables you to identify what exactly is slowing down your website by delivering a waterfall chart similar to Pindgdom and GTMetrix, except unlike these two, it saves you the hassle of searching a different website and entering the URL, as the report will appear in the bottom of the browser on the page you are analyzing.


Google Analytics is another fundamental tool employed in the measurement of page load timings, and since it is closely associated with product publishers, it allows you to improve overall website performance and ensure pleasant user experiences. An advantage GA has over other website loading speed measurement tools is that it lists the slowest loading web pages over time, allowing you to benchmark your progress against precisely recorded results.


Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to observe your website’s performance and improve website loading speed, as it provides with actionable speed optimization tips derived from the top-tier technical practices. The user-friendly tool rates your website performance on a scale of 1 to 100, on which an 85 and above is symptomatic of admirable website loading speed and praise-worthy website performance whereas anything below an 85 indicates that the website is still in need of improvement. A significant aspect of Google PageSpeed Insights is, unlike other tools, it delivers reports for both the desktop and mobile version of your website, so you can create customized webpage improvement plans for both versions especially considering 67.11% of the electronic devices used in the world are handheld.



A common reason for delayed webpage loading is the failure to compress unzipped text files into zipped text files. Since unzipped text files require the web browser to download a 100KB HTML file, zipped files mitigate the burden on the browser and result in increased webpage loading speed. However, it is important to employ a compression technique that popular browsers can read conveniently otherwise a glaring blank screen will greet an already impatient user. This plight can be avoided through GZIP which temporarily replaces the strings of repeat code and white space in your HTML and CSS files, making them lighter in an instant, consequently increasing website speed by a substantial degree. Simply by installing W3 Total Cache, a free WordPress plugin and undergoing a three-step method, website speed can be increased and according to a report, the website load time can also be reduced by almost 70%.


Image trimming is a primary aspect of page speed optimization strategies, since images can seriously slow the overall speed and loading time of a website and without compressing them, one cannot achieve maximum website performance improvement, and thus lead to permanent loss of traffic as, 39% of online shoppers said they leave a site if its images take a long time to load or don’t load at all. For a website running on WordPress, WP Smush is the coveted magic wand which will automatically compress all your images when uploaded, within seconds. Most importantly, it allows you to customize an image size tailored for your website and automatically compresses an image with proportions beyond the ones you have specified. If your site doesn’t run on WordPress, you will need something like Compressor.io, an online tool for compressing photos and images, where the image can be uploaded and compressed freehand by the user according to personal will and image priority. Since image compression increases website loading speed to a considerable extent, it is important to incorporate this technique when on a page speed optimization spree.


During rush hours, your web server may become extremely overwhelmed by the copious amounts of site-access requests it has to process and thus consume more time to complete each request, slowing the website loading speed. This problem is further compounded by the physical distance between your web-server and the users’ physical location as information will take slower than ever to travel. However, this misfortune can be averted by means of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), such as CloudFlare, which will cache your static content on different servers spread across the world so when a user makes a request to see your content, the server that’s closest physically receives and processes the request and helps improve website speed. Moreover, a CDN will also increase security by launching defense mechanisms against DDoS attacks and reducing the likelihood of the webpage going down, thus increasing overall website performance and uptime. By regulating incoming site-access requests during hours of increased traffic, CDN manages to increase the webpage loading speed.


Despite adopting the tried and tested page speed optimization strategies, your webpage loading time might still be lagging behind because of useless plugins that your database is forced to process as unnecessarily queries every times it receives a site-access request, causing the database to choke and increase load time. As a result, deleting all unused plugins is an efficient way of increasing website loading speed.


Selecting a host with a decent response time can dramatically increase website loading speed as server response time can vary a great deal from one host to another. One report states that while good hosts have a loading speed of 0.7 – 0.8 seconds, slow hosts can double that, preventing your site from achieving a loading speed time of less than three seconds. A commendable host is DreamHost which delivers outstanding results in regards to loading speed, loading speed in rush hours, and uptime, improving overall website performance.


Minification of large text files such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript files can elevate website performance by eliminating unwanted code, space and formatting and thus, making these files easier and quicker to read. By putting online minification tools to use and removing unnecessary characters and empty spaces, the website loading speed can be easily accelerated, and if your website runs on WordPress, page speed optimization is easier to achieve with plugins like WP Rocket that boost website speed by minimizing large text files.


Caching is a surefire way to make your website instantaneously responsive as it allows your webserver to send a web page at a much faster pace to a browser after it has already been delivered once, the speedy transmission of information from your server to the user’s browser ensures your web pages load up swiftly and speeds up web page loading. For a website that is custom-coded, a host with side-server caching is adequate, be it Varnish, a good nginX configuration, or something else, it can deliver promising results when improving webpage loading speed. Apart from that, there is also a host of free WordPress caching plugins, perhaps none more popular than W3 Total Cache which can be installed to increase the website loading speed and overall performance.


Another hassle-free way of ensuring increased webpage loading speed is to enable asynchronous loading instead of synchronous loading of CSS or JavaScript files, as the latter will only allow the browser to load one script file at a time and as script files are heavier than many other page elements, browsers take their sweet time in loading them, giving the impression that the page is loading slowly. A quick fix to this problem is to select asynchronous loading through web hosts like FastComet and enable the browser to load other page elements and script files side by side, thus increasing the webpage loading speed.


Deferring JS files entails increased webpage loading speed since these files are bulkier than other page elements and often hamper their loading. By deferring these files, the browser will prioritize loading the rest of your content, which will be loaded comparatively quicker now that the JS files aren’t stressing the browsers, and thus improve the loading speed and time of the webpage. JavaScript loading can be sped up by using a WordPress plugin like WP Rocket which provides an option for the deferral of JS files, or in a custom-coded javascript can be loaded just before the </body> tag of the HTML document to initiate a deferral. Another method is to add the defer attribute to the script, and cultivate a highly responsive and quick website.


Webpage speed optimization is a venture worth investing time in as the efficiency with which a product commands its online presence is the same efficiency anticipated by the user during the actual delivery of services. A sluggishly-loading webpage will impact the overall quality and impression of the product, and not only drive users away from your webpage but risk tarnishing your brand’s repute, as  44% of shoppers say they share their bad online experience with others through one social networking site or another. Hence, it is crucial to engage in practices that increase the average webpage loading speed of your website as it will facilitate both, conversion rates and future visits, something we can assist you in by enhancing your website’s performance!

Speed up your website now!



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