Why Page Speed Matters

Posted on March 04, 2021

Joshua Sutton

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Page speed is the overall amount of time it takes for a website to load.

There are a ton of factors that go into page speed.

A few examples include:

Image size
Hosting
File size

Google has used page speed as a determining factor since 2010!

why web speed matters

 

But why might the overall page speed (or lack thereof) of your website be so important?

It is the first and most critical element of a positive user experience
It can decrease your conversions. If your website is super slow(see Standards below), visitors are going to bounce.
It can reduce your revenue. Similar to above, if visitors aren’t converting, they sure as heck aren’t buying.

Standards:
Perfect = Below 1 second
Great = 1 – 3 seconds Great for most websites
Average = 3 – 7 seconds Starting to lose conversions
Needs Work = 7 + seconds

Tools to check site speed:
*Always average out site speed

Pingdom

webspeed results

 

Worry about load speed over the performance grade given.
Test from multiple locations and take the average “load time” from all locations.

GTMetrix
Once again, the only metric we are worried about here is page speed. The given “grade” doesn’t concern us as much.

performance report bars

I would also recommend that you go through the list given and see if you can improve on the list of recommendations.

Checking your webpage

Ways to increase site speed:

Check your hosting provider. (Most important)

Not all web hosts are created equal.
A couple of big things to look for are quality support and regular backups. Do not skimp on either of these! 

If you have WordPress, here are a couple of recommendations:

WPEngine

WPX

Kinsta

Use a CDN (Content delivery network)

A CDN is used to cache your website’s content all over the world, so when a visitor requests your website, it can be delivered much faster. 

This helps significantly with website speed.

Recommendation:

Cloudflare

 

Optimize your images:

Ideally, you need to upload the images onto your website as the same size they will be on the website. 

If not, the image will be dynamically downsized, causing a significant impact on loading speed. Mostly when done across the entire website

It is also a good idea to compress your images. 

Recommendation:

Shortpixel

 

Audit your redirects:

Redirects are sneaky. They affect your loading speed and tend to break if you make changes to your site structure.

For instance, say you have recently upgraded to an SSL secured website, you may have internal links on the site with the non-SSL link.

It may not be ideal, but the best course of action is to go through all of your internal links and make sure they resolve correctly, and ideally, don’t redirect. 

 

Broken Links:

This one is hard to keep track of and may get away from you if you aren’t careful. 

The most common instance of broken links that I see is when the slug of a webpage is changed, and it isn’t fixed in the websites internal links.

Overall, fixing broken links is a pretty easy thing to fix and helps with overall user experience and website speed.

 

Plugin Audit:

The amount of plugins isn’t thought of when attempting to speed up a WordPress website. However, depending on your plugin scenario, it could be slowing your site down significantly. 

 

As a general rule of thumb, if you have more than ten plugins, I would strongly consider going in and either deleting what is unnecessary or consolidating.  

 

Use lazy load on your website:

“Lazy loading” is the practice of only loading the portion of the page that the visitor can see, and when they scroll to the next section or the rest of the website, it will load. 

 

Lazy load can be done with a plugin, or if you are watching your plugins to keep your page speed up, there is a certain amount of lazy loading built into WordPress starting in version 5.5. 

 

Just add this attribute to images, for example:

 

loading=”lazy”

 

A couple of useful plugins for lazy load are:

 

 

Well, there you have it, y’all—a concise, actionable list to get you started in making your website blazing fast. 

 

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