How to Improve Page Speed and Why does it Matter?

How does it Affect your Bottom Line-

The primary role I take in every project is that of a caring business advisor. I am focused on the critical aspects that make a business profitable. Many times page speed is one of the things that is ignored. It's also one of the easiest to fix.

When I perform a Website Site Health Check, or I am redesigning a site I make recommendations based on prioritized business goals.

Ignoring Page Speed is way To common

One of the main factors owners ignore is the importance of Page Speed in most business related websites.

It's one of the first tests I do when I am going to talk with someone about their website.

WordPress Speed Test

Why is Page Speed Important?

When I start this conversation the main question I get is why is this so important to you?

Here I cover why Page Speed is important. I want to share what things you need to fix and a tool that might help.

WP Engine hosting

What is Page Speed?

As described by Moz (an industry leader in providing inbound marketing research and overall marketing analytics):

Page Speed is often confused with “site speed,” which is 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).

Why does Page Speed Impact your SEO?

It matters to Google, and they are a kind of a big deal on the internet. In fact, chances are you might have found this content or website via a Google Search.

But more importantly, it matters to your site's visitors. The "good ole" days of us connecting to the internet via a modem are a thing of a very distant past. Those my age (mid 30's) and older could probably hear the sound of a modem connecting. I get nostalgic of how much happiness it brought us early internet users.

But at this very moment, everyone gets very impatient when a page or app does not load in a split second.

But how does Page Speed Affect Your Bottom Line?

Multiple studies have shown how Page Speed impacts a few aspects. For me, the most important one is the poor experience a potential customer might have if the site takes too long.

Surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, find that nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less if the site does not load within 3 seconds they abandon the site.

79% of internet shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. You also lose the opportunity to have brand ambassadors and tarnish your reputation. 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a miserable experience shopping online.

Kissmetrics InfoGraphic

How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line by KissMetrics

Not convinced yet?

Here are two more detailed stats of the same studies that apply to e-commerce sites.

A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If an e-commerce site is making $10,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $255,000 in lost sales every year.

How does it Page Speed Affect your Bottom Line?

Do the Math?

Tips to Increase your page speed:

Enable Compression

All modern browsers support and automatically negotiate gzip compression for all HTTP requests.

Enabling gzipcompression can reduce the size of the transferred response by up to 90%, which can significantly reduce the amount of time to download the resource, reduce data usage for the client, and improve the time to first render of your pages.

Enable and test gzip compression support on your web server.

 

Minify CSS, Javascript, and HTML

Minification refers to the process of removing unnecessary or redundant data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser - e.g. code comments and formatting, removing unused code, using shorter variable and function names, and so on.

You should minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript resources

Reduce Redirects

Redirects are instructions or methods that automatically take visitors of one file to another file or location. They are accomplished in many ways. Each way hurts your pagespeed.

Eliminate redirects that are not absolutely necessary.

Leverage Browser Caching

Fetching resources over the network is both slow and expensive: the download may require multiple roundtrips between the client and server, which delays processing and may block rendering of page content, and also incurs data costs for the visitor.

All server responses should specify a caching policy to help the client determine if and when it can reuse a previously fetched response.

 

Improve Server Response Time

Server response time measures how long it takes to load the necessary HTML to begin rendering the page from your server, subtracting out the network latency between Google and your server. There may be variance from one run to the next, but the differences should not be too large. In fact, highly variable server response time may indicate an underlying performance issue.

You should reduce your server response time under 200ms.

 

Use a Content Distribution Network

A Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance.

 

Our preferred hosting partner WP Engine includes a CDN on most hosting packages.  

Optimize Images

Images often account for most of the downloaded bytes on a page. As a result, optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements: the fewer bytes the browser has to download, the less competition there is for the client's bandwidth and the faster the browser can download and render content on the screen.

 

Since we partnered up with WP Engine a few years, we have improved many aspects of our client's website. The main one has been Page Speed. Just by migrating a site to WP Engine we quickly saw big improvements. WP Engine makes it a lot easier to migrate a site. Their content delivery network also improves server response times.

Now WP Engine has added another tool where I can quickly test a website. We also check Page Speed with internal tools we use here at Limonade. The tests allow us to provide a complete report from the different source. Once we consolidate findings we focus on what stands out and what we need to fix. It's also helped me show the client it's not just our team that is recommending the change.

WP Engine Page Performance To The Rescue

As stated by WP Engine’s CMO Mary E Dugan:

What’s Page Performance all about? Page Performance is the first tool to focus on delivering Performance Intelligence; think of it as a utility belt comprising solutions designed to give you relevant, near real-time data and actionable insights so you can boost the performance of your website.

Page Performance is available now to all 47,000 WP Engine customers at no additional cost and is built into your User Portal.

It works like this: enter any URL you please – preferably your site, because you have the power to make it faster — and Page Performance runs a battery of tests to measure how your pages perform. From there, it delivers a detailed study analyzing some key metrics, like how fast your page renders, its cacheability, and so on.

Hosted by WP Engine

Three Easy Routes to Improve your Page Speed

  1. Move over to WP Engine and run a test on your site.
  2. Sign up below, and I can give you a free SEO Report including an overview of Page Speed.
  3. Our Website Health Check includes a report and a major tweaks to improve your page speed.

How important do you still think is Page Speed?

This post was proofread by Grammarly
The #1 Writing Tool

Leave a Comment