Advanced tips for faster page loading

Page load time significantly impacts user experience and site’s ability to convert visitors into buyers. Users who experience bitter page experience tend to bounce back and they will never visit the site again. No matter how rich your content is or how well the website looks, the speed of page loading is a major deciding factor to attract visitors and convert them into buyers.

“With the growing number of websites and the amount of information available, even one extra second is too long to wait”

There are basic tips like, binding css and js into single file, moving scripts from header to footer, minifying js and css, optimizing images. Let us discuss about the advanced features which enable faster page loading.

Specifying cache validators

Page caching reduces the webpage load time. Techniques such as GZIP compression and file deflation improves user experience. Page caching stores the recent visited version of the site in dynamic storage and displays it when accessed the next time, hence reducing the loading time of the site. This is best suited for web pages having huge visitor base to handle the traffic.

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“We can view the cached version of the web page even when it has been removed, when a current version is not available, or when the page is taking too long time for loading”

Serving static resource from a cookie-less sub domain

Create a cookie less sub domain using CNAME, in the Cpanel pointing to the root directory. Choose a name to be your sub domain for serving static content to your main domain. At times, these might be labeled as simple or advanced DNS zone editor for several types of cpanel but they are all alike.

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Improve first paint time of site

The time to first byte (TTFB) is the time your browser spends waiting on the web server to send back the data. It is a measure of responsiveness.

“TTFB comprises of the time to send the HTTP request to the server, to process the request, and to send back the first byte to the web browser”

The reasons for the delay in TTFB are inefficient code on the origin server, improper database design resulting in slow queries, misconfigured web server, or the original server reached its capacity. By resolving these issues and improving the TTFB, the page loading time is reduced. It can be simply done by moving static content into content delivery network (CDN), which replicates the content and saves in different locations for the user to reach the site faster and load instantly.

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Using cached headers

Headers guide the browser whether to request a specific file from the web server or to get a version of a page from the browser’s cache. If the headers aren’t found, it will generate a new request for the resource every time, which increases the load on your server.

“Headers improve the site loading time by preventing the need to download the same files repeatedly and reduce the number of HTTP requests, which speeds up the web page loading”

Enabling GZIP compression

Enabling GZIP compression at server also brings down the file size and eases page loading time. Whenever a request is made, the server returns a smaller file, thus saving bandwidth. The most common ways to enable compression includes using .htaccess for Apache, Nginx, and Litespeed web servers.  For wordpress, WP HTTP plugin and W3 Total cache plugins reduce the file size into very small packets and improve site performance.

Implementing Google Accelerated mobile pages

Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) speed up page loading on mobile devices. AMP pages are regular web pages, where faster loading codes are used. Certain HTML tags, CSS elements can’t be used, and for using JavaScript it is limited to a specific library. In addition to loading fast on their own, AMP pages are designed to be easily cached by Google, so that Google can instantly pull the page from its own servers whenever anyone clicks on it in search. There are wordpress plugins available. These plugins add a standard meta tag in the head of normal pages making it possible for Google and others to recognize these pages exist.

Following the above guidelines will increase your website usability. For more information, do contact us