How to reduce the time it takes for a page to load

Set up a quick infrastructure or employ a quick host

Having the correct infrastructure is the first step in improving page performance. Make sure your web stack is optimised for speed. Invest in a dedicated, high-performance server for your website. Shared servers might slow down your website even if it has a clean design and well-optimized code. Make sure you're using the most up-to-date technology. Also, make sure that caching is optimised.

The speed of your website is crucial! The user experience, bounce rate, search performance, and income all suffer when your page loads slowly.

Google has historically used site speed as a ranking factor. On February 4, 2014, Google received a patent for site speed. As part of Google's Speed Update in 2018, mobile page speed became a ranking criteria, following the focus on desktop page load time.

By March 2021, the world's most popular search engine plans to have completed its transition to mobile-first indexing. As a result, it's more crucial than ever to pay special attention to the speed with which your mobile website loads. But don't take it from me. Here's what Google has to say...

Whether you're looking at organic search results, site engagement, conversion rate, bounce rate, abandonment, or loyalty, sites that load quickly perform better across a range of marketing and SEO KPIs.

Key Points

  • Page load time has long been a ranking criteria for Google, and in 2018, mobile page performance became one as well.
  • Google's "Core Web Vitals" are designed to promote user-centric results and will eventually become an organic ranking element, putting a greater emphasis on page load time.
  • Discover 12 levers for reducing page load time and increasing the user experience on your site.

According to Google and Deloitte studies, optimising page loading time by 0.1 seconds can increase conversion rates by 8%.

According to a Google survey, 53 percent of web visitors abandon sites on mobile that take longer than three seconds to load. When quicker mobile websites were compared to slower mobile websites in the study, the faster sites had 70 percent longer average session lengths and 35 percent lower bounce rates. The income generated by speedier mobile sites was nearly double that of slower mobile sites.

When it comes to enhancing website speed, a faster page load time results in more page visits, higher conversion rates, and more income.

Google's Web Vitals effort provides recommendations for quality signals that imply a "excellent" web experience.

Web Vitals is a subset of Core Web Vitals.

The Core Web Vitals each represent a different aspect of the user experience. Each metric may be measured on any live web page ("Real User Monitoring") and is used to promote user-centric outcomes such as page load time and accessibility. In addition, Google has claimed that Core Web Vitals would eventually become an organic ranking element.

The specific Google Core Web Vitals are likely to vary and evolve over time. However, as of this writing, Google is primarily concerned with the following three user experience metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures how quickly the page loads, and it should happen within 2.5 seconds.
  • FID (First Input Delay): Measures the time between input and interaction and should be fewer than 100 milliseconds.
  • Visual stability is measured by cumulative layout shift (CLS), which should be less than 0.1.

Read Google's article "Defining the Core Web Vitals metrics thresholds" if you want to learn everything there is to know about the research and technique behind Core Web Vitals. Other key page speed indicators discussed in the article are Time to First Byte (TTFB) and First Contentful Paint (FCP), both of which aid in identifying issues such as poor server response times or render-blocking resources.

How to reduce the time it takes for a page to load

Do you want to learn how to improve the performance of your website but don't know where to begin? We've got you covered, so don't worry. Here are 12 website speed improvement levers to raise your SEO rankings, improve website performance, and improve user experience.

Do you want to go above and beyond page speed? Check out our SEO Checklist!

1. Set up a quick infrastructure or employ a quick host

Having the correct infrastructure is the first step in improving page performance. Make sure your web stack is optimised for speed. Invest in a dedicated, high-performance server for your website. Shared servers might slow down your website even if it has a clean design and well-optimized code. Make sure you're using the most up-to-date technology. Also, make sure that caching is optimised.

2. Make use of a CDN

Do you want to know how to make a web page load faster? Reduce the amount of data that must travel between your server and the end user. Isn't that correct? Using a CDN is a simple way to accomplish this. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of servers that are globally spread (also known as POPs). They work together to speed up the delivery of your site content. A CDN is a wonderful solution to boost website speed whether your site includes HTML, JavaScript, stylesheets, images, or videos.

3. Compress files with Gzip.

GZip is a type of server-side data compression that can help you save time when loading pages. In other words, it reduces the size of a set of data so that it may be delivered more quickly and efficiently to a user's computer. Gzip compression compresses HTML, stylesheets, and JavaScript files to make them smaller. It is important to note that it does not work with images or videos because they are already compressed independently.

The good news is that most CDNs use GZip compression by default, so if you're using one, your website is almost certainly already protected.

4. Make fewer HTTP requests

Minimizing the amount of HTTP requests a page makes is a highly effective strategy for reducing page load time. When someone visits a website, their browser sends a ping to the web server, asking for the files that make up the page's content. The browser renders the content on the page after the server responds with the requested files. Every file that makes up the page's content is sent as a separate HTTP request by the browser. The more files on a page, the more HTTP requests there are, and the longer it takes for your web page to load.

5. Reduce the size of CSS and JavaScript

Minifying JavaScript and CSS files is another efficient way to reduce website load time. Minification is a procedure that streamlines code by removing any extraneous characters, comments, and spaces and replacing them with shorter variable and function names. The less bytes of data in your code, the faster and easier your page will load.

6. Make your HTML more streamlined

Streamline your HTML code to speed up your website. The amount of data delivered to consumers is increased when HTML is bloated. When modifying the DOM, it can also have an impact on JavaScript performance. You're dealing with bloated HTML if your HTML pages include 5,000 or 6,000 lines of code prior to any content on the page (yes, this happens, even among Fortune 500 businesses).

7. Reduce the time it takes for a page to load by optimising pictures.

One of the most common causes of slow websites is...

Images! Images that are extremely huge. Some websites have photographs that are over 1MB in size, while others are over 5MB. Yikes! That is not something you should do. Large image files significantly slow down the pace of your landing page, as well as making visitors wait (often in frustration).

Optimize your photographs without sacrificing image quality. You want modest image files, but you also don't want your website to look amateurish. You can utilize a variety of image optimization plugins for WordPress. TinyPNG is one of our favourites. With the programme, we were able to lower the entire image file size on Stridec by 48 percent.

8. Go through your media library and clean it up.

It's extremely likely that your media collection has become cluttered with old or unused images over time. Your website will become clogged as a result of this. For faster average page load times, clean up your media library by eliminating superfluous photos and other media assets.

9. Make sure your database is clean.

Your database, like your media library, might become bloated over time with unneeded information such as images, files, and other documents.

The practise of finding and removing trash data and unneeded material from your database is known as database optimization. As a result, your web hosting server will be able to get required information more quickly.

10. Remove any JavaScript that is rendering-blocking.

When a browser loads your web pages, a call is sent to each script, which may be located at different URLs. Before the user may see the page, that queue of scripts must be completed and empty. Render-blocking JavaScript files form a major bottleneck in these queues because they might take a long time to load, preventing the principal content on the page from being shown.

Web browsers load resources in the order they appear in the HTML by default. When the resources on the user's device need a lot of processing resources, they can create a significant delay in the visual rendering of the website. However, many of these scripts aren't required to see the web page in the first place. In many circumstances, running these scripts after the page has loaded is acceptable.

Set your render-blocking JavaScript to load asynchronously or eliminate unused or unnecessary scripts to address this problem (or unused portions of your JavaScript resources).

11. Use Expires Headers

Returning visitors to your website benefit from Expires Headers since they lower page load time. They tell the browser whether to request a file from the server or to fetch it from the browser's cache. To speed up page load time, this minimises the amount of downloads from the server as well as the number of HTTP queries.

To increase page speed, Expires Headers limit the amount of server downloads.

There are sometimes dozens of files per page on modern websites. Each file, especially huge files, contributes to the load time. However, transferring each file necessitates a request to the server, which adds more time to the operation. Expires Headers tell the browser how long to keep a file in the cache so that subsequent visits to the page by the same machine can avoid having to download it again.

12. Avoid URL redirects if at all possible.

A URL redirect is a command or procedure that moves a user from one URL to another automatically. A redirect can be implemented in a variety of ways. A 301 redirect is a technique for preserving the forwarding page's SEO value. However, regardless of the sort of redirect, this procedure slows down the speed of your page because switching from one file to another takes time. As a result, if possible, aim to avoid or reduce the number of URL redirects.

8 Tools for measuring the time it takes for a page to load

You'll need the correct tools if you don't already know how to optimise website speed.

Use one of the free online tools below to test the load time of your web pages. There are premium versions of several of these pagespeed analytics software. However, our focus is on their free solutions, which merely require a URL.

Pingdom Website Speed Test 

The Pingdom Website Speed Test is a thorough tool for determining the time it takes for a page to load. You can use the free version to study seven different states of a browser's file request by checking page load time from seven servers in various places around the world.

WebPageTest

WebPagetest is a tool that is actively developed on GitHub and can also be downloaded if you want to run your own instance. You can check the time it takes for a page to load from dozens of different places across the world. You may also do page-by-page comparisons.

PageSpeed Insights from Google

Google PageSpeed Insights is the company's primary tool for assessing a page's speed on mobile and desktop devices. The free tool also provides a performance breakdown based on Google's Core Web Vitals.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an open-source tool that may be used to evaluate web page performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and other factors. The Chrome DevTools workflow, rather than the Chrome Extension, is recommended by Google since it allows you to test authorised pages and local sites.

GTmetrix

GTmetrix assesses your page load speed utilising Google PageSpeed Insights and YSlow!, using a testing location in Vancouver, Canada, and Chrome (Desktop). The ability to compare a page's performance to previous testing of the same page is a unique feature of GTmetrix.

BrowserStack 

In this group of page load speed testing tools, BrowserStack SpeedLab is unusual in that it delivers load times for many browsers and devices. To boost accuracy, it uses BrowserStack's Real Device Cloud to assess webpage speed.

Website Speed Test 

Dotcom-Monitor

The Dotcom-Monitor Website Speed Evaluate allows you to simultaneously test the speed of your web page from 25 different locations while also allowing you to choose the browser. Not only does the tool produce findings for a first visit, but it also returns results for a second visit.

Uptrends Test the Speed of Your Website for Free

Uptrends' Free Website Speed Test allows you to test your website from 11 different locales. You may also choose your browser, bandwidth throttling, screen size (desktop), and device (mobile).

How long should it take for a page to load?

According to Google, websites should load in under two seconds.

What is the average time it takes for a page to load?

Half of all smartphone consumers will exit a website within only three seconds.

How can you determine the speed of a page?

Page speed isn't a statistic in and of itself. Instead, it's the sum of various elements that determine how quickly a website appears and feels to a user. These are some of them:

The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a loading performance metric that should occur within 2.5 seconds of the page loading.

The First Input Delay (FID), which quantifies the time between input and interaction, should be under 100 milliseconds.