5 Surefire Ways To Speed Up Your Webpage For Better UX & UI
How important is it to speed up your webpage for UX? Well, the probability of bounce increases 90% if page load is between 2-5 seconds.
Image Source: Vecteezy
Watching a slow page loading when we most need it as visitors and consumers is always a pain. But now that we are on the other side, it is essential to have a good page speed to make our website’s user experience and interaction the best possible.
If the, “Early bird gets the worm” the faster page gets customers.
‘But wait! If I write great content that ranks, that’s all that matters, right?’
It sure helps, but just think how many of those web page visitors you could be converting if the bloody page loaded faster.
In 2018, Google released an update – The Speed update, as they like to call it was introduced to downrank websites that load slowly specifically, especially on mobile devices.
It means your page speed can be a little slower on a computer browser but has to be fast in a mobile browser.
This change was brought in because mobile usage increased significantly after 2010, having around 60% of the search queries from mobile browsers.
Ever since the page speed update rolled out, 2.4 seconds to 3 seconds became the digitally accepted time speed for a page to load. Any more than that, you have a lot to lose.
Now, to analyze the metrics related to your page speed, Google has got its Page Speed Insights. All you have to do is enter your site URL, and you receive a bunch of data and statistics that looks like this;
First Contentful Paint (FCP)
The first point is when a user can see any page content on the screen.
Speed Index (SI)
The visual progression of a page load and how quickly the content is painted.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
The time until the largest content element is fully visible on the screen.
Time to Interactive (TTI)
The amount of time it takes for a page to become fully interactive.
Total Blocking Time (TBT)
The severity of how non-interactive a page is until it becomes reliably interactive.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
How often does a user experiences unexpected layout shift?
The aggregate performance score is divided into Good, Needs Improvement, or Poor categories based on the values of each weighted metric.
- Good: Scores of 90-100
- Needs Improvement: Scores of 50-89
- Poor: Scores of 1-49
With these stats in hand, you can analyze your page speed and take appropriate corrective measures (explained further below)
Why Is Page Loading Speed An Important Factor?
1. Lower Time On Website
If your page loads slowly, the user is frustrated and leaves. When visitors leave your website and don’t spend as much time on it, Google’s algorithm understands that your website is not a part of the user’s search intent. This means the algorithm decided to rank you lower.
See how this Bigcommerce platform Perpetual Kid optimized their website to load in 1.6 seconds.
2. Low Page Views
If your page speed is slow, visitors do not spend much time on it. So, it is more likely that they have not visited many pages on your website. And fewer page views means overall less interest in whatever content your website provides
3. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of total visitors who abandon your site after visiting just one page. If the loading speed of your page is more than the accepted time of 3 seconds, then they’re more likely to head back to a different website. It means that the visitor has not checked out any other page on your site other than the slow one they just landed on.
4. Low Conversion
If at least a few of your web pages aren’t viewed by the visitor, then there are fewer chances for them to move down the funnel and turn into a lead or a customer from just a visitor.
On the flip side, if your webpage loads at the optimal speed – 3 seconds, or even much faster, visitors are more likely to engage with your website ( provided you have great content ) and thus become leads.
How To Increase Page Loading Speed?
1. Include Trailing Slash
The trailing slash is the ‘/’ placed at the end of a URL but isn’t included most of the time. Although it might seem negligible, it vastly affects a page’s loading speed.
Without the slash at the end, google searches for files in that name. And if it doesn’t find one, it treats the word as a directory and searches for files under it.
See how this Bigcommerce website is using a trailing slash at the end.
This will naturally make your page load much slower than usual. Therefore, including the slash will treat the URL as the final destination and will thus load faster.
2. Compress Images
Consumers these days look for more images on a website as it appeals to their visual senses. And thus, it is unavoidable to have a web page without images.
As per a survey, 66% of consumers require at least three product images before buying the product.
But images take up a lot of space. Thus, making it one of the reasons to slow down the speed of a page.
You can compress images online instantly.
Therefore, it is necessary to compress without compromise. That is, to reduce the size without affecting the quality of the image.
If you are a WordPress user, things get easier. Smush is a WordPress plugin that is designed to compress without compromise.
3. Enable Browser Caching
Instead of directly loading the webpage from the server, storing copies in a temporary cache location helps visitors access the webpage more quickly.
With browser caching enabled on your website, it instructs your visitor’s browsers to hold on to some of your website resources for the next time they decide to access it.
4. Reduce HTTPS requests
Every time visitor lands on your website, a request from their browser is sent to your server to send files back to the browser.
This, in simple terms, is what HTTPS requests are.
If there are more files or elements on your page, the more the requests are sent. And the more the requests, the more time the page takes to load.
But websites that are optimized with good content do naturally have more files.
Therefore, it is necessary to perform an audit of your page to diagnose and remove the unwanted files and elements.
5. Use a CDN
CDN means Content Delivery network. These networks can be understood as replicas of the actual server where your website is hosted.
Think of this as caching – while caching is from the visitor’s side of things, using a CDN is from your side – website owners.
This replica server has a copy of your site. Whenever there is a request, the requests reach the replica server, i.e., the CDN of a nearby location to the browser instead of reaching the main server.
For example, savannahbee a online gift shop website uses cloudflare as their CDN.
Thus, the request is served soon, making the website load faster.
There are a lot of free CDNs to choose from, like Cloudflare. These have a global server network, thus speeding up load time for your visitors.
In a nutshell, if you want to speed up your webpage;
- Keep your website page on top speed, especially on mobile browsers. Ever since the Speed Update, the loading speed of a webpage has become a matter of concern, especially on mobile browsers.
- Have a proper SEO system in place. Without appropriate keywords and content that serves user intent, page speed alone will not be a magic bullet for higher rankings
- Combine, minify and remove unwanted files. They make a huge difference in loading your page
- You can rank higher at the top even with a slow page. But a slow page will cost you conversion