How to Optimize Your Website Performance

Written by on 9th April 2019

It’s estimated that the modern consumer’s attention span lasts two to three seconds before they’ll move onto something else, particularly in relation to advertisements and websites. That means that modern businesses have their work cut out for them.

Ensuring that a website is optimized for performance will help remove barriers in the customer experience, making conversion more likely. Here are a few ways that you can optimize your website performance today.

Install a Website Status Monitor

It’s not reasonable to expect to be able to monitor the status of your website first-hand at all times. Installing website monitoring software ensures that the state of the website is being monitored at all times, quickly raising alerts if there is a slow down or error that could impact the customer journey.

Pingdom is a website status monitoring program that not only identifies when there is an issue but notifies the right person based on the type of alert. This is useful for large businesses with an IT department, as well as small businesses that outsource to a contractor for tech support. The quicker a problem can be addressed, the more optimized a website will become.

Use a Faster DNS Provider

When a consumer types in the URL of a website they’d like to look at, this triggers a sequence of responses that ultimately takes them to the site. One part of this is the DNS lookup, in which the computer translates the URL into the associated IP address number to find the right website. If this step didn’t take place, everyone would have to memorize IP addresses rather than URLs.

If the response time is taking too long, it will ultimately lead to a longer time to first byte (TTFB). The TTFB is the time it takes for the website to start loading, which can buy a few valuable seconds of customer attention.

Enable Browser Caching

In simplest terms, browser caching captures information from a user’s computer during their initial visit and stores it for subsequent visits. This improves the load time during subsequent visits, which will optimize the site’s performance from a customer standpoint.

Browser caching is a must for sites that expect to have repeat customers or take a few visits to build customer trust and encourage them to convert from lead to paying customer. This step can shave valuable seconds from the loading time, capitalizing on shrinking attention spans.

Reduce Your Image Sizes

While using crisp, clear imagery is important on a website, your online images don’t require the same detail as something you intend to print and have framed. Reducing your image sizes for the web is an important, simple step that can dramatically impact the loading speed of your site. This form of optimization is something that can be done easily, without investing in additional web design services.

Rather than uploading a full 7000px image to your site and having it cropped to fit the space you have available, resize it to fit the space before uploading. If you’re using an image for aesthetic purposes rather than as focal points on the site (such as product photos), try lowering the quality slightly to see if it’s visibly noticeable in that setting. This simple task can result in a 70% reduction in load time.

Combine and Minimize HTTP Requests

As your website loads, it is sending HTTP requests to capture the various elements of your site, such as imagery and the script. The more requests there are, the longer it will take to load your site.

To optimize your web performance, you must combine and minimize HTTP requests. Using your developer tools to look at the list of requests being made can provide valuable insight about what can be removed and what can be combined. From there, the code can be reworked to reduce those requests.

There are a lot of simple ways to optimize website performance, accessible to both large and small businesses alike. By auditing the performance, making adjustments, and having status monitoring in place, you can offer a pleasant customer experience that converts to sales.