Site speed and page load times are important factors for both search engine rankings and usability. Optimizing your website load time is one of the most cost effective ways to make sure as many people as possible are viewing your content.
According to the Aberdeen group even a one-second slower page load time leads to an 11 percent drop in page views. From Kissmetrics, 18 percent of mobile users will look for something else if a site doesn’t load in under 5 seconds. This figure increases to 30 percent of users if the load time reaches 10 seconds. You can probably recall yourself doing this when a page loads too slowly on your mobile device. Who wants to sit and wait?
We know that Google uses page speed as a factor in its new algorithms for both desktop and mobile users. With this being such an important metric, affecting so many factors, what can we do to make sure our sites are as fast as possible?
Luckily, there are a few tools that can really help us out.
The first one is Google PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights gives us a great overview of any speed issues the site may be having, and ways to remedy them. All the passed checks or issues are tallied into a helpful score that we can focus on improving.
Another great tool I like to use here at Upright is FileOptimizer
File Optimizer is a simple program with advanced image and document compression functionality. It chooses file compression algorithms to optimize images based on a priority and efficiency ruleset. There are other tools to accomplish the same task, but FileOptimizer is open source and simple to use.
Reviewing your site with PageSpeed Insights and using its suggestions (like compressing your images optimally with FileOptimizer) will go a long way towards making your website load time faster.
There are a host of more advanced steps we can take, some of which involve taking a look at our web server and its configuration, which we’ll cover in future posts.