The Speedy Gonzales of Websites: How You Can Achieve Faster Loading Websites
An important factor that some website owners sometimes overlook is their website speed. How fast a website can load is as important as its design and content for several reasons.
There have been several occasions where I have come across websites with the loading speed of a snail with a hangover. This can be VERY frustrating in a time-pressured environment or when I need information right at that moment.
Most of the time it is not just me, slow websites have probably had plenty of people worldwide scream out “¡Dios Mio! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!” It is actually kind of funny that some of the people who say that are not even Spanish, it just seems more dramatic when you complain in that language.
This is because people demand for faster internet and faster loading websites since slow ones can waste so much time. If your website takes time loading, a consumer will most likely become impatient and close it before they can even see the design and the content, putting the two to waste.
The ideal site speed for websites that contain mostly of text is 1 second, and websites that are more dynamic and have pictures have an ideal site speed of 5 seconds. However, other sources say that there is no specific standard speed for websites. You just have to make sure your website loads as quickly as possible, maybe even going under a second.
There are several ways for you to speed up your website’s speed, and here are a few:
- Minimizing your HTTP request can significantly speed up your website. HTTP or Hypertext Transfer Protocol is “a request/response protocol where your computer sends a request for a file, and the web server sends back a response.” These files can come in the form of text, files, pictures, etc.
- CSS sprites combine images in the background into one image, which reduces the number of HTTP requests made. So, it is recommended that you use CSS sprites whenever possible for faster website load speed.
- When you use photoshop for images used for ads and infographics, make sure they are optimized for website use. You can do this by saving your images using the “save for web” option instead of just selecting the “save” option. Saving it for web does not change the appearance of the images, but it does make the file size smaller. The smaller the size of a file is, the less time it will take to load.
Aside from tips, here are a few free website speed tests you can search and use for your website:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Web Page Analyzer
- Which loads faster?
- Load Impact
- OctaGate Site Timer
- SEOmastering.com Site Speed Checker
Try these tips and these website speed testers yourself to see the difference they can make. Having a speedier website will reward you soon with more consumers who are also happier.