Website speed is one of the key determinants of functionality and traffic in a website. E-commerce giant Amazon can attest to this. In the study, Amazon discovered that 1 second delay in load time lead to a decline in page views by 11%, a decline in customer satisfaction by 16% and a further 7% decrease in conversion rate. Similar views are shared by Wal-Mart, another leading retailer. You can invest heavily on website marketing like SEO, social media integration and numerous back links but ultimately what determines whether or not the customers will stay on your website and how long they will stay depends on your website speed. Hence, how do you improve on this key feature?
Reduce HTTP requests
Load time of a website is determined by the number of elements in the website since each of the elements consumes time while downloading. These pieces including images, Flash, scripts, style sheets among others should be minimized if the load time is to be reduced. This does not necessarily imply getting rid of these elements since some are required for normal website functioning but rather find a creative way to accommodate them without affecting the website speed. This can be accomplished by:
• Streamlining the number of elements on the website’s page.
• Use CSS to scale down images where possible.
• Combine several style sheets.
• Reduce scripts as much as possible and ensure that you put them at the bottom of your website.
• Reduce the number of call pages called to as much as possible; this can be achieved by combining various related elements.
Another huge determinant of a website’s response time is the size of the pages; the larger the page, the slower the speed. A large page in this case is 5mb or more and it is normally the case when the website being created has high-quality content. Zip compression is a technique used by most web designers to reduce the size of the web page. GZip http://www.gzip.org is the best tool to use for compression. It is supported by various browsers and can reduce load time by up to 70%.
Also known as persistent connection, Keep-Alive refers to a header which maintains a connection between the client and a server hence preventing connection breakdown. In simple terms, instead of opening a new connection for each request, it allows for same TCP connection for HTTP conversion. This communication between the server and the browser enables the browser to “grab” more than one file at a time, thus reducing HTTP requests and ultimately load speed. This is normally done by the web hosting company or you can do it yourself if you have access to your host’ configuration. In case you don’t have your web host configuration, click on https://varvy.com/pagespeed to get the tools to do it yourself. There are other useful resources that can be used to Keep-Alive such as https://www.maxcdn.com/one/visual-glossary/keep-alive .
These are just some of the techniques to increase your Website speed but there are many others. Talk to your web designer or conduct extensive research to get other techniques and give your website the boost it requires to get more visits.