Tips For Reducing Page Loading Speed

With so many websites on today's worldwide web, it is absolutely imperative to have a website that is easy to use, functional, and fast. No matter the quality of your content, if your pages take a long time to load, visitors will likely give up on your site. In order to help you prevent that, we've compiled these tips for reducing page loading speed. Read on to learn what you can do to decrease website loading time.


Static caching

Many people use content management systems, such as WordPress, for their website. One characteristic of these systems is that they create the pages dynamically. This increases website loading times and it strains the server. But you can solve this problem easily by caching database searches and pages, so that their static, more convenient version exists. WP Super Cache is a very useful plugin for WordPress that will help you with static caching. In practice, instead of the site having to dynamically generate the requested content, the website's users will be provided with a static cached version, decreasing website loading speed in the process.

But don't stop with this single WordPress tweak, as there are more things you can do to make the entire site work faster if you are using WP. Choosing the right framework, using a content delivery network and optimizing your WP database are some of the most important things to handle. Learning about the details of what you can do to optimize WordPress will provide a noticeable decrease when it comes to your website's loading time.

If you are not using WordPress, but static HTML, you will need to alter the .htaccess file. Set the cache lifetime of all static assets to no less than one week and no more than one year. These static files include different media, images, PDFs, CSS and JavaScript files.

Downsize images

When you have the option to insert large images on your website, it is tempting to use this option even when a smaller image would suffice. However, large images are one of the things that increase website loading speed. The larger your images, the longer it will take for the page to load. So, wherever applicable, downsize the images by using software such as Photoshop or one of the popular online applications that let you do this quickly and easily. For example, Resize Image or PicResize.

Simply changing the file type of your images will also help you with reducing page loading speed. Depending on the file type, you can greatly preserve the quality of a picture while keeping the small size, because different file types work better with different pictures. For transparent pictures, PNG is the best format. If your images don't have many colors (for example, if it's an image of a logo), then GIF is the format to use. Finally, use JPEG for photographs and other images that feature plenty of details and colors. 

Minify and compress files

Compression works wonders for loading times, so be sure to take compression seriously. With HTTP compression of your website's content, users' browsers can access data by receiving one file only. Without it, data is sent in a large number of files, which is slowing down the website. The more requests for different data there are - the slower the loading time.

The solution to a large number of requests lies in minifying and combining aspects of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS components. The so-called minification occurs when you eliminate all the unnecessary parts of a bloated code. Problems with messy code can occur for various reasons, most often if you have used a website builder that works with templates. Such code includes unnecessary indentations, line breaks and 'white' spaces. These are all the things that make the code sloppy, and that means a needlessly slower website. After minifying, the next step is to combine JavaScript and CSS files. If you have a WordPress-run website, use a handy plugin called WP Rocket to help you fix this problem easily.

Stylesheet and script references' placement

There are some easy coding tweaks you can make that will go a long way toward reducing page loading speed. These are related to the placement of stylesheet and script references. Namely, stylesheet references should be at the top of your HTML code, while script references should be at the bottom. Placing your stylesheet references in the head of website's HTML document means that the styles will be loaded in progression and, thus, the pages will be loading more quickly.

As for the script references, they will block everything placed below them upon the pages' initial loading. That is because for every hostname, browsers cannot download more than two elements simultaneously. So, place them as low in the HTML code as you can. You will get the best results if they are located next to the final 'body' tag.

Switch to faster DNS and hosting providers

Sometimes, the loading speed depends on some external factors that no manual corrections can change. For one, a slow DNS (domain name system) can cause such issues. This is a server that, in a way, translates the address of your website into an IP address, so that when a user types your address, they are taken to your website. This way, users don't have to memorize the IP address of your website. However, while all websites use a DNS provider, not all providers are fast enough. If that is the case with your provider, it's a good idea to switch to a faster one. Use this DNS Speed Comparison to compare different DNS providers.

Similarly, you may experience loading speed issues with your hosting provider, as well. If you get little traffic, the cheapest hosting option will likely do the trick. However, with the increase in traffic, users will start to experience loading issues. Shared servers are the cheapest ones, but they're also the least convenient, because you are sharing them with other website owners.

So, go for VPN servers or, if you are running a large, traffic-heavy website, a dedicated server might be best for your needs. With VPN hosting, you are guaranteed to a chunk of server's resources, which you won't be sharing with anyone else. If you are only after reducing page loading speed, then a VPN server will likely suffice. A dedicated server, on the other hand, provides significantly more space, and you also get access to various configuration options. This is a type of server for those website owners who need more space and control than most.