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Page Load Time —
Page speed is a straightforward ranking factor, by means of Google's Algorithm Speed Update; and so website load time optimization is a must for every website owner.
To decrease the bounce rate and improve visitor engagement, it's important that your web pages load fast and quickly. Building a fast-loading website is an increasingly essential factor for user experience & search engine optimization (SEO). A website that is optimized for speed not only improves the user experience (UX) but can also help to increase your search engine rankings. If your website loading time is slow, it impacts bounce rate, user experience, search rankings, website performance, and so overall your online revenue.
According to Google, "the website loading time should not be more than 2 seconds". So page speed does affect SEO.
Here I am sharing the most important elements and effective ways that you need to consider for reducing your page load time. Reduce page load time and speed up your website.
Top 14 Tips for Decreasing Web Page Load Times
1. Selecting a quality hosting serverIt is crucial for you to choose a quality host that fits your requirements. The following are the main points you should keep in mind while choosing your hosting company;
1.1 Type of hosting serverDepending upon the traffic your website is fetching, you could either go for shared servers, VPS, Dedicated Server, or cloud servers.
Shared hosting is normally suitable for basic websites driving less than 30,000 monthly visitors. Some shared hosting can handle up to 1,00,000 visitors per month on shared hosting.
However, shared hosting can considerably slow down your website if other websites are also hosted on the same server & getting lots of traffic. So for e-Commerce websites and other time-critical websites, you must either go with a VPS or a Cloud Server.
Dedicated servers are recommended in case of very heavy traffic websites. Though, I would still prefer cloud servers over dedicated servers as they provide better uptime than dedicated servers. Also, cloud servers are scalable, which means you can quickly upgrade and downgrade your server resources without any downtime.
2. Location Of HostingWhen it comes to website performance, server location plays an important role. It is highly recommended that you host your servers in locations where you expect the highest traffic. This helps reduce the latency, which is the delay in data transfer between the server and the user's browser and ultimately speeds up your website.
However, in some cases, you may not find quality servers in your region or your website may target a global audience. In such situations, using a content delivery network (CDN) can be a practicable solution. CDNs help distribute your website's content across multiple servers located in different regions, allowing users to access the content from a server that is closest to them. This can significantly improve website performance and reduce latency even if your servers are located far away from your users.
Many hosting companies offer CDN integration through CPanel, making it easy for you to enable it for your website. Whether you choose a free or paid CDN, using it can make a significant difference in your website's speed and overall performance.
3. Advantages of SSD-Based Servers and Additional Hosting FeaturesSSD-based servers have revolutionized the hosting industry with their lightning-fast speeds compared to traditional HDD-based servers. If you are looking for optimal performance for your website or application, choosing a hosting company that provides SSD-based servers is highly recommended.
In addition to SSD-based servers, it's also worth checking if your hosting provider offers GZIP compression and CDN configurations in the hosting panel. While these features are not critical, they can significantly improve your website's performance. GZIP compression reduces the size of files transferred between the server and the user's browser, resulting in faster loading times. CDNs distribute your website's content across multiple servers located in different regions, reducing latency and improving website speed.
If your hosting provider does not offer these features, you can always deploy them externally. However, it's worth checking with your hosting provider first, as they may offer them as additional services or integrations. By utilizing these features and choosing an SSD-based server, you can provide your website visitors with an optimized and speedy browsing experience.
4. Choosing a Reliable Hosting CompanyMany hosting companies claim to provide good infrastructure at affordable rates, but not all of them deliver on their promise. Some cheap hosting companies overload their servers on shared hosting, leading to significant slowdowns on websites. To avoid such issues, it's important to select a hosting company with a proven track record and a good reputation. When it comes to shared hosting, it's always recommended to choose from hosting companies that meet these criteria.
Based upon the above parameters, for shared hosting, I always recommend my readers to buy servers from any of the below hosting companies
4.1. DreamhostIt's a high-quality hosting solution with great features.
Dreamhost is a top-performing hosting company known for its excellent uptime and customer support. They offer a 100% uptime guarantee with SLA, meaning you can claim compensation for any downtime. Additionally, they provide an industry-best 97-day money-back guarantee with their annual hosting plan, which speaks to their confidence in their service. With only one plan, priced at $9.95 per month, Dreamhost offers great value for money. However, ProBlogBooster users can get an exclusive discount of $50 on the annual hosting plan, bringing the monthly cost down to $5.78 per month. This is a great deal considering the features offered, such as unlimited bandwidth, storage, and email accounts.
For those who are comfortable with Linux commands & managing their own servers, Dreamhost also offers unmanaged Cloud VPS servers starting at just $4.5 per month. This is an excellent option for experienced users who want the flexibility and cost savings of managing their own servers. Overall, Dreamhost is a comprehensive hosting solution with a variety of great features to suit different needs and budgets.
For more about DreamHost and its current offers, you can check here: DreamHost Hosting $60 OFF + Review | Special PROMO CODES
4.2. SiteGroundA hosting solution with high performance and excellent support.
SiteGround is a renowned hosting provider known for its fast servers, excellent uptime, and quality customer support. The basic "Startup plan" is priced at $3.95 per month, regardless of the hosting duration. However, there is a non-refundable set-up fee of $14.95 for the monthly plan. In addition to hosting, you also get a free domain name and free encrypted SSL.
While SiteGround is an excellent choice for hosting a single website, it can be more expensive than DreamHost at $7.95 per month for hosting multiple websites. However, SiteGround offers a range of shared hosting plans to meet various needs and budgets. Overall, SiteGround is a high-performance hosting solution with great support that's worth considering for your website.
Below are the hosting plans from SiteGround:
4.3. A2 HostingA speedy and affordable hosting solution.
A2 Hosting claims of being 300% faster than other hosting services. While this claim may not be valid, A2 Hosting is definitely faster than most other hosts. They provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee to ensure that your website is always up and running smoothly.
Their basic plan starts at $8.95 per month for annual billing and $7.99 per month for two years of billing. However, they offer a one-time discount of 51% off to all new users, regardless of the duration of hosting. This means that you can get their annual hosting for just $4.4 per month and their two-year plan for $3.92 per month. With A2 Hosting, you can get speedy and reliable hosting at an affordable price.
Below are the prices of A2 Shared Hosting for 2 years plan with discounts:
4.4. HostgatorHostGator is a well-known hosting company in the industry, offering fast servers and pleasant customer support. They provide a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 45 days money-back guarantee. The Hatchling Plan, their basic shared hosting plan, starts at $8.95 per month for annual billing. However, HostGator gives daily discounts ranging from 25% to 60%, so you can purchase their hosting at more affordable rates.
In addition to shared hosting, HostGator offers 'Managed Cloud Hosting' with Cpanel which provides more resources than their shared hosting plan. The 'Cloud Hatching Plan' will cost you $10.95 per month. However, the discounts for both shared hosting and cloud hosting vary on a daily basis.
You also need to read more about Hostgator; HostGator.com Review + Hosting Coupons Upto 90% OFF | Best Web Hosting
5. Well-Coded Themes and PluginsWhen selecting themes and plugins for their websites, bloggers often choose those that are either free or inexpensive and loaded with features. However, they often overlook the importance of checking whether these themes and plugins are well-coded and have fast loading times.
Many free themes created by inexperienced developers contain redundant scripts that generate unnecessary requests, leading to longer website loading times. Similarly, plugins can also cause website slowdowns. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you are using well-coded themes and plugins for your website, especially if you want to maintain good website speed and user experience.
Below are the top sources for free and paid themes and plugins:
5.1. MyThemeShopMyThemeShop offers more than 100 WordPress themes, both free and paid. If you wish to purchase a paid theme, it would cost you $59. However, if you want access to all themes and plugins available, you can purchase the MyThemeShop membership.
The membership requires a one-time signup fee of $87 and a recurring monthly charge of $9. The single theme comes with lifetime updates and support, but the MyThemeShop membership includes all the themes and plugins, including updates and support. If you cancel your membership, you can still use the themes and plugins that you have downloaded. However, you will not receive any further support or updates for them.
With MyThemeShop, you get an extensive collection of themes and plugins, making it a good choice for WordPress users.
Make sure to check MyThemeShop Review | FLAT 65% OFF Coupon Codes | Premium WordPress Themes/Plugins
5.2. WordPress RepositoryWhen choosing themes and plugins on WordPress, it is important to follow certain guidelines. To be approved for the WordPress Repository, theme, and plugin, authors must follow rules & guidelines. Though the themes found in the repository are typically well-coded, it is important to consider user ratings and comments before selecting a theme.
After picking and activating a free theme, it is also recommended to check if it affects the speed of your website or interferes with any of the installed plugins. This can be done by conducting a website speed test and checking for compatibility cases. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your website runs smoothly and efficiently with the use of well-coded themes and plugins.
5.3. Genesis Themes By StudiPressThemes based on Genesis Framework are a popular choice among WordPress users due to their quality coding & SEO-friendliness. Developed by experienced professionals in WordPress themes, Genesis Framework themes are well-structured and easy to customize.
For those who prefer to build their own child themes, the basic Genesis Framework can be purchased for $59.95. Alternatively, users can choose from a wide range of child themes available for $99.95 each. With lifetime support for unlimited websites and no developer license restrictions, these themes are also suitable for use on clients' websites.
It is worth noting that investing in a high-quality theme can have a positive impact on your website's performance and user experience, making it a worthwhile consideration for serious bloggers and businesses.
For free plugins, you can check my list of Top WordPress Plugins which are well coded and quick to load.
6. Use Cache PluginsThere are many free as well as paid cache management plugins available for WordPress. Below are the top 3 cache plugins for WordPress.
6.1 W3 Total CacheSpeed up your website with w3 total cache.
W3 Total Cache is a powerful caching plugin for WordPress that offers advanced configurations to speed up your website. While the multiple configurations can be complex for some, the plugin can be a great choice for those who want to optimize their website's performance.
If you're looking for guidance on how to configure W3 Total Cache for your website, check out our detailed article on the topic. We'll walk you through the necessary steps to reduce your page load time and improve your website's speed.
However, if you don't want to deal with the complexities of configuring the plugin, online developers offer a professional plugin configuration service for a one-time fee. With W3 Total Cache and the right configurations, you can significantly improve your website's speed and user experience.
6.2. WP Super CacheA Popular, user-friendly WP caching plugin.
WP Super Cache is a popular caching plugin with over 10 million downloads. It's a free plugin that requires minimal configuration, making it ideal for those who are new to caching or don't want to spend time tweaking settings.
While it may not offer as many advanced configuration options as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache is an excellent choice for those who want a simple, user-friendly caching solution. Its straightforward setup process and robotic interface make it easy to get started with caching.
However, for professionals who require more refined control over their caching settings, WP Super Cache may not provide enough flexibility. If you're looking to fine-tune your caching setup, you may want to consider a more advanced plugin like W3 Total Cache.
6.3. WP RocketThe fastest WordPress caching plugin with a price.
WP Rocket may not offer as many advanced options as other caching plugins, but it is considered the fastest out of the three. However, unlike its competitors, it is a premium plugin that requires a one-time fee ranging from $39 to $199 depending on the number of websites you want to use it on.
One thing to note is that after buying the plugin, you only receive support and updates for the first year. If you want to continue receiving these benefits, you have to renew the license every year. While this may seem like a downside, the speed and ease of use of WP Rocket make it a popular choice for many website owners.
7. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)In today's digital world, where the internet has become an integral part of our lives, having a website that loads quickly has become crucial. One of the factors that affect the loading speed of a website is the physical distance between the hosting server and the website visitor. If you want to enhance the speed of your website for a global audience or if your hosting server is located in a different region than your target readers, it's important to consider using a CDN. By distributing your website's content through servers located close to your visitors, a CDN helps reduce latency and boost your website's loading time. This is where the use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) becomes imperative.
In my experience, Cloudflare CDN is an excellent freemium CDN service provider that offers most of its essential features for free. Not only does it deliver your website's files to your viewers from their nearest location, but Cloudflare also provides robust security measures to safeguard your website from potential DDOS attacks.
In addition to these security features, Cloudflare also provides several optimization settings such as cache, minify, and more to further speed up your website's loading time. Overall, I highly recommend considering Cloudflare CDN to enhance your website's speed and security.
I recommend you to check Setting up CloudFlare in Blogger/WordPress | Free CDN Service | DDoS Protection | Website Optimization
8. Optimize Images for Web PerformanceImages can significantly impact the page size and loading speed of your website, particularly for users with slower internet connections. As a result, it's essential to optimize your images to minimize their size.
Fortunately, there are many free/paid desktop software & WordPress plugins available that can help you compress your images without losing quality. While the newest version of WordPress does offer image compression, my personal preference is the free WP Smush plugin for image optimization. Recently I have posted the tool Online WEBP Converter that can also help you to convert any image into compressed WEBP format.
WP Smush is simple to use and can reduce the size of your images without compromising their quality. The plugin will automatically optimize the images on your website upon upload, and it also has the option to bulk-compress your existing images. Additionally, it includes a feature that allows you to set a maximum width and height for your images, which can further reduce their size.
In conclusion, optimizing your images is an important step in reducing your website's load time, and using a plugin like WP Smush can simplify the process while still producing great results.
Check out Top 15 SEO Image Optimization Tips for Search Engine Traffic
9. Lazy Loading ImagesUsing too many images on your blog can make your page slow to load. Even if you optimize them, they can still take a while to appear. Luckily, there's a free solution: using plugins like Lazy Load.
These delay the loading of images until the user scrolls down, which means your page will load faster. If you're already using the WP Rocket caching plugin, you already have the lazy Load Feature available to you.
Check Add Lazy Load Script To Speed up Website/Blog Loading
10. Custom Excerpt in Home and ArchivesWhen you show the full content of each post on your home page or archives, it can make your website slower to load. This is because each post may contain a lot of images and information that takes longer to load.
To make your website load faster, it's recommended to use "excerpts" (i.e. sections) instead. Excerpts are shortened versions of your posts that only show a small portion of the content. This way, your website will load faster because it only needs to load a small amount of content.
If your website has a lot of posts, it's also a good idea to limit the number of posts shown on each page. I suggest limiting it to 5-8 posts per page. You can change this setting by going to "Settings" > "Reading" in your WordPress dashboard. On this page, you can also choose to show the "Summary" view instead of "Full Text". Some themes may require you to change the settings in their theme control panel to show "Excerpts".
11. Remove Unused PluginsSometimes we download plugins for our blog that we don't end up using. Default WordPress installation also comes with some plugins that might not be necessary for everyone. These unwanted plugins can slow down your website, so it's important to remove them to improve your website's loading speed.
12. Clean Up and Optimize Your WordPress DatabaseYour WordPress database can become large over time due to spam comments, post revisions, auto-draft posts, and posts in trash. This extended database slow down your website. To keep your website fast, it is essential to regularly clean your WordPress database.
There is a free plugin called WP-Optimize that can help you automatically optimize your database at a specified interval. It allows you to clean up unwanted data, optimize your database tables, and reduce the size of your database.
By using WP-Optimize, you can reduce the size of your database and improve your website's speed and performance.
13. Disable Trackbacks and Pings on WordPressWordPress uses pingbacks and trackbacks to notify you when someone links back to your blog post. However, this can cause strain on your website servers. Fortunately, there are other ways to find out who is linking back to your site, such as Google Search Console. Therefore, it is advisable to disable pingbacks and trackbacks.
To disable pingbacks and trackbacks, go to the "Discussion" option in the "Settings" menu on your WordPress Dashboard. Then, uncheck the box that says "Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles". This will prevent WordPress from sending you notifications when someone links to your blog. By disabling this feature, you can reduce the load on your website and improve its performance.
14. Stop Bots from Crawling WebsiteCrawler spam is a sneaky black hat trick used by some SEO people to make it look like their website is getting more visitors than it actually is. They do this by sending fake visitors to your website and making it look like they came from somewhere else. This can mess up your website data and slow down your website.
One way to stop crawler spam is to use a service like CloudFlare that can block most of it automatically. But, there may still be some that get through. If that happens, you can use a file called .htaccess to block them.
It's important to stop crawler spam because it can use up your server's resources and slow down your website. This can make your visitors have a bad experience and could even cause your website to crash. So, it's a good idea to keep an eye on your website data and block any suspicious traffic.
Bottom LineWebsite load time is an important factor for user experience and SEO. However, reducing it is not as complicated as it seems. By following the tips mentioned above, you can significantly improve your website's load time.
Regula tests carried out and published on Problogbooster showed that using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) had the greatest impact on page load time. It is also important to choose the right host, themes, plugins, and optimize your images.
If you have followed the tips mentioned in this article, let us know about the impact it has had on your website's load time.