Website Speed and Performance Optimization- Beginners Guide

Read this guide to know how to optimize website speed

A slow loading website page can put negative impact on website performance, bounce rate, conversions and search engine presence. Website speed is one of important ranking factor, know the complete ranking factor list here

Before discussing the factors and how to optimize website speed you can test the website speed using these two tools.


Test Website Speed Using Pingdom


Website Speed Optimization Test Using GtMetrix

Before checking website speed in these tools please clear the browser cache to get accurate result. Higher the page speed score means you website have faster loading. A page with speed score closer to 100 has faster loading, a page with speed score 80 is considered as a good score. If you score is less than 80 then you need website speed optimization. Gtmetrix also shows recommendations to optimize the website speed.

Objectives That Should Be Covered While Optimizing

Leverage Browser Caching
Minimize Http Requests
Reduce Server Response Time
Optimize Images
Minify Javascript & CSS
Minimize Redirects

Leverage Browser Caching

Leverage browser caching means to reduce load time by storing commonly used files of website on visitors’ browser.

Example- Logo of a website do not change from day to day, caching logo image tells the visitor’s browser download it at specified interval and if visitor revisit the website in specified interval it does not have to download that image again. For specified interval you have to set expiry date of certain files.

To know more about Browser Caching and how to leverage read here

Minimize HTTP Requests

Remove broken links and bad requests made by user browser like 404, 410 and 500, it means keep website error free. You can also minimize Http request size by keeping HTTP request header as small as possible. Http request header includes Cookies, browser set fields, requested resource URL and referrer URL. Eliminate the unnecessary cookies and try to keep size of cookies less than 400 bytes.

You can also specify a character set in Http response header to allow browser parsing Html and executing scripts immediately.

Use 301 redirect to redirect all non Https pages to Https pages if your website is on Https. Also fix canonical issues like non www version redirects to www version and vice-versa.

Reduce Server Response Time

Server response time measure the actual time taken to load necessary HTML to begin generating a web page from web server, Google say keep the server response time under 200ms.

If you are using a WordPress website then you can reduce server response time by using latest version of PHP, WordPress and Plugins. Also minimize the use of WordPress Plugins and Widgets, use them if they are necessary. Even disabling comment section can reduce server response time or show the comment section when user request for it.

To know more about how to minimize the HTTP requests and how to reduce server response time with more explanation then check out

Optimize Images

If your website contains large number of images and you do not optimize them wisely, it can lead to slow down the website loading. You can remove extra space in the images to reduce the size of image, also specify the width and height of images for faster rendering. Save images to appropriate File Format either JPEG or PNG. Remove Empty <Img scr=””> from website page to reduce HTTP Requests.

Minify Javascript & CSS

Minify means to compress the size of file by reducing commas, comments and extra spaces from the file.

You can use these tools

to check where you need to minify Javascript and CSS. Also use Inline CSS to reduce the HTTP requests and load time.

Minimize Redirects

Minimizing HTTP redirects from one URL to another reduces Round Trip Time (RTT) and wait time for users. RTT is time taken by a browser to send a request to server and the server to send a response to browser. Also use server side redirects than client side redirects as browsers can handle them more efficiently.  To know more about server side redirects read this guide

Also Read- Important Ingredients Of A SEO Friendly Website