Since Google prioritizes page speed as a ranking metric, slow website loading speeds can threaten your website’s search ranking. This will decrease your organic traffic volume.
For those without technical knowledge, optimizing website speed might sound difficult. In reality, there are easy ways you can improve your page load times.
In this article, we’ll provide a guide on how to speed up a website. We will also discuss what makes a website load faster, why website speed matters, and the ideal web page loading time.
Table of Contents
Step 1. Pick the right template for your website
Nowadays, you cannot get traffic just by having a good-looking website template. It also needs to be optimized for fast page load times.
A website template that fits such criteria is generally lightweight. This means they don’t have too many elements to load.
- We recommend you use a design that’s efficient with its use of languages and overall size. Each element must contribute to the website’s aesthetic and functional value.
- Google ranks mobile-friendly websites first. Your website template needs to be mobile responsive and SEO-friendly.
Here at Zyro, you’ll find a vast selection of fast and responsive web templates — all free to use.
Zyro’s website templates are designed with page speed in mind. We make sure your website loads fast.
You might need something as simple as a Wedding Invitation website template. This displays the most essential information about your special day.
Need an online resume? No problem. This Resume website template helps you stand out from the crowd.
Step 2. Optimize images on your website
Most websites add images to their content. Certain websites, like eCommerce websites and online portfolios, display hundreds of pictures.
While it’s vital to use high-quality images, stuffing your website with large files can decrease your website speed significantly.
Optimizing images on your website is a must. This method involves compressing the image’s file size without affecting its quality.
We recommend performing image optimization using a compression tool.
Compressing image files
Compressing images doesn’t crop anything out, and usually results in no quality loss.
There are two types of image compression — lossy and lossless.
- Lossy compression deletes some of your image’s data to decrease its size. This method may compromise the quality of an image if done excessively, so be mindful of how far you go.
- Lossless compression discards the image’s metadata to shrink the file size. While it preserves the picture’s quality, the size won’t be as small as with lossy compression.
The lossless method enables you to restore the compressed image to its previous version, while lossy doesn’t.
It’s best to experiment with both methods to know which compression type is right for optimizing your images.
Image file formats
Image file types play a big role in your pictures’ quality and load time.
The most common image file types found on websites are PNG, JPEG, and GIF.
- The PNG format is usually the highest in quality. It’s best for showing off graphics with small details and text — like icons, high-resolution header images, and screenshots.
- The JPEG format is ideal for photos with lots of color data. You can use both lossy and lossless compression for this file type and not get a noticeable quality drop.
- The GIF format is best for animations. Complex, static visual content may find this format limiting as it only supports 256 colors. Lossless compression works best for GIF files as it allows you to maintain the animation’s quality.
Regardless of your method, the easiest way to compress your images is to use online tools.
Step 3. Keep your website secure
Securing your website means adding security features to prevent cyber attacks. Attacks that can corrupt data with malicious scripts.
Most of today’s browsers verify each website for SSL certificates and potentially malicious content.
If your website isn’t up to their standard, the website might not load at all.
Here are some tips to protect your website:
Use a strong password
We’ve all made the same mistake of using the same, easy-to-remember password for all of our online accounts.
Despite the convenience, reusing a weak password can leave your entire online presence open to hacker attacks.
Therefore, make sure to use a designated, strong password for each of your accounts.
Generally, a secure password should be:
- Impersonal — don’t refer to any information related to your life
- A combination of character types — incorporate uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Lengthy — use a minimum of 12 characters
- Unrecognizable by any language — avoid entries taken directly from a dictionary
Implement two-factor authentication
One of the best ways to fortify your website’s defenses is to use two-factor authentication.
Many websites and apps today integrate their signup process with popular platforms like Google and Facebook for convenience purposes.
However, hackers can gain access to all services that use this security method if they manage to hack user accounts.
Having two-factor authentication on your website can help prevent this situation.
- In addition to the standard login details — username and password — you also have to submit a unique code generated by an authenticator software.
- The authenticator software usually comes in the form of a mobile application or a security key dongle.
- This extra layer of security makes sure that only eligible users get access to your website.
- You can add two-factor authentication to your website by buying it from a security company like Broadcom, or build your own system.
Use an SSL certificate
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) secures communication between your users and your server by encrypting the data transferred between them.
It verifies your website’s identification — ensuring users and search engines that you’re running an honest, reputable website.
- This feature is essential for all websites, particularly those that ask for users’ sensitive information.
- Installing it on your website lets you use the HTTPS protocol. This enables the server-client communication encryption.
- Today, most browsers require websites to use an SSL certificate as an essential security measure.
- Enabling it on your website makes the verification process of the browser easier. This results in faster page loading times.
With Zyro, you get to enjoy all these SSL’s benefits without dealing with its pesky installation process.
All of our plans come with a free SSL certificate. So, your website is already secure the moment it goes online.
Step 4. Limit the use of iFrames
An iFrame — short for an inline frame — is an HTML tag. It’s used for featuring external elements from other websites on your website.
More specifically, it’s used for embedding content like YouTube videos, Google Maps, and advertisements.
- While using iFrames can free up your storage space, the tag slows your website performance.
- A browser has to load its scripts and perform additional DNS lookups to the source web page.
- iFrames carry security risks that may endanger your website. If you embed content from a malicious website, you create weaknesses on your website for hackers to exploit.
Therefore, it’s best to reduce the number of iFrames on your website.
Step 5. Remove broken links
Broken links lead users to a web page or a file that is no longer available.
This event triggers a 404 error message. This can harm your website’s user experience, and increase the bounce rate, reducing traffic and hurting SEO.
Because of this, it’s essential to do regular checks for broken links and remove them altogether from your website.
Step 6. Optimize your content placement
When you access a website, the browser will load any content above the fold first. This is the set of elements that appear visible from the top to the bottom of the user’s device screen.
- To load the bottom portions below the fold, you need to scroll down and reach the lower sections first.
- By ensuring that the content within the upper part of the web page is lightweight, the page will load much faster.
- Optimizing content placement is important. You get to reduce the page load time, improve user experience, and reduce bounce rate.
This is ideal for websites that use large-sized visual content. It allows users to see a portion of the website while the browser loads the rest of the elements.
What makes a website load fast?
There are several significant contributing factors to fast website speed. They include web hosting and browser cache.
Reliable hosting service
The quality of your web hosting decides your website speed.
- Finding the right hosting plan requires extensive research.
- As there are many types of web hosting, you need to consider your website needs and the traffic volume you expect.
- It’s essential to go with a reputable hosting provider with helpful support, reliable security, and enough resources for your website performance.
If you don’t know which hosting provider to choose, consider using Zyro to build your website.
All Zyro plans come with professionally-managed web hosting and 24-hour customer support.
You get to concentrate on building your dream website without worrying about your hosting.
Browser caching enables a browser to store static web elements after it loads the web page for the first time.
This way, the browser can retrieve the data stored locally every time the user visits the web page. This saves it having to submit new HTTP requests and downloading elements every time.
By enabling browser caching, you reduce page load time. You also save on resources your server uses with HTTP requests during traffic spikes.
Why does website speed matter?
Your page load time is one of the key factors to your website’s success.
- 53% of mobile website visitors abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load
- 70% of consumers consider website speed a key determinant of their purchase decision
These statistics show that visitors judge your website the second they access it. Your content will do you no good unless they’re willing to wait for it to load.
Your website’s bounce rate represents visitors’ satisfaction with your web pages. Having a high bounce rate means that users click off your website after a short time.
A high bounce rate leads to a decrease in retention and conversion rate.
With Google favoring fast-loading websites, slow websites are unlikely to rank high on SERP. Consequently, your website gets less traffic and exposure.
For these reasons, it’s essential to always find ways to speed up your website.
How long should a website take to load?
There are several ways to measure page load times:
- Time to First Byte (TTFB) — represents the duration needed for a browser to receive the first piece of information
- Speed index — perceives the duration for a website to fully load on a browser
- Page size — counts the total file size that your website uses
- The number of resources — the number of HTTP requests your website makes and the duration it takes to complete
Google recommends that a website should take less than three seconds to load on both desktop and mobile devices.
In reality, most websites are nowhere near Google’s standards.
- The average page speed is 4.7 seconds on desktop devices and 11.4 seconds on mobile devices
- The average website size is 1.969 MB for desktop and 1.770 MB for mobile
- Meanwhile, the median TTFB speed is 1.286 seconds on desktop devices and 2.594 seconds on mobile devices
At a glance, Google might set an extremely high bar for websites to follow. Nonetheless, it’d be best to use these suggestions as benchmarks to strive for.
Tools to check your website speed
There are many online tools you can use to monitor your page speed.
Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the best website optimization tools.
Powered by Google, this tool is free to use and generates a detailed report of your website speed in a matter of seconds.
All you need to do is enter your website’s URL, and the tool will run a speed test to evaluate your website performance.
Not just that, but Google PageSpeed Insights also provides recommendations on how to improve your page load time.
Test My Site is an excellent website speed test that can help you improve the loading time of your overall website and individual web pages.
This tool takes a step further by letting you compare your page loading time with other websites. This helps predict conversion rates once the speed increases.
Alternatively, you can use Pingdom — another great free website speed test. It calculates the total page size, HTTP requests, and load time.
Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom also gives suggestions on how to increase your web page performance.
While these tools provide useful insights into your website performance, they’re meant to be used as guides to speed up a website instead of fixed metrics.
All website optimization suggestions should be taken with a grain of salt and put into careful consideration.
How to speed up a website recap
Having a fast website that only takes seconds to load can lead to a better user experience. You can expect higher conversion rates and more exposure for your brand.
For these reasons, it’s essential to always optimize your website speed.
To speed up your website’s load time, make sure to:
- Pick the right web template — choose a lightweight and responsive web template for best display and performance across devices.
- Optimize images — reduce your image file sizes by cropping or compressing them.
- Keep your website secure — add essential security like a strong password, two-factor authentication, and an SSL certificate to prevent cyber threats.
- Limit the use of iFrames — excessive use of iFrames can lead to slower loading time and weak security.
- Remove broken links — eliminate links that lead to malicious or nonexistent web pages.
- Optimize your content placement — make your top, above-the-fold content light for faster load time.
If you use Zyro, you already took the first step to have a fast and secure website.
Our SEO-friendly web templates and reliable web hosting set you up for success.
Now that you have learned how to speed up a website, all that’s left to do is for you to apply these optimization methods on your website.