Page loading time is an important web performance metric that determines the user experience, business reputation and SEO rankings. It is measured as the average amount of time taken by the webpage to fully load the content on the web browser when a request is made by user to access the page. Websites that load within first few seconds deliver better user experience, higher conversions and business revenues whereas slow loading sites are not appreciated by the customers. Since page loading time is one of the algorithm factors that Google considers to determine the search engine rankings, sites with higher speed most likely rank better in search results and have greater possibility to get more visitors than slow loading websites.
The loading time of a webpage depends on various factors such as network connectivity, webpage design, browser caching, page redirects etc. Site owners have to work on these aspects in order to optimize their websites and improve page loading speeds.
Review existing hosting plan
Network and server response depends on efficiency of the hosting solution. Slow web server and network response can delay webpage loading speeds. In addition to that, it is important to assess hosting services for bandwidth & server capability and see if it can accommodate the demands of website. When a web hosting plan is chosen with low hosting resources such as shared hosting, then it will impact the working and performance of the websites. Especially, webpages with complex design using images and graphics, experience slow page loads due to poor server resources. The site owners should review their existing hosting plan to ensure that the hosting service has the configuration to support their websites estimated peak volume.
Follow best practices in page design
Use content delivery networks (CDN)
Since location is one of the factors that influence the page speeds, using CDN is a good alternative to make the content speedily available for customers. As CDNs work on the mechanism of caching the page content across the servers located in various geographical areas, they serve end users with faster page speeds from the nearest servers.
To display full content of a webpage, browser has to load several images, CSS files and other text content. If images are heavy and CSS files are complicated, then webpage takes longer to display on the browser. When browser caches the content, it stores page resources on local computers and eventually uses that data for subsequent requests. Instead of making repeated HTTP requests, the page gets resources from cache and displays it on the browser at a faster speed.
Redirecting the browser from one URL to another adds additional HTTP request and delays the response of the webpage. Page redirects are used for various purposes, to indicate the new location of a website, connect broken links between webpages or direct multiple domain names to the main website. When multiple URL redirects are used, it decreases the page performance because repeated HTTP requests are made to the server. Minimizing the number of redirects reduces delay in page loading and improves overall performance of the site.
Track page response using website monitoring service
A website page can have different load times when accessed from different locations, devices and browsers. An appropriate tool is required to measure page response under different scenarios. When searching for tools to assess page load times and website performance, site owners many come across many choices online that provide free monitoring services. But, many of these free tools may not give correct assessment about page speed because they have limited features and ability to test websites for different scenarios. For accurate data, websites can use more efficient approach such as an external website monitoring service which has better ability to test site performance for various situations from multiple servers placed across different locations. The advanced comprehensive features of site monitoring, not only checks for page load times but also tracks overall performance of the websites.
Alertra is a leading provider of website monitoring and alerting services. We monitor the availability and performance of Internet-connected devices. Alertra website monitor provides timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. We offer monitoring service to all sizes of businesses right from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.