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Checklist for Improving Website Speed Performance

Suhani Purohit
Written By
Suhani Purohit
Published On
Oct 20, 2022
A loading bar

In the world of “SEO,” website speed plays a key role in increasing a website’s ranking. Did you know that if your website takes more than three seconds to load, it impacts your website’s ranking and increase your website’s bounce rate?

It not only affects rankings but user experience as well. When visitors have good internet speed and encounter bad website loading speed, it can cause frustration—and paves an opportunity for them to visit your competitors’ websites instead. 

Ultimately, having an optimal website loading speed and a better user experience can increase your website’s visibility on Google search result pages.

Wondering how to improve website speed performance? Here are the top six factors that play a major role in improving website speed.

Checklist for Improving Website Speed:

  1. Optimize images
  2. Reduce unused Javascript 
  3. Reduce unused CSS
  4. Detect 404 Error
  5. Enable browser caching 
  6. Reduce the number of plugins
A checklist to improve website speed

1. Optimize Images

First on our checklist for improving website speed, let’s highlight the importance of optimizing images.

One of the most important parts of your website is showing your story with graphics. It adds a little personal touch, which keeps your users engaged with the website. 
However, having a large image size can make your website speed slow. To mitigate this issue, images are required to be compressed before you upload them to the site. One way to reduce file size is through Gzip compression. Before transmitting the files to the browser, Gzip compresses them. On the user’s end, a browser presents the contents after unzipping the files.

2. Reduce Unused Javascript

CSS and JavaScript are vital parts of a website. Without Javascript, there would be no dynamic web pages, the site would be less interactive, and there would be no engaging elements on the website. 

However, the process of loading the webpage for a browser and showing the output content becomes complicated when the browser detects a render blocking resource. A render blocking resource is nothing but a script. If detected when the browser is analyzing all the web page HTML, it pauses the HTML parsing and starts fetching and executing the script that impacts the loading webpage. 

For WordPress users, there are many plugins that help to optimize the CSS and JS. Another way is to optimize the render blocking resource manually. In manual optimization, we use two different attributes: async (ansychronous) and defer. This helps the browser first load the content, then fetch and execute the JS that will increase the loading time.

3. Reduce Unused CSS

Without CSS, a website will look like plain text. However, if the website’s loading speed is slow, unused CSS can be another factor affecting it. 

When the browser loads the website, it downloads all the external CSS before it is displayed to the user. During this process, the browser looks at the downloaded CSS and checks the rules. If there is unused CSS, the browser will take time to display the content and it may consume two kiB or more bytes. In order to mitigate this, it is recommended to remove it. Also, having a compressed CSS file can help the page load fast.

4. Detect 404 Error

There are a few scenarios—like when you change your website service page URL from example.com/service to example.com/our-service and a user clicks on the old URL—that will lead to a display of an “Error code: 404 error”. This will lead users to leave the website without navigating it and can negatively affect the website’s reputation.

In this case, you need to apply a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection, which is helpful in scenarios when your service webpage backlinks are on different websites.

5. Enable Browser Caching

Whenever users come to your website for the first time, the browser should store all the images, JavaScript, and stylesheet files so that the next time they visit, the page will not have the need to reload entirely. That means fewer http requests and a website loading much faster.

6. Reduce the Number of Plugins

If your website is developed, for instance, on WordPress, you might have unnecessary plugins that affect your website speed. Unnecessary plugins may be used to add a Google analytics code; however, this can be done manually. If more plugins are installed, the website will take more time to load.

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Improve Website Speed and User Experience with The Influence Agency

That wraps up our checklist for improving website speed.

If you’re looking for next-level strategies on how to improve website speed performance and improve user experience, the experts at The Influence Agency have got you covered. 

The Influence Agency is a leading digital marketing agency in North America—and you can count on us to ensure that your website maintains technical SEO and ranks higher in Google search results. 

Contact us today to learn more!

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