Performance Optimisation

Five top tips to improve your website performance

Stuart Gibson
Stuart Gibson
  • 05 Feb 2018
  • 8 min read

Turn your visitors into loyal customers by improving the performance of your website and increasing the conversion rate.

Website conversions

There are numerus websites out there that don’t reach their full potential due to lack of focus on performance optimisation. Today it’s not enough to have a great looking website, you also need to deliver your content fast if you want to cut through in an over crowded digital space.

In today’s world we expect things fast – a taxi in five minutes, an amazon parcel the next day, a pizza in 15 minutes and as web users we are no different. Nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.

Website speed and performance can have a significant impact on user experience and therefore conversions. Just take a look at these stats which demonstrate the impact:

  • BBC has seen that they lose an additional 10% of users for every additional second it takes for their site to load.
  • The Trainline reduced latency by 0.3 seconds across their funnel and customers spent an extra £8 million (~$11.5 million) a year.
  • COOK increased conversion rate by 7% after cutting average page load time by 0.85 seconds. Bounce rate also fell by 7% and pages per session increased by 10%.

Source: https://wpostats.com/

So, optimising your website in order to maximise your conversion rates will ultimately increase your bottom line. Great! But how do you achieve optimum performance? There are plenty of proven strategies that you and your digital agency can apply to your website to improve its performance.

Here are some of the top things you should be considering or at least challenging your digital agency about to improve your website performance.

1.Image optimisation

Images can be some of the most performance hungry assets so it’s important you take steps to optimise them.

Images can be some of the most performance hungry assets so it’s important you take steps to optimise them. When exporting your images from image editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop, be sure to select “save for web” and export them in the format best suited to the type of image you are exporting. Adjust the image quality settings to see the visual trade-off between file size and visual quality. If you have a CMS then then you should speak to your digital agency about how your platform optimises the images for different devices and screen sizes, for example you don’t want to serve a desktop sized image to a mobile device.

2.Caching

Caching is the process of storing data in memory so that it can be served much faster for subsequent requests, without the need to download it over the network again. Setting long caches for static assets such as images, fonts, styles and javascripts reduces the number of requests that are made to the server and prevents users from repeatedly downloading the same assets when they revisit the same pages on your site. However, there should be a strategy in place to trigger a fresh download if an asset is updated – a process known as cache-busting.

3.Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDN is a system of distributed servers that deliver pages and web content to a user, based on their geographic location. This service makes the delivery of assets much quicker. A few years ago, this wasn’t so important but as brands are becoming more and more international it is becoming a bigger priority. You will pay more to store content on the delivery network, but it will give you some real performance improvements so definitely something to think about if you are an international brand or have high traffic volumes.

4.Hosting

One of the key things that will impact your website’s performance is how good your hosting is. Investing in your hosting infrastructure is vitally important and ensuring your hosting provider is clear on your performance requirements will help to ensure the right provision is defined. Everything else that can be optimised will make a difference but if you opt for low cost hosting then this will significantly hinder your site’s performance.

5.Minimise redirects

Redirects generate additional round trip times (RTT) and therefore double the time required to load the initial HTML document

Redirects generate additional round trip times (RTT) and therefore double the time required to load the initial HTML document before the browser even starts to load other assets. As such if redirects can be avoided, they should be.

 

The above are just a few examples of ways your website’s performance can be improved but there are many more things that you should be measuring and improving if you want your website to perform as your users expect. 

If you want to find out more get in touch with one of our digital consultants to help you get the most out of your website. 

Related articles
from our blog