Since studies have revealed higher rates of abandonment for the websites where a page takes more than 4 seconds to load, web developers have got a new benchmark to achieve in terms of page loading time. Online businesses or Ecommerce sites need to ensure a faster loading of website, or it will leave a significant number of visitors frustrated, which may include regular visitors or customers, and find their way to other websites that load faster. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners, especially small business entrepreneurs, opt for cheap website development with inexperienced professionals and lose a significant business to their competitors having faster-loading sites.
Today, it’s very important for the web development professionals to know the techniques of reducing the loading time and serving the web pages faster. Here are a few ways how they can make a site load in lesser time.
Image optimization and the use of thumbnails
Using appropriate graphic tools, it’s possible to optimize website images to best suit the online use. Web optimized images will have substantially reduced file size and hence will allow for a faster loading. These tools are capable to compress the images up to 80% without disturbing its quality. Also, if using a large image is not essential, one may consider using a thumbnail, which is a smaller representation of an image providing an option to the user to click on it and view the larger version. It’s to be understood, therefore, that if a page has thumbnails as a replacement of the full images it will load much faster.
More use of static images and reduced animation
In contrast to the animated videos or graphics, the use of static images will remarkably reduce the time a web page will take to load. The static images are lighter as compared to the Flash animation and hence can be loaded faster in the browser.
A wise use of tables
If you are using tables as the framework of your site, make sure that you use them wisely. As a web browser waits until all the items are loaded in a table before rendering the content, it will keep a user waiting too long if your entire page content is sitting between a table and a table tag. The web page content should be divided in smaller chunks of data by splitting up the content into header, middle, and footer tables. This will keep visitors interested as they will have at least something to read while the page is loading.
Even if tables are to be utilized, the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to format and style your web page content can greatly improve your website’s load time as it cuts down on the long drawn out tags and substitute them with smaller class styles.
Use of common image folder
This will eliminate the possibility of image duplication when it is such that the same image appears on a number of pages and in different sections. If a common image folder is used, the user’s browser will be able to find the images with minimum efforts, resulting into faster loading. Besides, a common file for images is also part of a good file base structure.
Have a practice of monitoring the site speed
Monitoring your website’s speed on a regular basis will help you observe if it’s happening too frequently that the server on which your website is hosted is running slow. This may give you a timely indication if it calls for upgrading the web hosting package or switching to a better host.
Set limits to the database queries
Assigning limits to the total number of queries to be allowed to a particular web page can keep the load on the hosting server in control. If the information on the index page is kept to the point with an easy navigation structure, it will help the index page to be accessed real fast.
A slow website can lead to losses in many ways. On the other hand, a faster-loading website will make better sales and conversions as visitors could access the information and services quite quickly. If the abovementioned techniques are taken into account, it’s not difficult to develop a website for better profits.