May 17, 2024 Web Development

5 Tips to Decrease Your Website's Loading Times

An often overlooked factor of a website's user experience is simply how long it takes users to access. According to Google, raising a website's load time from 1 to 3 seconds increases the probability visitors will leave without engaging by 32%. This number only rises as load times go up. Clearly, a poorly optimized website can be very costly in the form of missed engagement. To help avoid this, here are five tips for decreasing website load times.

1. Make sure your images are optimized

One of the easiest ways to decrease the loading time of a website is to optimize any images that the page needs to load. It's not uncommon for modern websites to feature large graphics that cover a decent portion of the screen or a large number of smaller images. These images provide a nice user experience, but can easily become the biggest factor in a page's load time if left unchecked.

To minimize the effect images have on your website's load time, you should check to ensure that each one is exported at an appropriate size for where it is being used and in the right file format for the type of image it is.

Additionally, there are tools available that can help further decrease image file sizes, like TinyPNG.

2. Allow lazy loading for non-essential images

If your website includes many images, some of which may not be visible on initial page load, it might be worth setting them to use lazy loading.

<img loading="lazy" src="image.png" alt="..." />

This allows the browser to avoid loading off-screen images until the user actually scrolls near them, decreasing initial load times.

3. Minify your CSS and JavaScript

By minifying the script files and stylesheets your website requires, you can decrease their file size and, therefore, the amount of data users need to download. If a website relies on multiple files of the same type, it can also help to combine them. This reduces the number of separate HTTP requests required to load the page, further reducing load times.

4. Allow caching for reused assets

If your website uses the same assets across pages, letting those assets be cached can help prevent them from needing to be reloaded, reducing loading times between pages.

5. Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

If a website is targeted toward people around the world, using a CDN can help reduce the distance information has to travel between the server and end users. By serving content from an optimized server closest to the user, increased loading times due to physical distance can be prevented.

Is your website's load time costing you valuable engagement? Contact us today to optimize your site and keep your visitors engaged!