Why speed is important for websites
Speed makes or breaks your website. It matters how well your site loads, whether pages are interactive and clear, and whether users get a good experience. All of these things are important factors in how effectively your customers interact with your site and how happy they are with your organization.
While it's tempting to think that faster loading speed means faster devices (hardware), it's actually the interaction between the browser and the server that gives users an optimal experience - meaning loading times don't always tell the whole story. Mobile devices are generally not always connected to a fast Wi-Fi network or do not always have sufficient range for their 3,4 and 5G connections. That's why developers split speed optimization for website into 'mobile' and 'non-mobile' users.
Speed has become an increasingly important metric for SEO. With the web getting faster every day, website users are visiting more websites to find what they're looking for and decide if it's a match or not. So there are many more alternatives for the same search query, so faster loading times will make your website a more pleasant environment to 'be there'. The chance then increases that the user lingers longer and even interacts with the website. Our goal is to make the website a pleasant environment together, so that the chance of success increases - for both the visitor (in many cases this is finding a solution) and also that of the company (acquiring customers).
How to measure the speed of your website
There is a lot of information on how to measure website speed, but most tools are focused on plugins and desktop tools. Our favorite tool to measure website speed is called PageSpeed Insights. This tool is made by Lighthouse a subsidiary of Google.
Lighthouse maps out which strengths and weaknesses can be found. The Lighthouse website speed analysis tool shows you how many seconds your website takes to load in each direction on mobile and desktop devices. It is also clear whether so-called 'cummulative layout shifts' take place. These are annoying jumps during loading that the user will see. It then analyzes the content along with the source (find technical issues), and provides useful tips to improve page speed.
How to improve website speed.
Of course you can largely rely on the tips Lighthouse gives you. But it's always helpful to solve the biggest retarders first. Then you will have a lot of results and your website user will be happy sooner. Below is a list of priority issues that we regularly encounter:
One of the biggest factors contributing to slow website loading time is not having an optimal server configuration. This means that the web server is not responding quickly enough to user requests, which can make your website seem unreachable. This can be caused by a variety of factors, so it's important to thoroughly understand the cause of the problem before spending hours trying to fix it.
Images not loading correctly
Images are beautiful, but slow loading images frustrate your visitors and can hurt your search engine rankings. Images on your site are resource intensive and can be render blocking. This basically means that the browser cannot do anything else until the images are loaded. So it is much more valuable to the user if they load quickly, because other elements remain invisible until the sources of the images are downloaded.
It is possible to reduce images in size (i.e. how large the files are) without affecting how beautifully the image appears. To do this, there are algorithms that can help you.
It is possible for almost every website to optimize at any time of the day. There are many factors that can affect the performance of your website, from the service level of your server to the size of the website's content.
There really are a lot of things you can do to your own website to improve its performance. But when it comes to optimizing a website and its code used by search engines, there are quite a few things to keep in mind. Rootsteps therefore ensures that you do not have to worry about this yourself. The website is regularly checked and improved. This way you reap the benefits of a maintenance contract and you always use the fastest possible resources.