Critical Web Optimization Performance Techniques (+ 3 Cases of Analysis)

cnxt_dev
cnxt_dev
2018/08/08 08:00

performance optimization

 

Want to boost your site’s performance? These are the web optimization techniques you need to be implementing.

How well your website performs is directly related to the amount of traffic your site receives and how much your conversion rates fluctuate.

Today’s online users expect speed and efficiency from the websites they visit and since there is a multitude of other websites out there, users won’t hesitate to navigate to a different site should yours not be able to meet their requirements. Sites that perform at optimum levels are also perceived as more credible and of a higher quality.

Website performance is also a key factor in search engine optimization, with Google rewarding sites that can provide searchers with the best possible experience.

In other words, there’s no excuse not to focus on website performance optimization (WPO) if you want to rank well in search results and encourage visitors to spend more time on your site.

Testing your site’s performance

There are a number of great tools available that will help you test your site’s performance, GTMetrix being one of the most popular tools.

Let’s look at 3 case studies to review how this tool works:

CNXT

After running the website through the GTMetrix tool, these were the results:

As you can see, the site’s PageSpeed Score is very low. The following key fixes were suggested:

  • Enable GZip Compression: By compressing specific resources, CNXT will be able to reduce their file transfer size, which should improve the speed of their website.
  • Minify JavaScript: Minifying the JavaScript on certain pages will remove unnecessary code and in turn, speed up the site.
  • Leverage Browsing Caching: Enabling browser caching will allow visitors to store files on their computer so that they don’t need to download elements such as style sheets, JavaScript scripts, and graphics every time they visit the CNXT site.

KOBIT Japan

After running the website through the GTMetrix tool, these were the results:

The PageSpeed Score of the KOBIT website is far higher than CNXT so the changes that have been suggested aren’t as critical but they will still help improve the site’s performance.

  • Optimise images: By reducing the size of certain images, KOBIT will be able to increase the speed of their site.
  • Leverage browsing caching: The KOBIT site would also be able to benefit from browser caching.
  • Combine images using CSS sprites: An image sprite is a collection of images that can be combined into a single image. Images are obviously one area that KOBIT could focus on in order to achieve better website performance stats.

KOBIT International 

After running the website through the GTMetrix tool, these were the results:

The KOBIT landing page has a fantastic PageSpeed Score so only minimal changes are required to keep the score at optimum levels.

  • Optimise images: There are several images on this site that can still be optimized to increase the speed.
  • Leverage browser caching: Again, browser caching will ensure that KOBIT can maintain this PageSpeed Score.
  • Served scaled images: Scaled images match the exact size defined in CSS or HTML and will help KOBIT retain their great score.

Key website performance optimization techniques to apply in 2018

Let’s look at some of the other ways that you can improve your site’s performance in addition to the above suggestions as well as improve your SEO rankings.

  1. Reduce HTTP requests. The more HTTP requests your website is making, the slower your site will be. Reducing your HTTP requests will be one of the most important optimization techniques that you can implement, so start with this before anything else.
  2. Lossy compression. Lossy compression techniques remove any non-essential header details and reduce the quality of images in order to speed up websites.
  3. Reduce 301 redirects. 301 Redirects are one of the main reasons why so many sites experience performance issues. By eliminating any unnecessary 301 redirects, you can instantly improve your website’s PageSpeed Score.
  4. Domain name prefetching. When you resolve a domain name before a user follows a link, you can slightly improve your site’s performance.
  5. Re-evaluate fonts. Using fonts such as Google fonts does add to your number of HTTP requests so if possible, only stick to the styles that you need and keep your character sets to a minimum.
  6. Secure your site. Since Google has started penalizing sites that don’t have SSL certificates, installing one can help your performance and your SEO rankings too.
  7. Re-evaluate your hosting. If your website is hosted by an inferior hosting company, your website’s performance could be affected. It’s best to refrain from using cheap, shared hosting.
  8. Reduce 404 errors. The more 404 errors that your website produces, the more strain it puts on your server, which in turn slows down your website.

WordPress website performance optimization plugins

If you’re running your website on the WordPress platform, here are a few plugins that will make it easier to implement some of these fixes.

  • WP-Optimize. Use this plugin to clean up your WordPress database and speed up your website.
  • WP-Rocket. This powerful caching plugin will assist you with GZIP compression, browser caching, database optimization, Google font optimization and more.
  • Imagify. This is another image-related plugin that will help you implement any fixes related to image optimization.
  • Fast Velocity Minify. Reduce HTTP requests and minify your JavaScript with the help of this powerful plugin.  
  • WP Fastest Cache. This plugin will help you to minify your CSS and your HTML in order to speed up your site.

 

Remember that even after you take steps to optimize your site’s performance, it’s important to keep tracking it to ensure that you can maintain favorable scores.