9 Actionable Steps to Improve Website Performance

User or customer experience is of vital importance these days for company success. If you operate in the online world and own a website, you’ll have to provide consumers with the most exceptional experience possible or risks losing a lot of traffic.

The fact of the matter is that online consumers have an abundance of choices regarding making online purchases. As a result, they tend to be picky. Therefore, they’re not only focused on the quantity or quality of your products and services, but they are mostly focused on the experience you can provide them with.

How your website looks and how it performs can affect that experience in more ways than one. So, if you want to attract and retain more customers on your website, you’ll have to boost your website’s performance. Here are a few actionable steps that will help you do that.

1. Improve website speed

Website speed and page loading time are arguably the most important factors when it comes to website performance. Nobody wants to spend time on a website that takes too long to load, especially consumers who went to a website to browse products and eventually make purchases.

wp rocket banner

If a consumer comes across a sluggish website, they will leave immediately. Moreover, they will never come back, and they will quickly spread the word about their bad experience on your site. You want to avoid such scenarios at any cost.

The majority of consumers are so impatient that they’ll become outraged if it takes only a second too long for your website to load its content. That one-second delay can result in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, an 11% decrease in page views, and a 7% decrease in conversion rate.

2. Choose the right web hosting provider

Your website’s performance largely depends on your hosting provider. A hosting service allocates space for your website on the Internet. They give you server space, web address, and domain, while they also keep your website up and running.

There are various types of web hosting you can opt for, and each solution will affect website performance in some way. For example, if you have a WordPress website, you can either choose a self-hosting option or an option that has web hosting included.

siteground web hosting

Either way, web hosting is an investment, and you have to choose wisely if you want good website performance. That said, if you go for a shared hosting feature, for instance, you should know that this model is cheaper, but you also share server resources with other websites, so don’t expect peak performance.

3. Optimize your website for mobile

An essential part of your website performance is mobile-friendliness. Nowadays, the majority of online consumers use mobile devices to browse the Internet. That said, your website must be mobile-friendly. Today, mobile traffic has vastly increased globally, and it will continue to do so in the future.

Catering to mobile user expectations and needs should, therefore, be your top priority. The main reason is that even search engines, such as Google, favor mobile-friendly websites. What you should strongly consider is implementing a responsive design.

You can always consult with a responsive web design company to help you do everything the right way. Once you have a responsive design, all the factors, such as speed, content, page layout, navigation, and many more on your website, will be optimized for mobile accordingly.

mobile website

4. Minify the code

Every website uses various resources to display visual elements correctly. The more elements you have on your pages, the more it takes to download them all. In other words, every time someone accesses your website, they make an HTTP request for each element, such as CSS, HTML, JavaScript, etc.

To reduce these elements and ultimately improve page loading time, you must minify the code and combine elements. You can do this yourself if you know a thing or two about web development, or you can hire someone to do it for you.

In addition to that, you can use various plug-ins to polish your code if you’re running a WordPress website. By minimizing your website code and combining elements, you’re making it faster and more seamless for website visitors to load and view your pages’ content.

5. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

A content delivery network or content distribution network, CDN in short, is a group of servers located around the world. Their purpose is to quickly transfer assets, such as HTML pages, JavaScript files, images, videos, and stylesheets, among other things, across various geographical locations.

What that means is when someone for Europe, for instance, accesses your website hosted in the US, they don’t have to make requests for assets directly to your hosting server. Instead, they can access those assets from a server closest to them.

This dramatically reduces latency and page loading time, thus improving your website performance and user experience simultaneously. Whether you have a WP website or otherwise, it’s recommended that you opt for a CDN service to speed things up.

6. Reduce the number of plug-ins

This one is for all of you that have a WordPress-powered website. Of course, WP’s beauty is that it’s also a CMS (Content Management System). That means that you have a lot of control when managing content and polishing your website’s aesthetics.

You can pretty much find the right plug-in for anything you need. However, as useful as plug-ins are, many of them are third-party software that doesn’t match your website’s code. This can result in errors, crashes but in most cases, it will bloat your site and drastically slow it down.

Therefore, get rid of excess plug-ins, especially ones you don’t really need or don’t use anymore. You should use only the plug-ins you need, and if you want to use other plug-ins that may prove to be useful or convenient for your WP website, make sure you research them a bit first before using them.

7. Leverage website caching

A lot of website visitors will frequent your site now and then. Every time they revisit your website, they have to send requests and load your page once more. As you can imagine, this can slow things down, which is something you want to avoid.

That’s why you should enable and leverage website caching. What this does is save the current version of your website until it’s updated. That way, you simply present the cached version to users every time they visit you so that your pages don’t have to be rendered all over again.

You can set up website caching yourself or use a plug-in to do it for you if you have a WP website. The important thing is that cached websites don’t have to send database requests every time a user visits your website.

8. Resize website elements

The size of some elements on your website can drastically reduce its performance. The most common elements in question are images. Yes, everyone likes high-quality, high-resolution images, and consumers love to see those on your website.

However, the better the image’s quality, the larger its size is, the more resources it will pull and, of course, take more time to load. Fortunately, you can reduce the size without sacrificing image quality too much or at all, for that matter.

For example, you can use various tools to compress high-quality images without compromising the quality itself. This will reduce their size drastically, allowing them to load much faster. If you have a responsive design, images will adjust themselves based on the user’s device’s screen properties.This will reduce their size drastically, allowing them to load much faster. If you have a responsive design, images will adjust themselves based on the user’s device’s screen properties. On account of that, you should make sure that you hire an agency that resizes website elements properly while building a new website.

9. Update your website regularly

If there’s one thing that can utterly ruin website performance, it’s obsolete software. Obsolete doesn’t necessarily mean software that’s been in use two decades ago. Missing one or two essential updates for your website can pretty much make it obsolete in terms of performance.

That’s why regular updates are of vital importance for website performance and functionality. This is especially true for WP websites. Not updating your WP website can lead to any number of complications ranging from slow performance to crashes.

Your website visitors won’t appreciate it, and you certainly won’t enjoy the downtime until everything is fixed. That said, WP is an open-source project, which means regular updates are mandatory. Your responsibility is to ensure that your themes, plug-ins, and entire WP site are up to date.

Website performance depends on a lot of factors these days. What matters is that your website visitors, customers, or clients will notice something is wrong. And, if something is wrong, they won’t stick around until you fix the issues. That’s why you must continuously keep an eye on your website and try to do everything you can to boost its performance. If you manage to boost it even by a little bit, it can still make a massive difference in user experience.

Leave a Reply

Comment policy: We value comments and the time that visitors to our blog spend to give feedback. Please note that all comments are manually moderated and any deemed to be spam or promotional will be deleted.