What is Page Speed?

The time it takes to display complete content, images, and Stylesheet on a specific page.

Time to First Byte –

The time it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the webserver. Google uses page speed as one of the metrics to rank pages in SERPs. From an SEO point of view, slow speed means Google crawls a lesser number of pages. This will have a severe impact on the website pages indexing in Google.

Every 1-second delay in page load causes:

11% fewer page views
16% decrease in customers satisfaction
7% loss in conversions


47% of visitors expect the site to load in less than 2 seconds.
40% will abandon the page that takes 3 or more seconds.
79% of customers say they won’t return to a site with poor performance.
52% of shoppers say quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
44% said they tell their friends about poor site experience.
Sites see a 25% decrease in conversion rate with one extra second of load time.

Besides user experience, Google follows the mobile-first algorithm.

What is the mobile-first index?

Google index and rank pages in SERPs depending upon the mobile user experience for each web page. Page load speed as per Google standards is less than 3 seconds. As per a study, the average time it takes to load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds. 53% of the visitors bounce off if the site takes less than 3 seconds.

As the page load time for a web page goes from 1 to 10 seconds, users bouncing probability increases by 123%.

Tools to check the page load speed for your site.

Test My Site – Think with Google
Google Page Speed Insight
Pingdom website speed test

Factors which affect the page loading speed of your website:

1) Optimize images on your website: Good quality images always attract users. Especially for e-commerce, product/service portfolio sites, high-quality images are important. I have seen developers uploading bigger images on a site without cropping the size. They set the width parameter, loading the image that appears smaller on the frontend.

You can use tools such as tiny.jpg, tiny.png, compressor.io. Jpg format is best for normal photos like hero images, testimonials, product images. PNG is best for logo, infographics, and art. I have seen a drastic improvement in page load speed by doing image optimization.

2) Reduce time to first byte: TTFB is the time it takes for a web page to start loading. It should be less than 200ms. This is a server-side issue and server performance has a big impact on TTFB.

What is Time to First Byte?

It is the time it takes your browser to receive the first byte of information from the webserver. When users visit your site, the browser sends HTTP requests to your site hosting server. Now 3 steps take place between this request and the first byte of data coming out.

DNS Lookup
Server processing

You can use Webpagetest.org to test TTFB for your website. If it is greater than 200ms, main causes might be

Network issue,
Dynamic content creation,
Web server configuration
Traffic on the server

Dynamic content creation takes place in all the major content management systems. WordPress and Shopify are a couple of examples. During DCC, a PHP file combines with the MySql database file to create the page. HTML sites are static and don’t involve the Database system. So pages delivery is quicker.

3) Minify CSS, JS, and HTML Files. This should be your first step while optimizing the page load speed of your website. If your site runs several CSS and JS files, better you combine them into a single file. This way, there will be fewer HTTP requests improving page load time.

This includes removing spaces, commas, and unnecessary characters. Remove code comments, formatting, and unused code. Google recommends using CSSNano and UgilityJS.

4) Go for Asynchronous loading of CSS and JS Files: It optimizes the way files load on the website. In a synchronous manner loading, different scripts load one at a time. While in Asynchronous, some of the scripts load at the same time, improving the page load speed.

5) Enable compression for HTML, CSS, XML, Plain text and JS files. Run a compression audit. Smaller the file size, the faster it will load. You can run the audit on GIDNetwork. This tells you the uncompressed size of your page.

Use Gzip compression for files that are bigger than 150bytes. Gzip is a file format and software app that locates strings of similar codes in a file. It builds a temporary replacement to make files smaller.
This reduces download time by 70%. All the major browsers support Gzip. Brotli is one similar file format and efficient than Gzip. You can also set auto-switch between Gzip and Brotli for better efficiency.

6) Leverage browser caching. Browsers can cache info such as stylesheets, images, JS files, etc.

When visitors access your site several times, browsers don’t reload the entire page. You can set an expiry date for the cache. It is the duration you want that information to be in the cache. When you visit a site, elements of that site get stored on your hard disk in a cache or temp files.

When you revisit the page, your browser loads the page without sending an HTTP request to the server. Enabling caching can reduce the page load time, providing better UX.

This can lead to 10x improvement in Google page speed results and up to 80% bandwidth savings.

7) Reduce server response time. Page load time depends on the amount of time DNS lookup takes.

Let me explain this in detail. DNS is a domain name system. It is a server with a database of IP addresses and their associated hostnames. When the user types a domain, DNS translates that URL into IP address. That tells the online location of that domain.

DNS lookup is the process of finding a specific DNS record. The time consumed in this process depends on how fast your DNS provider is. Slow DNS increases the time browser takes to load the site.

The server response time should be less than 200ms. It depends on the

traffic your website receives,
server resources each page uses,
software your server uses, and hosting service.

8) Using CDN – Content Delivery Network/Content Distribution Network. This system store copies of your website at different geo data centers. CDN route the request to the nearest hosting server improving the load time for the site. If a user is far from the data center, the time required to access the site will be high due to farther geolocation. Learn how to select the best CDN for your website keeping in mind the benefits for your online business.

9) Optimize CSS delivery: Cascading style sheet is for the styling of the website. This information is accessible in two ways

1) In an external file which loads before your page renders.
2) Inline CSS which gets added in the HTML file.

It is advisable to avoid inline CSS. Use external CSS as provides clean code, reducing the file size. Try to use one external CSS, as more files will add up to the HTTP request.

10) Lazy Loading: This is a very good technique to improve the page load speed. In lazy loading, all the elements of the page don’t start loading together. It loads content/images of the first fold of the screen first. All the other sections load as users scroll down the page.

11) Use external hosting for the videos. Uploading a video on your web server will slow down the site for sure. So make sure to upload it on video sites such as You Tube, Vimeo, Wistia. You can embed the code for the video to play on your site.

12) The hosting server for your website impacts the loading speed. Choose web hosting as per your needs. Generally, there are three types of hosting accounts

1) Shared Hosting. In this, you share the server resources such as CPU, RAM, and Disk Space with other sites on the server. It is cheaper and good for entry-level websites.

2) VPS Hosting: Here you share the server, but each website has it’s own dedicated part of the server resources.

3) Dedicated Server Hosting. Websites with dedicated hosting have their own server setup. You get better speed and much more space. What there is a lot of work involved in setting up the server. You need to be proficient with the server setup. Otherwise, hire a server setup expert.

13) Reduce Redirects. Each time a page redirects, users, wait for more for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete.