We are not discovering anything if we assert that a website that takes a long time to load will be positioned much worse than a website that opens in just a few tenths of a second or even seconds. It is therefore important to take into account some determining aspects that make the user despair in front of the computer screen seeing a blank box while your site loads, and therefore abandon it.
But not only on the part of the user. For Google is one of the important factors that influence the positioning of a Web, even ahead of other factors that we thought more important. A page that takes too long to open, Google will not only not position it, but it will also be penalized, while a fast loading speed, the American search engine will tend to raise it and highlight it from the rest with less speed.
Therefore I propose some tips and checks you can do on your Site, and know what you have to do to optimize it and reduce the loading speed.
A slow loading speed makes your page is not positioned properly.
1 Load Speed analysis Tools
Before we start optimizing we have to know what we have to modify, remove or add. And we can only know that with a tool that tells us how our website is in this regard.
Page Speed Firefox Extension
This is an extension for Firefox, which is added to Firebug as another tab in the extension. An application that will help you to know how is your web facing the search engines, and some very brief advice on what you need to modify. To download click here.
Pingdom Website Speed Test
It is a free tool that will help you to know which parts of your page you should optimize, the time it takes the server to give response and above all, the loading time of scripts and images. It is a very indicative tool, but not definitive as it is recommended that to optimize always take into consideration several other factors. To access click here.
Although it is not very exploited, Google’s analysis tool gives you some information about the problems you may have especially in mobile viewing. It is necessary because it is one of the best ways to know how fast the mobile version can be.
2 CHOOSING THE RIGHT SERVER
One of the main causes of the excessive delay in starting a website is the so-called, or rather, as I like to call it “server time”, in which we can summarize very briefly highlight 3 processes.
I’m not going to confuse anyone with the intricacies of the HTTP protocol and TCP / IP connections. So in short, the communication between the client and the server would be as follows. In the first place we launch from our browser (client) the query, which will receive the server with a correct pointing of the DNS’S, Other processes make the client first encode and prepare the information to be able to send it properly. This query time is usually very short, since the string of bits that is sent is very short, so in this section of the query does not usually slow down anything. It will only be a problem if the DNS’s are not able to point properly to the IP address of the server, or are not properly propagated.
From the time we send the query until we get the response from the server is the so-called critical time. This is the time it takes for the server to answer and finally start downloading the information from the web page. I call it critical time, because as good or bad as the server is, it will cause this time to be more or less small, causing a user to abandon the task of visiting the web if the waiting time exceeds too much.
Finally the client (browser) receives the reply from the server, MIME, along with the information that is in that address of the same. This process is repeated for each element on the server. In the case of a website, this process is repeated for each element that you want to download (print on screen), although with the exception that the waiting times of the server in the first communication is not the same as for the following, especially if the server is cacheable.
Therefore a good choice of hosting will make the web faster and have better positioning. In addition, it is highly recommended that if you want to position the web in Spain the chosen server is in Spain. One that works very well is Webempresa. The waiting times are very good and being in Spain facilitates all services, including customer service, which is essential to build trust. A bad server can make your website take a long time to load.
3 OPTIMIZE IMAGES
It seems obvious but for most of my clients I always have to optimize the size of the images, because they are out of range. To be on a website, an image cannot be larger than 100kb. This is a maximum because most of them will have a few tens of kilobytes.
A tool to properly optimize the images and know which ones weigh more or less than 100KB is to be able to see and download it you will only have to perform a social action:
With the program we will have the option to view a lot of parameters, basic for those of us who are dedicated to SEO, but for this particular company there is a section where it warns us of the images that exceed 100kB to modify them as far as possible. Sometimes we think that reducing a little bit the images is not going to do any good, and we are totally wrong. Every byte counts, because if we can reduce even 1% of the time it takes to load the images, we are already doing something important.
Image optimization should never be overlooked, no matter how tight it is.
4 – SCRIPT AND THIRD PARTY PROGRAMS
A Script is a program within a website that runs in the shadows, without us seeing it, that search engines and search engines see them perfectly and fulfill a specific mission each of them. Most of them are third-party codes, which are inserted at the beginning of the web, such as, for example, the Google Analytics script. We should dispense with those that are not completely necessary as they directly affect the visual slowness of the web, as many of them condition the opening of the web to the execution of the script, and if there is any error in it or delay it accumulates loading time and this is very dangerous.
For those who have WordPress, most of these scripts are installed on the page through the plugin. The same happens in Prestashop and Magento, with modules. That is why it is convenient to have as few plugins as possible, only the necessary ones, and trust in the ones that are going to be installed, because if we install anything on our site, we do not know what we are getting: an external link to a page, a malware with keyboard scanning, a trojan that runs on the computers of your visitors … Therefore we must be cautious when choosing plugins or modules.
A tip is to use the same tool advised above to detect if there are any external links. We can also use Xenu for the same purpose.
5 – Code and syntax validation
It is important not only that there is no syntax error in the code of our website, but also that there is no broken link or broken SRC tags (such as <img src=” “…) This can cause multiple requests to the server which would lead to excessive waiting time and also excessive consumption of data transfer.
We must also try to use as few CSS style sheets as possible, trying to combine some of them, and where you can not, put it in the header, in the Head of the html page to load. Its good use will improve the loading time of our website.
Thus, if we improve each of these factors, we have much of the success achieved. And it should be noted that even if you only get to reduce 2% of the total loading process of the web, it is important to do so and your reader will thank you.