What is Page Load Speed
Page load speed is the speed at which a website loads in your browser window. More technically, it is the time taken for a website to fetch its resources and code from the server and render it in our browser window with all of its resources, like images and everything else.
In other words, it is defined as “a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads.
Before going deep into the topic of page load speed, we have to know how a page is loading.
How a web page load works
The tick-tock begins when a user enters a URL in the address bar and submits it.
- The user enters a URL, submits a form, or clicks on a hyperlink. For example, when a user enters a URL like www.google.com or something like that in the address bar and presses the submit button,
- DNS resolution: Your browser sends a request to the Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate the domain name in the URL into an IP address.
- Establishing a connection: Once the IP address is obtained, your browser establishes a connection with the server hosting the website. This is typically done using the HTTP or HTTPS protocol.
- Sending a request: Your browser sends a request to the server for the webpage you want to load. This request includes information such as the type of browser you are using, the type of request being made (e.g., GET or POST), and any additional data that may be needed.
- Server processing: The server receives the request and processes it. This may involve running server-side scripts, querying a database, or performing other operations necessary to generate the webpage.
- Loading external resources: The browser may also need to load additional resources such as images, videos, or other files referenced in the HTML code.
These all happen in a millisecond of time. This is what happens behind the screen..
Impact of Page Load Speed
The speed at which a page loads can have a significant impact on a user’s experience and on the success of a website. Here are some of the ways in which page load speed can impact a website:
- User experience: A slow-loading page can lead to frustration for users and increase the likelihood that they will leave the site without completing the desired action (such as making a purchase or filling out a form).
- User experience is really the big reason that search engines think website speed is such an important factor, and that’s why it’s part of their ranking algorithms.
- It’s a universally acknowledged fact that on the internet, no one has an attention span of more than a couple of seconds. So if your webpage is taking more than 3 seconds to load, chances are the majority of your audience can’t be bothered to wait around for it.
- Conversion rate: A slow-loading page can lead to a lower conversion rate as users may abandon the site before completing the desired action. A faster-loading page can lead to a higher conversion rate and better user engagement.
- The last of the three big benefits of speeding up your website is conversion rate optimization.
- CRO often gets a big boost when you improve page speed because you’re not losing users who are waiting for their page to load.
- So overall, improving your page speed is going to help you rank higher, give your users a better experience, and improve your chances of getting that all-important conversion.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engines like Google consider page load speed as a factor in their ranking algorithms. A slow-loading page may rank lower in search results, which can decrease traffic to the site. Page and site speed have become essential factors in how search engines rate your pages. That’s because Google doesn’t want to deliver results that are slow to load and put users off. They’re trying to present the most relevant and appropriate websites with their results.
“No website can stand without a strong backbone. And that backbone is technical SEO.” – Neil Patel
- Mobile experience: Page load speed can be even more critical on mobile devices, as users may have slower internet connections and smaller screens. A slow-loading page on a mobile device can lead to a poor user experience and decreased engagement.
- Ad performance: Slow page load speed can also impact the performance of ads on a site. If the page takes too long to load, ads may not be served in time, resulting in lost revenue for the site owner.
“The slower your sites load, the more visitors and revenue you’ll lose out on. Faster loading pages lead to a better overall website experience; hence Google’s move toward making it a mobile ranking factor.” – Anna Crowe
Best Page Load Speed Time
According to the research, there is no fixed value for the page load speed. It all depends on the user experience.
In general, the average or best page load speed is 3 seconds or below. The longer the user has to wait for the page to load, the worse the user experience becomes.
Remember that users do not have to wait for your complete page to load in order to use your website and go where they want to go.
In certain circumstances, the time it takes to interact (TTI) or load the first bits of content (FCP) is more essential.
The page load speed depends upon several factors and characteristics of your website. That we will discuss in depth below.
They all can literally increase the speed of the page load time very well.
How can we increase the page load speed?
There are lots of techniques that can increase the page load speed.
he web server or hosting platform plays a major role in the speed of page loading.
Affordable hosting is frequently associated with bad performance.
That may imply pooling resources across numerous websites on an overburdened server, which may strain your page loading speeds.
The performance of the web server can impact factors such as response time, availability, and scalability, all of which can affect page load speed.
The main things that we have to count on while hosting a platform are
- Response time: When a user requests to fetch the files from the server, the web server must respond to that request by attaching all the files related to that. If the web server is slow to respond, this can result in longer page load times for the user.
- Server location: If we are hosting our webpage in different distant countries, it needs time to fetch the files from the server, so hosting on nearby server results in a faster loading speed.
- Scalability: If the server handles too much traffic at a time then it will also affect your website loading speed.
- Content optimization: Optimized content can deliver you more speed rather than just pushing high-quality images with loads of size.
To ensure optimal page load speed, it is important to choose a reliable and high-performing web server, optimize content, and regularly monitor and optimize server performance.
Optimizing images and other documents is also a better way of increasing the page load speed.
There are some criteria to keep in mind while optimizing an image.
- Compress images: The best way to compress the images is by using tools that will compress the image without losing the quality of the image.
- The best format for the photographs is JPEG, and if something has a transparent background, we can go with the PNG type format, which is one of the most widely used formats.
WebP is also the best choice for the images.
- Resize images: resize the images to the size that you need for the perfect fit, Oversized images may consume more data and take longer to load. They will also affect the responsiveness of the webpage.
Minimize HTTP requests
Reducing HTTP requests is a critical step in increasing your website’s page load time.
The issue with the HTTP requests is if you are using too many requests on a web page. When you are moving to a new domain or
Each time, the browser will send the HTTP request to the server and wait for the response from the server. This potentially affects the page load speed.
- Minifying CSS: CSS files can be minified by removing all unnecessary white spaces, comments, and line breaks. You can also use shorthand CSS properties to reduce the overall file size. There are several online tools available to minify CSS files automatically.
- Minifying HTML:HTML files can be minified by removing all unnecessary white spaces, comments, and line breaks. You can also use attribute-value shortening techniques to reduce the overall file size. There are several online tools available to minify HTML files automatically.
Using a content delivery network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can significantly improve page load speed by reducing the latency and improving the overall performance of delivering web content to end-users.
When a user requests a webpage, the request is routed to the closest CDN server, which serves cached content from the nearest geographic location. This reduces the distance between the user and the server, resulting in faster content delivery and a better user experience.
CDNs also use techniques such as edge caching, which stores frequently accessed content closer to the user to reduce the number of requests that need to be made to the origin server. This can result in faster load times, as the user’s browser can retrieve the content from the edge server rather than waiting for the origin server to respond.
Overall, using a CDN can be an effective way to improve page load speed, reduce latency, and improve the user experience.
Browser compatibility might have an impact on page load speed.
Slower load times or even rendering difficulties might occur if your website is not optimized for a specific browser.
Nevertheless, if the code is not optimized or contains capabilities that are not supported by all browsers, it might result in slower load times or even errors.
In some situations, the browser may need to conduct additional workarounds or fallbacks to properly display the page, which might slow down the load time.
Also, certain older browsers may not support newer technologies or features used in current web development, such as HTML5 or CSS3.
To guarantee compatibility, developers may need to supply alternate code or utilize polyfills in some circumstances, which might reduce load performance.
These criteria can literally increase the loading speed of your page. When it comes to the real world or corporate world, they always want a website that is superfast so that the user doesn’t need to wait or spend time watching the page load. Even if we are in a 5G world, everything is in milliseconds. So this has to apply to our websites.