Site Speed is one of the most critical aspects of creating and effectively running a website. A company has to make sure that its websites and pages load faster, if the site speed is slow and lagging, it might lose customers as well.
Site speed is the speed at which a website or webpages performs by loading and displaying the content as fast as possible.
A lot of companies have very fine-looking websites. Still, their websites do not necessarily perform well, meaning, they load the images and content slowly. This sluggish nature of the website can attract penalties from Google, which we should try to prevent.
If you want to make your web page load faster and give a better user experience for your customers, you are in the right place. In this article, I will help you make your websites perform better and load faster than they do now.
We will look at different changes, alternative approaches, and secret sauce to enhance the performance of your websites.
Let us start by looking at the current speed of a website, and what a Page Speed Insight tool says:
Baseline Site Speed
As we can see from the above picture, the Baseline speed of the site shown in the picture above is too high.
On three different occasions, the speed that the website took to load is 173, 85, and 105 seconds, respectively. It is clear that the website is shockingly slow. To understand this better, Let’s have a look at the performance scores of the website in PageSpeed Insights.
Baseline Page Speed Insights
Here, PageSpeed Insights gave us the scores on both Mobile and Desktop for the page. Upon close observation, we can see the scores are in red color, which indicates that the performance of the page is not so great, and it needs some improvements to make the page load faster.
In contrast, let’s look at a few websites that have faster load times and higher scores.
Benchmark Scores from Competitors
Here are three ministries whose page loading score is comparatively better on both Mobile and Desktop.
After seeing these results, one has to ask the question — what are these businesses doing differently so that their score is better? Answering this question is the aim of this article.
Now let us look at the things that need to be changed on websites to make the websites perform better.
A Payment Gateway Slows Us Down
One of the elements that was slowing down this sites is the payment gateway processor.
It was observed that whenever a website is loading, the payment processor takes nearly two seconds to load which is putting a burden on the entire website’s loading time.
We replaced the existing payment process with DonorBox. There are two things to note here, they are 1) DonorBox has the same functionality as a plugin payment processor, and 2) DonorBox functions on their website and domain. The burden of loading it falls on the third party website and not on our website.
Way Too Many Plugins!
Moving forward to the next secret sauce, take a look at the above picture. There are 41 active plugins on the page!
This is not a healthy sign for any site. The more plugins on a website, the more time it takes for the website to load anything.
Hence, it is suggested to get rid of unnecessary and too many plugins to boost the speed of a website. Have a look at the picture in the section below which shows the increase in the website’s speed, when the plugins are turned off one by one.
The picture above shows the improvement in the site speed score when turning off some plugins that were consuming some time for the users. It is evident from this that, the more plugins on the homepage, the slower a website loads. Therefore, tweaking how they operate and function, would make a site work really well. This doesn’t mean completely removing all plugins and compromising on useful plugins, but there are other smart approaches where we can use useful plugins and run the website faster.
In the above section, we discussed an alternative to the payment gateway, in the same way, we can do a couple of changes here as well, for many of the plugins we have to try to move the plugins to a separate section on the website. For example, having a payment section, with the payment server resting on another website.
Similarly, we can move around some of these plugins to other sections as well so that the burden won’t fall only on the home page. Additionally, we should also think if we necessarily need all the plugins as well. That might have an impact on the speed of websites. There are many websites that do not have a whole lot of plugins and their speed is way better. Let’s have a look at our competitors and compare what their websites look like, and how their performance is.
Competitors’ Homepages and Posts
Have a close look at the picture above, these are screen captures of three different companies’ websites. The ones on both ends are the competitors and the one in the middle is my client’s website. From the picture, we can see three things:
- How the website looks like.
- What all are there on the website and in what amount?
- And the site scores for each website.
The client’s website is in the middle and has 32 images, 1 image slider, 1 player, 3 video embeds, 1 signup form, and 1 donation form. The website site speed is 19 for mobile and 25 for desktop.
The competitor’s websites, on the other hand, have 1 background image, and 1 player and everything else is in the footer, and the posts of one of the competitors have no images at all, it is all very simple and plain looking, and their scores are 17 and 32 on the mobile and 81 and 87 on desktop respectively.
This score is so much more than the client’s website which was filled with so many things on the homepage itself. The competitors had made their websites so simple yet added all the information they needed in a smarter way, which helped them in having a great site speed score. Based on all our findings, let’s list out the changes that could help us improve the website speed.
These are some recommendations that would make a difference in the site speed for websites. Websites do not need to have all the things one might think makes them look pretty and full.
We can build them in a way with many plugins we want but mainly by trying to put those features on a separate page or use alternatives that consume less power. We can also make a calculated sacrifice with regards to some plugins which can give us a better payoff.
The ones above are just the basic and straightforward changes we can make right away. But we also should be aware that we need an improved and better experience for our customers on mobile as well, hence we would benefit by making the changes for mobile mentioned in the above picture as well.
Page Speed Before Resubmission to Google
After we make changes to our website, we can resubmit our website to google for a revaluation. Here are the scores and the condition of the site before we made any changes.
As we can see here, there are 611 failed URLs, meaning they are taking a lot of time to load and that is impacting our website performance. Because of this, we had to do some changes and have a look at what google gives us back after the resubmission.
Improvements After Recommended Changes
It is great to see that Google reviewed our website and the results are positive. There has been a consistent effort to make the improvements and get the websites to work better, and the result of the efforts in laying off some plugins, and adding a new theme has created a better website.
We Can Help You, Too!
We have helped our clients in improving their website’s performance. There have been a lot of tweaks that were made, a lot of ideas that came together to find out what is working and what is not, and how to fill up the space that an old and laggy plugin created.
What we mentioned in this article is part of the process of getting this done. There is a more secret sauce to do more than what we just covered here. We did it for our client, and we can help you too!
Reach out to us and get your business going great with a great and convenient website.