Modern sites are incredibly complex and clearing up that mess can make a big difference already. You can start by fixing your site structure, cleaning up old and outdated posts and fixing the redirects.
The bigger your site is, the more impact of speed optimizations will have. These don't just impact user experience and conversion rates but also affects crawl budget and crawl rate. If your servers are fast, Googlebot can come around more often and get more done.
Focus on these ares if you want to improve your website speed test results;
Minimize time to first byte (TTFB)
In addition to the amount of time it takes for your page to fully load, you’ll also want to take a look at the amount of time it takes to start loading.
Time to first byte, or TTFB, is the amount of time a browser has to wait before getting its first byte of data from the server. Google recommends a TTFB of less than 200 ms.
Unlike a lot of the front-end performance factors most site owners focus on, this is a server-side concern.
When a user visits your site, their browser sends an HTTP request to the server that hosts it. There are three steps that need to happen between that initial request and the first byte of data:
- DNS lookup
- Server processing
In general, most issues with slow TTFB are caused by either network issues, dynamic content creation, web server configuration, and traffic, so you should work on optimizing those.
According to HTTP Archive, as of December 2017, images make up on average 66% of a total webpage’s weight.
Images can be large, and make your website slow to load. That’s why you need to reduce the file size of your photos that you use on your blog posts and other content, logo files, graphics etc. The good thing is that you can significantly reduce image size without compromising quality.
Minimize HTTP requests
HTTP requests are how browsers ask to view your pages. When your web page loads in a browser, the browser sends an HTTP request to the web server for the page in the URL. Then, as the HTML is delivered, the browser parses it and looks for additional requests for images, scripts, CSS, and so on.
Every time it sees a request for a new element, it sends another HTTP request to the server. The more images, scripts, CSS etc. that your page has the more requests will be made and the slower your pages will load.
There are several ways you can reduce the number of HTTP requests:
- Combine Files – Using external style sheets and scripts is important to keep them from bogging down your page load times, but don’t have more than one CSS and one script file.
- Use CSS Sprites – When you combine most or all of your images into a sprite, you turn multiple images requests into just one. Then you just use the background-image CSS property to display the section of the image you need.
- Image Maps – Image maps are not as popular as they once were, but when you have contiguous images they can reduce multiple HTTP image requests down to just one.
You can reduce this number by minifying and combining your files. This reduces the size of each file, as well as the total number of files.
Minifying a file involves removing unnecessary formatting, whitespace, and code. Since every unnecessary piece of code adds to the size of your page, it’s important that you eliminate extra spaces, line breaks, and indentation. This ensures that your pages are as lean as possible.
Accelerate your mobile speed
One channel you can’t afford to ignore is mobile. That’s because more people use mobile devices than desktops. It’s also a key channel for researching products and services.
In 2018, 60% of Google searches were done on mobile devices. Along with rewarding mobile-optimized sites in its search result rankings, Google will also give you a higher page speed score -- and possibly a higher ranking -- if your mobile site loads quickly.
Leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of web servers whose purpose is to provide faster delivery, and highly available content. The content is replicated throughout the CDN so it exists in many places all at once. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, in order to avoid bottlenecks near that server.
To put it more simply, the purpose of a CDN is to improve user experience and provide it with a more efficient network resource utilization. Content providers such as media companies and e-commerce vendors pay CDN operators to deliver their content to their end-users.
Given the increasingly international nature of ecommerce, leveraging a CDN — or multi-CDNs — is a non-negotiable ingredient your platform should provide and optimize regularly.
Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your website the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster.