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The biggest factor contributing to the success of any business’ website is user experience (UX). A crucial element of UX is a fast-responding website. So how to improve your website?

Research indicates that 47% of web users expect a web page to load in under two seconds. Moreover, 40% of web users leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And even a second delay in web page response times can cause a 7% drop in conversions.
Page load speed directly affects customer engagement, conversion rates, SEO, and brand promotion. Choosing the right web hosting provider and service plan will optimize website performance.

How to Improve Your Website Speed

Your Website May Slow Response Speeds


Uncompressed web page files such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and Javascript (JS) files can slow page load times. Large, unoptimized image files also impede web page load speeds.

Many eCommerce websites use third party scripts for cookies, advertising, analytics, social networking, and apps. Delays in load times occur when a browser detects a third-party script, loading data from multiple databases sourced from hidden party servers. Thus, it’s best to keep third-party services to a minimum.

Another means to improve a website’s load times is to enable browser caching. This will improve response times for returning visitors.

improve your website speed

Does The Hosting Provider Offer A Contact Delivery Network (CDN)?


To optimize load speeds to users worldwide, ensure the web hosting provider offers contact delivery networks (CDNs). Without the benefit of a CDN, a website’s content is sourced from just one server serving global visitors from all continents. 

For example, if a visitor from New Zealand accesses content hosted on an origin server in Europe, inevitably, response times will lag. A worldwide CDN has points-of-presence (POPs) spread around the globe, routing website requests to the nearest CDN POP. Reducing the physical distance between a responding server and a requesting location greatly decreases load and response times.

A CDN is vital to optimizing worldwide UX. Researchers have found that, on average, a CDN slashes website lag (latency) by 83% compared to websites without a CDN.

Web Hosting Plans Matter


The type of web hosting plan a business uses will impact user response times and UX. A shared hosting plan, while the least expensive option, is also the least robust in terms of performance, security, and flexibility.

A shared hosting server accommodates multiple websites, all of which share the server’s resources such as available bandwidth, CPU, RAM, and memory. If a website suffers from slow web page loads and response times, the first step is to upgrade to a more powerful hosting solution.
Dedicated server hosting will greatly improve website performance. However, this option comes at a relatively high cost. A more economical choice is a virtual private server (VPS) solution, which delivers most of the advantages of a dedicated server.

Optimizing Servers For Speed


When considering web host providers, part of one’s due diligence is to evaluate the storage devices they use. Find out if their servers deploy solid-state drives (SSDs). Faster and more reliable than legacy hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs achieve greater speed through more efficient data throughput and much faster seek times. Moreover, SSDs are an eco-friendly choice as they use less energy than HDDs.

What web server software does the hosting provider use? While Apache HTTP is widely used across multiple computing platforms, some hosting providers now rely on faster technologies such LiteSpeed Web Server (LSWS) or Nginx.
Another important consideration is the web host’s relational database management system (RDMS). The most popular DB engine is Oracle’s MySQL but the MariaDB RDMS-a variant of MySQL-delivers faster performance.

Testing Websites For Speed


Free online tools are available to test a website’s speed. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or the Pingdom Web Site Speed Test to determine any possible chokepoints. These tests grade websites and note what elements can be improved.


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