Improving Page Speed in 2021

laptop on a desk, with a notepad and pen

We are all aware of Google's page experience update due to launch next month. This will focus on creating the best browsing experience for users across the digital web. The key factors for this update include the following:

  • Core Web Vitals
  • Mobile Usability
  • Security Issues
  • HTTPS Usage
  • Ad Experience

Based on the new elements involved in Google's page experience update, it is important to identify any fixes that will help you to improve the speed of your website. Here are a few suggestions on how you can improve page speed in 2021.

Improving your Page Speed

By adding just a few seconds to your page load time, your website could go from producing high ranking pages to receiving a loss in page views and conversions. As a business, generating a high conversion rate is extremely important as it can help to increase sales and improve the performance of your business. It has been proven that if your website takes more than three seconds to load, you could see a loss of almost half your visitors! Because of this, page speed has become one of the main factors that Google focuses on to determine the ranking of web pages.

A slow page speed will also affect the number of pages a search engine will be able to crawl. This will negatively impact your website indexation and could, in turn, show inaccurate results of how you perform online. As well as this, slower load speed can often result in a higher bounce rate, therefore affecting the user experience on your website.

With digital platforms constantly changing, it is important to continuously test your page speed and adjust elements to ensure you maintain a high performing website. Some factors that you should consider include:

  • File Compression
  • Optimise and Minimise
  • Reduce Redirects
  • Leverage Browser Caching
  • Optimise Images
  • Reduce Plugins

File Compression

File compression is used to reduce the size of CSS, HTML and JavaScript files which in turn, helps to improve page speed. Because of this, it is important to run regular compression audits as this will help to highlight the uncompressed size of your page whilst also informing you of any improvements that you can perform.

When it comes to file compression, you should also make sure to pay attention to JavaScript and CSS in the head tag as the browser won't be able to render anything until this is downloaded.

Optimise and Minimise

Optimising and minimising CSS, JavaScript and HTML code will also help to improve page speed. You can do this by removing any unnecessary characters such as commas and spaces as well as comments and other unused code.

Reduce Redirects

Redirects will add more time to your page loading speed which will impact the overall user experience for your customers. Google will also recognise the number of redirects on-site and will rank your website lower based on this performance.

Leverage Browser Caching

By setting an expiry date to browser caching, you can make sure that the information on your website isn't kept on a user's hard drive after a certain time. It is also important to monitor this on a yearly basis.

Optimise Images

Optimising images by reducing their size and setting to a specific format, will help to improve your page speed. It is important to recognise that PNGs are for graphics with less than 16 colours and JPEGs are best for photographs.

You could also create templates through CSS so users don't have to wait for all images to load. Instead, just one image will combine all that you wish to show.

Large images can also steel bandwidth from more important resources so it is necessary to focus on compressing these images on your website.

Reduce Plugins

Plugins help to add customer functionality, clean up code and improve user experience. However, plugins are known to affect page speed and can often create technical issues when it comes to security and other aspects. Because of this, you should only use the necessary plugins on your website.