Web Development

Website Speed Optimization: Why It Matters and How to Make It Work to Your Benefit

By Bastien, on July 17, 2023 - 7 min read

The time it takes a browser to fully load functional web pages from a particular site is known as website speed (or performance). Simply put, it defines how quickly users can start interacting with your pages.

In today’s world, page loading speed plays a crucial role in overall business growth. It affects the way users see your site and interact with it. Correspondingly, it affects whether they will stay with you or not.

In this article, we will tell you more about the role of speed optimization for your brand and share actionable tips to get you on the right track!

Why Does Website Speed Matter?

First of all, this metric affects user experience. When pages take too long to load, it can be rather irritating. Thus, visitors typically don’t stick around on such sites.

Moreover, studies have consistently proven that slow loading time holds visitors back from performing the targeted action. So the slower your site is, the lower your conversion rates can be. And finally, this indicator affects how high you appear in search results (SERPs). 

Now, what is considered a good page load time? According to the Core Web Vitals (a set of metrics released by Google in 2021 that have a pivotal effect on how Google ranks you), a good load time is 2.5 seconds or less.

How to Assess Your Current Website Speed

Before you can move on to website speed optimization, you need to determine the current state of things. This will help you define what is slowing down your pages and come up with effective strategies for improving the metrics.

The easiest way to collect the insights you need is to use specialized tools. Here are a few options that you can try for monitoring and measuring performance:

  • Google Pagespeed Insights – This is a part of the family of tools designed by Google for website optimization. Google Pagespeed Insights will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your site’s performance, including all delays, shifts, etc.
  • SE Ranking – The Website Audit Tool by SE Ranking is an all-in-one solution for assessing and improving your site’s performance. The tool carefully analyzes your pages and provides a wealth of insights into the Core Web Vitals, health score, pages crawled, top issues, and tips on how to fix them. 
  • GTMetrix – This is a free tool that helps you monitor your metrics and improve them. GTMetrix leverages Lighthouse to give your pages a dedicated score and offer actionable tips for improvement.
  • Pingdom – This is a cost-effective software for monitoring. Pingdom leverages 70+ polling locations to test websites 24/7.
  • SiteGround Optimizer Plugin – This is a tool developed by SiteGround. The SiteGround Optimizer plugin is an excellent option for improving performance indicators for WordPress sites, regardless of the hosting environment.

9 Actionable Steps for Website Speed Optimization

Now you already know everything about page loading speed, its role in business success, and ways to analyze your current performance. So now what?

If you identify certain performance problems, you must look for ways to solve them. After all, a 2022 survey by Digital.com revealed that 45% of consumers have a negative impression of businesses with slow-loading pages. So improving this metric is a way to support your brand’s reputation and stimulate growth.

Getting started on your own can feel a bit overwhelming. To help you out, we gathered the top 9 working steps that will help you speed up your pages without a hassle!

  1. Pick a Web Hosting Provider You Can Rely On

In a nutshell, a hosting provider provides you with the technology you need to build and store your site. It’s a large server that processes all the necessary information and connects visitors to the needed page when they click on it. Thus, the hosting provider plays one of the biggest roles in overall performance speed.

In order to pick the best provider, you have to consider a few core factors:

  • Hard drive – The more room a server has on its hard drive, the better the hosting performs;
  • RAM – The random access memory determines how fast a server can process the information and deliver it to the user;
  • Server response time – This factor determines how long it takes to start rendering the page from a chosen hosting;
  • Server uptime – This is the time that a server has been up and running since the last reboot;
  • Bandwidth – This indicator defines how much data can be communicated via a server at one time;
  • Competition – The more sites that share a single hosting provider, the more time it takes to process them all, which is why free servers are often too slow.

These are the factors you must consider when selecting a perfect hosting. But that’s not all. Lastly, it’s always crucial to consider your specific amount of traffic. The more traffic your site typically receives, the harder your hosting needs to work. 

  1. Leverage a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN is basically a network of geographically distributed proxy servers with their own data centers. The primary goal of this network is to speed up content delivery and ensure its availability to end users.

The idea behind CDN is simple. When your pages operate without it, visitors who are located far from your original hosting server might have issues with accessing your content. However, if you leverage a CDN, this will help you ensure that users from different geographical locations will be able to access your content faster.

All in all, leveraging a CDN is an important stage in website speed optimization. To use this tip to your benefit, all you need to do is pick a proper CDN that’s scalable and reliable. Also, in a CDN provider, you should look for global networks of servers, DDoS protection, load balancing, and caching features.

  1. Delay Scripts With Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is an irreplaceable tool for performance optimization. The tool is designed for seamless tag management across the web. With its help, you can upload and manage tags for site analytics, remarketing, and conversion event tracking purposes.

The best thing about Google Tag Manager is that it allows you to set the rules you want for implementing tags. For example, you can only allow the page to load a limited list of scripts. This allows you to implement a delay for all tags of up to 6 seconds. This can be done individually for each tag or even in bulk.

In simple words, implementing such delays can let you give different load times to every tag. This is a simple workaround that can help you boost the speed of your pages without affecting their functionality.

  1. Cut Down on Redirects

Redirects are commonly used for SEO purposes. They are implemented to redirect visitors away from outdated content and serve them new content instead. On the one hand, this tactic can help you maintain a high ranking. However, when there is a redirect error or just too many redirects, it can turn into a major roadblock for performance.

When a user clicks on a site or enters a domain into the address bar, this triggers the domain name server (DNS) resolution process. If the connection is direct, the domain is resolved to a relevant IP address in a few milliseconds. However, when there is a redirect, this whole DNS resolution process needs to be repeated. When there are multiple redirects, this process repeats over and over again until the user is taken to the right page.

Needless to say, additional tech processes add load time. Therefore, if you want to optimize your site’s performance, it’s strongly recommended to reduce the number of redirects.

  1. Optimize Images

The page is considered fully loaded only when all its elements appear on the screen and start functioning properly. This includes images. And this often becomes a big performance issue.

Small-sized images tend to be low-quality. On the other hand, large-sized images tend to slow down your pages, affecting the user experience. So how do you optimize images for better performance?

There are several tactics that you can try. First of all, you should try resizing your images to reduce their weight. Additionally, it’s recommended to compress your images. This will let you save even more size, without compromising the quality. These two simple hacks will let you optimize images and significantly improve your website’s performance.

  1. Adopt Browser Caching Techniques

Browser caching is the process of temporary storage of different resources in a browser. It works quite simply. When a user visits the site, their browsers download different resources from it to a local drive. This can include HTML files, JavaScript files, images, etc.

When browser caching is enabled, the visitor turns these resources into static assets. Then, when a user visits the site again, the browser won’t have to download these resources again and the speed will increase. And you should adopt browser caching strategies too, in order to boost your page loading speed.

All in all, browser caching is a rather extensive and complex matter that requires careful study. Still, there are a few techniques that we will share with you right now:

  • Leverage ETag and Cache-Control headers to fine-tune cache behavior.
  • Set long max-age values to maximize benefits.
  • Leverage versioning or fingerprinting for cache busting.
  1. Reduce the Number of Plugins

All sorts of plugins can help you create the right functionality for your website with less effort. However, if you use too many of them, they can eventually hinder overall performance.

Every plugin you install takes time to load, which may affect the overall speed. On top of that, there are many potential challenges with the plugin’s quality and compatibility that can also affect the speed.

In order to avoid these issues, be sure to reduce the number of plugins you are using. Also, It is recommended to regularly review and update them to ensure optimal performance.

  1. Minimize the number of JavaScript and CSS files

Among all website elements, JavaScript and CSS files take up the most space. Respectively, they require more HTTP requests and power to process them.

In order to boost your speed, you should minimize the number of these files. One of the best ways to do this is to combine them. There are many great plugins that will let you blend JavaScript and CSS files and increase the overall performance.

Keep in mind that though combining JavaScript and CSS files can bring speed benefits, it can also inflict certain issues. Namely, it can challenge your code organization, debugging, and overall maintainability.

  1. Optimize Database in CMS

Finally, database optimization is one more trick for improving your page loading speed. Many of you are probably already using a reliable content management system (CMS) with a wealth of functional plugins. While such tools make the workflow simpler, they also store enormous databases, which could be the reason why your pages work slowly.

In order to improve performance, you must optimize your CMS database accordingly. The process of optimization for each particular CMS varies depending on what it stores. So plan optimization for your specific CMS based on its unique specs.


Website speed optimization is a must-have component of a functional, user-friendly, and high-quality website that drives conversions and ranks high. Without optimization, your pages will only annoy your target audience and cross out all your past efforts toward growth and success.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be like that! After reading this guide, you will have a set of winning strategies for taking your site’s performance to the next level. From choosing the best hosting provider to optimizing the files on your pages – all these tips will take you a few steps further toward your goal. Start using them now to ensure success!