The optimum page speed for your website and how to achieve it

page speed

Website page speed has become more important than ever, especially now Google’s Core Web Vitals are pushing mobile-first and penalising websites it deems to be “too slow”. This means that there is a direct link between slow page speed and lower SEO rankings, and therefore potentially, less traffic to your website. It’s not just SEO you have to worry about, Google has even suggested that your ads on both mobile and desktop could be impacted if your landing pages are loading too slowly.

But it’s not only Google that is punishing slow page speed, website visitors are becoming more and more impatient with slow loading times, meaning they’re bouncing straight off and going elsewhere. But what is the optimum page speed for your website, and more pressingly, how do you achieve it? 

“If your site loads in 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web”

What we mean by page speed 

It’s easy to forget that there are a plethora of different elements working in the background to load a website and its many pages. So when we say, “a fast page speed”, it sounds as though this is something that is automatic, or at least, very simple. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Websites have to load each and every page, and on those pages, each and every aspect of them. There’s so much that needs to be loaded in such a short space of time that getting it right can prove extremely difficult for most website owners.

What can impact page speed

There are plenty of things that can impact a website’s page speed. Here are just three ways:

  • Poor CMS system – if you have a high volume of unused plugins having to load continuously, this could make your website very slow
  • Unneeded/unused code is a very typical reason for slow page speed
  • Too many large images/videos trying to load on a singular page or multiple pages across your website

It’s important to note that every user will experience your website differently, even when it comes to loading time. This could be because they’re on a different browser, for example, Chrome might load your website far faster than Firefox. 

What Google says about page speed

Google suggests that your website load time should be less than 2 seconds, meaning any website slower than this is going to start seeing its SEO impacted. 

But why are Google so focused on page speed?

“Optimized web experiences lead to higher user engagement, conversions, and ROI; performance is a feature and a competitive edge.”

They’ve gone so far as to build the tool Page Insights, helping you to identify slow loading pages on your site quickly so you can do something about them. The best part is, this tool will tell you which part of your website is causing the slowness i.e. the Largest Contentful Paint.

Our blog on Core Web Vitals explains LCP a little further:

It’s important to note, however, that there are several factors that can influence LCP load time. These include:

  • Slow loading resources on the page that should be optimised by compressing text, resizing images etc. 
  • Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS can slow download times, so you want to reduce CSS blocking time by minifying your CSS, deferring non-critical CSS and inline critical CSS. 
  • Slow server response times means that a browser waits longer to receive content from the server. You can use TTFB (Time to First Byte) to measure response times and improve your TTFB by optimising the server, routing to a CDN, using signed exchanges and caching assets.

StatusCake and page speed monitoring

Page Insights is a great tool for manual page by page checking of your website. We provide something different with automated monitoring with fast check rates that allow you to see when your website is loading slowly and more importantly why. This gives you the chance to rectify the situation before it damages your brand, and your potential traffic. Want to know more? You can sign up for a free for life account or trial our Superior plan for free today!

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