What is Page Speed & How Can I Improve it?

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On average, a user waits 3 seconds for a page to load before the wait time becomes too long and they decide to go back to the previous page or leave the site altogether, which may lead them into the hands of your competitor. Page speed is an important aspect for you to consider when optimising your site for better user experience and friendliness. So your website load time must be within 3 seconds.

Page speed is the amount of time it takes for all the content (including media such as images and sliders) to load. The faster your page speed, the happier the user will be and the more likely it is that they will convert.

Not only is a fast page speed good for user experience, it has also now been suggested that page speed and overall website speed is a Google ranking signal! How often do you find a very slow loading website on the first page of the SERPs? And if you do, how long will you take before you lose patience with it and move on?

Test how fast your pages are with Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool here. In Front can help offer advice and recommendations on how to correctly optimise your site for mobile. So get in touch if you want to know more.

There are many factors that can improve your page speed and overall site performance. The main ones are discussed below:

Enable Compression

CSS, HTML and JavaScript can be large files that slow down your page speed due to them loading in the background; to fix this you can download a software application called Gzip to compress your files that are larger than the recommended 150 bytes. However, you wouldn’t use Gzip for your images as this may compromise image quality. Instead you should use a program such as Adobe Fireworks or Photoshop where you have control of the quality of your images but are able to still compress the files to a much smaller size, which makes them quicker to load. It is important to find a balance between size of the image vs how fast it will load and image quality because your site may load fast but if your images are of a poor quality, then it will make your site look unprofessional.


Compressing your image files is an important step of improving your web page speed, however the file format which the images are saved as also make a difference to how fast they load as each format has different properties. Whilst the PNG format is best for images with few colours, JPEGs are the best format for photographs if you want to showcase your work. Once your images are compressed and in an appropriate format, ensure that they are of an appropriate size as large images will add additional time to your page load speed.

Minify CSS, JavaScript and HTML

A simple step to improving page speed is minifying and optimising your code. Within your code there may be unnecessary characters such as commas and spaces which can be removed. Look out for snippets of unused code as this may also be slowing site load down. Take this time to ensure that all your code is working as it should and that your conversion tracking is in place.


It is natural that your site may have a selection of redirects pointing the user to different pages on the site, however reducing your number of redirects that are in place could have a significant impact on your page speed. Redirects require the HTTP request-response cycle to complete and this can add additional time to your load time, which the user may not be happy to stick around to wait for.

Leverage Browser Caching

Internet browsers cache (store) a lot of data, such as images and JavaScript files, so that when a returning visitor returns to your site, it isn’t necessary for the browser to reload all of the elements on the page, as they have been cached, as they have the data on file. Unless you change your site very frequently, you should set your “expires” header (which tells the browser how long you want that information to remain cached) to expire after a minimum of 1 year.

Server Response Time

Depending on the amount of traffic your site receives and the amount of resources and software your site contains, your server response time can slow down your page speed immensely and can be a real problem for site’s that are trying to reduce their page load time. The optimum server response time is 200 milliseconds! Google recommends that you inspect your current performance to see if you are able to spot any applications or responses that are taking the most time.

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