Web Design & Dev

Uncommon Ways to Make Your Website Faster

MotoCMS Editorial 20 May, 2024

Website visitors now expect fast websites, and Google even says load speed is a ranking factor due to its impact on user experience. If your website is slow, there is a significant possibility of losing valuable visitors and your website ranking poorly. You could do many things to speed up your website that have been explored in more depth in the past. These include options like reducing image size and your website’s asset size. In this article, we will look at some that have not been explored as thoroughly but that can make a massive difference to how fast your website loads.

Embrace Edge Hosting

Your web host is a significant determinant of how fast your website loads. Therefore, it is reasonable to choose a faster web host to ensure your website loads as fast as possible. This web host usually uses SSDs (Solid-State Drives) in their servers because they are much faster than traditional hard drives that use spinning disks.

Beyond this, you should pick a web host that utilizes edge networks. Edge hosting takes advantage of edge computing, where your website content is stored on servers in multiple locations worldwide. This distribution means there is always a server close to your website visitors, regardless of where they are.

To make your website even faster, web hosts like GCore combine edge hosting with CDNs that help load your website faster. This means you take advantage of faster hosting, edge computing, and content delivery networks for load times that can be a second or even slower.

Faster Website – Lazy Load Content

Your website might need to load a lot of content and data when someone visits it. However, this does not mean it has to load all this content simultaneously. You can load the most important content first, typically what the user sees, and load additional content as they scroll down the page. This is known as lazy loading.

Because images typically impact load times the most, prioritize lazy loading them first. Just load the first few on the page, including the hero image, fast before loading other images.

You should also consider lazy loading content, which is not crucial to the rest of the website. This could also be content pulled from another server or service. For example, many websites post and manage their comments using different services. This can take time and block the page’s rendering, especially if the website allows threaded discussions.

You can implement lazy loading, where comments only load when a user scrolls down to that section. This reduces the initial page load but also ensures the comments are available for visitors who want to read them.

Use Browser Prefetching

Modern web development frameworks, including Laravel and Next, allow you to prefetch website content. What does this entail? It involves loading content in the background that you think the user might want to access next. For example, you can prerender the content behind a button or link because you know the user is likely to click these assets, especially if they are calls to action.

It is also possible to prefetch content based on scroll behavior. For example, instead of prefetching content that sits behind all buttons and links, you can do so for one behind the links and buttons a user has scrolled to. This reduces resource requirements while ensuring visitors can access the content they want much faster.

Use Font Swapping

Fancy fonts are beautiful and will make your website look much better for your visitors. However, they can slow down your website’s loading because they are often heavy and downloaded from an external service.

Many developers embrace a system where they load the core fonts first for critical content and then the fancy fonts for decorative content. Doing this ensures visitors can read the core content much faster because the decorative content might not be what they are there for.

Even when the font swapping happens, it will not be as disruptive as visitors waiting around for the initial load because the fonts are too heavy to load quickly.

Faster Website – Use GZIP Compression

Although it has been around for over 30 years, GZIP remains one of the most crucial tools for making websites faster. It is a text compression algorithm that reduces the size of text-based files like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files.

It is often enabled on most servers, but you might have to ask your hosting provider to check if it is activated on yours. GZIP is so ubiquitous that all browsers support it. However, there are other better and more modern compression algorithms like Brotli. These do not have as much browser support as GZIP, so the latter is the most recommended option.

If your website hosting provider does not support these compression tools, you can still get access to them using a CDN. Many CDNs use more modern options, but all fall back to GZIP if the user’s browser does not support them.

Also, many website caching options for content management systems like WordPress let you enable GZIP or Brotli, so you might want to use those if you do not have access to these algorithms otherwise.

Optimize Critical Rendering Paths

The above-the-fold content concept comes from the newspaper industry, where publishers place the most essential content on the upper half of the first page (above the fold). This concept has made its way into web development, where developers are encouraged to ensure faster loading of above-the-fold content.

You can start by identifying the most critical content, like the hero image and accompanying headlines, and prioritizing their rendering. You should optimize the code and resources needed to display this crucial content and initial viewpoint for a better user experience and the perception of faster page loads.

Website speed matters a lot, especially for crucial websites like e-commerce platforms, where the website owner wants users to see the content much faster. It also ensures they do not leave without interacting with the website, which will happen if your website loads slowly. There are numerous options to make your website faster, and you can pick the ones that work best for you and your hosting solution.

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Tags: site website optimization
Author: MotoCMS Editorial
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