The optimization of websites is essential to attract an audience and improve the user experience (UX). In fact, we know about SEO, but less information is available about Web Performance Optimization (WPO).
WPO consists of a set of strategies to improve the performance of your websites such as the loading speed or the user's browsing experience. When we think about how to improve navigability, captivate users and guarantee truly pleasant experiences when visiting a website, performance optimization emerges as the answer and a master move. This is an elementary aspect for brands, particularly for those who want to take full advantage of the almost infinite market that the Internet brings to you.
Do you understand how website optimization can help you?
Although it is a term of just 3 words, the WPO covers a wide series of techniques that reduce or eliminate all those obstacles and frictions that affect the UX when browsing a web page. Internet users are impatient; they'll leave with whoever opens the door first, so it's time to bet on WPO.
Optimization of websites significantly improves the experience on your page and makes it much more efficient and attractive, becoming a true source of growth, positioning and generation of business opportunities. Here is a list of benefits of applying WPO techniques:
- Better web positioning. It is more than clear that the main focus of the WPO is the loading speed of your website. It is useless to have attractive and visually friendly content that doesn’t load fast. In fact, just 1 second of delay results in a 7% decrease in conversions which harms UX and sales. In addition, page speed is one of the main SEO positioning factors. The increasingly intelligent algorithms of Google detect when a site is fast and prioritize it in their Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). Another point is the fact that a website that works well, technically manages to retain users on its page for longer, which is also a quality indicator for search engines. The longer a user navigates a page, the more relevant the content for the Google algorithm.
- Higher conversion probability. Web optimization doesn’t only impact technically the UX. It is an ally for commercial processes and business strategies because it leads people within the website to take positive actions for the commercial process To make it possible, it’s necessary to have a significant average time of permanence and a high level of engagement, and you can only achieve this if your users open different tabs within the page. Through the work of web optimization, you will optimize your page to the point that users will feel motivated to explore all its corners, contents and functionalities. At the same time, they will have incentives to fill out forms and access other windows that allow you to obtain information of interest to boost your conversion rates.
- Better return on investment. WordPress and other CMS tools make it easy to have a blog or e-commerce, but this doesn’t mean it’s free. To develop digital visibility and have a captivating page you need to invest money, time and effort. Luckily, this investment becomes profitable and safe when applying good performance optimization practices. If many users are willing to listen or read your content, the possibilities of expanding your client portfolio are bigger, which at the end of the day represents more productivity and income. In short, thanks to the loading speed and other optimizations, users will find the motivation to spend a significant amount of time on your page and return to it frequently… retention, loyalty, longer customer lifecycle. All of these are benefits associated with a great WPO.
- Reduction of the bounce rate. Thanks to the WPO, you will get fewer people to leave your site without reading the content and navigating to other sections of the site.
7 key factors to successfully implement the website optimization
Optimization of websites is a strategic and profound aspect of websites for positioning your brands. To illustrate the essence of WPO, let's take the example of web pages created on WordPress, which covers more than 60% of this market.
1. Choose a solid hosting solution
Web optimization begins as soon as you think about getting a hosting. To have a good WPO, you'll have to load small size resources, hire reliable hosting and keep your customer database optimized for your site to work perfectly. Thanks to website optimization techniques, it's possible to optimize the speed of templates of WordPress sites. So, it’s important to aim for quality hosting, which offers flexibility and the possibility of customization. Some of the most effective hosting solutions on the market are Hostinger, Bluehost and Hostgator.
However, there are also free alternatives such as 000WebHost.com and Infinityfree, but they are limited. You won’t have customer service, you just get a subdomain, your website is full of ads and if you don’t get traffic, you lose your website. They may work if you’re testing your web design abilities or business ideas, but they won’t work if you’re interested in a good WPO. Cheap or free hosting is going to give you more problems than solutions. Do your own search and hire quality hosting that offers you the latest technology, which will make your website fly.
2. Compressing images
As you know, images are an important part of the content of your website and a post can become endless if we don't add images. That's why the process of optimizing an image is key for improving the loading speed of your website. An original image from an SLR camera can take several megabytes. If you optimize it, you can get images between 70 or 120 KB, which will accelerate the loading speed of your site. How can you do this? Several tools allow you to compress and resize images and take less time to load your websites such as Compressjpeg or TinyPNG, The more you optimize your images (in size and quality), the less your website's load time. It's that simple.
3. Use responsive themes
This is another element of the ABC of web optimization. A theme with a quality design with good support is a must, but don’t forget the responsiveness of the theme. In fact, the idea is that you choose a responsive theme with a good reputation, which contributes to the loading speed and, consequently, to the UX.
4. Deactivate plugins you don’t use
Put in order your plugins since they are one of those elements that when they aren’t functional and don’t generate value, affect the database and even the loading speed. When they are no longer useful or they don't provide key functionality for the web, you have to delete them.
Another valuable action is to delete web pages that are no longer used or don't have any relevant traffic because they only end up taking up unnecessary space. Likewise, it’s also important to perform simple and routine maintenance actions such as removing spam comments and empty recycle bins.
5. Implement Gzip compression
GZIP compression enables you to reduce the size of any type of file by minimizing HTTP requests and reducing server response time. The most interesting thing about GZIP compression is that it makes the files smaller in size before sending them to the browser, which translates into immediate optimization and greater agility. For this, you must enable the free Gzip software on your website, including it in the automatic settings.
6. Block Hotlinking
Hotlinking is a "technique" based on offering documents or content hosted on another site or server. This practice, in addition to facilitating plagiarism and copyright violations, affects the websites that offer the original content and files. How much does it cost to get hotlinked? This practice seems harmless but it's costly for you, and the bandwidth of the server that hosts the image consumes your bandwidth uselessly. To avoid this, apply the Hotlinking blocking option in your hosting provider.
7. Don't ignore the SSL/HTTPS certificate and protect your website with a DNS Firewall
By now, you should know that your pages must have an SSL certificate so that it is a secure HTTP or HTTPS. Otherwise, Chrome and Firefox will label your website as not secure. Additionally, several DNS firewalls can help you keep your website safe from hackers, phishers and any malware. A DNS firewall blocks malicious requests that can have a negative impact on your website’s performance.
Additional tools to increase your website optimization
- SEMrush. SEMRush is a tool to analyze data related to SEO, web positioning, as well as to develop strategies to achieve backlinks to a website or build advertising. It's useful for detecting and analyzing competitors. For example, to know the keywords they use to position themselves, and thanks to this information, to search for new keywords to know your competitors. So, this SEO suite contributes directly to WPO. It helps to locate keywords and identify other essential criteria for positioning strategies, mainly organic, obtaining information of interest on technical performance as well as user navigation metrics. This way, it becomes an integral online visibility manager that guarantees tools to main.
- GTMetrix. This tool is ideal for identifying and measuring the speed metrics, which reflects the time it takes a browser to receive the first response from the webserver. The best-optimized and ranked pages typically need less than 300 milliseconds to complete this process. However, in general, any site that does it in 500 milliseconds or less is technically well valued.
- W3 Total Cache. It is one of the most functional and complete cache plugins for WordPress, as it has great functional values such as the ability to cache objects and queries. In addition, it integrates with content delivery networks. Its functionalities improve technical SEO and UX by optimizing performance and reducing loading time.
- Pingdom. This web monitoring software allows you to test your site speed in real-time, which, as you already know, is one of the core elements of the UX. With Pingdom, you can make load time analysis for free for 14 days.
- SEOSiteCheckup. This is another valuable web optimization analysis tool to determine your main technical SEO problems and the limitations of your web server. Besides, you will access detailed progress and improvement reports, which allow you to measure the scope of the different WPO actions.
- Jetpack. Jetpack offers statistics on web performance and security levels, which allow decision-making to improve performance and UX… And its full version allows you to manage themes and offer permanent protection from SPAM.
- WebPageTest. This tool performs web speed tests. It is capable of providing an analysis of the loading times of a page or blog. Moreover, it offers users very explanatory and comprehensive graphics that are easier to understand than the classic web performance report.
Retain your users and your business will skyrocket!
Optimization of websites is the key to enhance your site! If you focus on WPO techniques, you'll improve the speed of your website and this will make you gain more traffic, improve your online presence and get more profits. It is a great source of business opportunities and profitability. Of course, you get these benefits as long as you develop this series of techniques effectively.
But no need to worry, if it seems hard. We got your back. Just contact us and we'll help you unconditionally until you have the results you are expecting!