With the current digital landscapes, everything boils down to speed.
You may have a very good-looking website hosted by the best web hosting companies in Kenya, but if it takes forever to render its content, nobody will sit around to appreciate its beauty.
In this article, we will look at some of the methods you can use to improve your website’s speed so that you can improve the users’ experiences whenever they come to your website.
Why is your website’s speed important?
Studies suggest that most people will stick around for between 0.3 and 3 seconds before they lose focus. This means that when they come to your website, they need to load the pages they need within this attention span.
If your website is taking forever to load, they will simply move onto the next website. This will increase bounce back rate which, in turn, will hurt your SEO rankings.
You thus have two problems due to slow page speeds – poor user experience and poor rankings on the search engines.
The ugly truth is that if your website is slow, you will lose money. And, this is not good for business. If your website is faster, on the other hand, you will be able to retain a lot of visitors, reduce the bounce back rate, and possibly make more money.
What makes your websites slow
There are a few factors that may be responsible for slow load times. You’ll need a comprehensive audit to determine the specific ones, but generally, these are some of the reasons why your web pages are taking forever to load-:
- Hosting your website with poor web hosting companies in Kenya
- Failure to use browser cache
- Using too many widgets and plugins
- Large traffic volumes
- Using older browsers
- Slow network connection
- Hotlinking images from slow servers
- Using large image sizes
How to check your website speeds with web hosting companies in Kenya
Before you can embark on improving your website’s speed, you need to know the current speeds. This is so that you know if indeed there is need for the speed to be improved.
Also, you will know if the speed really improved after the make the necessary interventions. There are a variety of metrics that you can use to gauge how fast or how slow your website is.
For example, there are free tools for measuring the performance of websites such as Google Lighthouse and Cloudflare Observatory.
However, we highly recommend using the metrics provided by Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals uses three main metrics for measuring certain important aspects of websites. These include-:
- First Input Delay – this is a measure of a page’s response to user’s input
- Cumulative Layout Shift – it helps to measure the visual stability of a page’s element
- Largest Contentful Pain – this is a measure of the loading speeds of the largest elements of the website.
What is the best website speed?
Suppose you use Core Web Vitals discussed above, then the recommended thresholds are as follows-:
|Largest Contentful Paint||≤2500ms||>4000ms||75|
|First Input Display||≤100ms||>300ms||75|
|Cumulative Layout Shift||≤0.1||>0.25||75|
What You Need To Do to Improve Your Website’s Performance
Lower the number of HTTP requests
HTTP requests are the protocols that web browsers use to fetch different parts of the page or various aspects of your website from the server.
With each request, there is always some overhead in time needed to make connection between the server and the browser.
The first step toward improving your website’s speed is to reduce the number of these requests, especially requests that are not necessary.
If you are using a content management system like WordPress, be sure to do away with unnecessary plugins that does nothing but make the page load longer.
Use browser HTTP Caching
With browser caching, you have a temporary storage location for the browser to store static copies of your website.
As such, the browser will be able to load recently visited web pages quickly. You can enable browser caching to cache certain elements of your website that will not change often with each user visit.
As such, there will be a significant reduction in the amount of time needed by the server to render files, hence, greatly improving the load times of your website.
Use images of the right sizes
Many images are very heavy on graphics. But what most web hosting companies in Kenya will not tell you is that if you don’t compress your images, or use images of high resolution, then your website is going to have a slow performance.
The ideal way of dealing with the image size without hurting the quality is to use tools such as ImageOptim or Kraken.
It may take you a while using these tools to optimize the images, but the reward will be faster load speeds and an awesome user experience.
Reduce the number of plugins installed on your website
Most of the web hosting companies in Kenya offer solutions with content management systems such as WordPress available to users.
As such, most of the websites are powered by WordPress, which is heavily reliant on plugins to extend its functionalities.
Indeed, the use of plugins comes with a lot of flexibility and convenience, but if you have many of them installed on your website, then the site’s performance may be compromised.
Not only this, but with time, some of the plugins will become useless or better versions will be released. If you let them pile up on your backend, you will be doing nothing but hurting your site’s performance.
Therefore, conduct a thorough audit of all the plugins installed on your website. Get rid of as many as possible that you no longer have use for.
Use a Content Delivery Network – CDN
Serving static files may sometimes come with its own challenges, but most of the web hosting companies in Kenya will never tell you real truth.
Since website are not designed with the sole purpose to serve static files, it is a good idea to let some other web resources carry out this task. A content delivery network – CDN, is a good candidate for such a task.
CDN servers are geographically distributed. As such, it is the server closest to your website user is the one that will serve the requested files.
With this arrangement, the load time for such static content will be relatively faster, improving the overall performance of the website.
Choose the right web hosting companies in Kenya
Though the web hosting companies in Kenya have various hosting plans, if you opt for shared web hosting services in Kenya, then you may be setting yourself up for failure even before you start.
Since shared hosting carries lots of websites with no room for resource allocation and performance optimization, the server speeds will always be down, and such will be reflected on your website’s performance.
If you are very concerned about your website’s performance, then you must think about upgrading to a better hosting plan with better resource allocation capabilities. You can opt for a VPS, a dedicated server or cloud hosting.
These are the best for optimal website performance.
Use Gzip compression on your server
Think about enabling Gzip compression on your server. This will significantly lower the number of HTTP responses for certain types of files.
Ultimately, this will help to lower the load times for your websites, in addition to saving bandwidth.
Limit the use of redirects
A redirect happens when a visitor to one page is taken to a different page instead. Redirects usually add additional time to the initial load time.
Sometimes they are unavoidable, hence, you can’t do away with them completely. However, you can minimize them by issuing clear instructions on when redirects are to be initiated for the web pages.
Improve your web page speeds with expert help
Observing the above should put you on a clear path towards a fast-loading website. You also have to realize that your hosting company also plays a huge role on the performance of your site.
This is why you need to work with a reliable hosting company and not just any web hosting companies in Kenya.
Contact us today for reputable, affordable and secure hosting services in Kenya. Also, call us for comprehensive audits of your site’s performance.