How long do 2 or 3 seconds really feel? Well, it may be a small amount of time for anything but when it comes to website loading – it is a huge deal! It can profoundly affect your search ranking, traffic, user experiences, and even your revenue.
It’s a no-brainer. If you want more traffic, more subscribers, and in turn more revenue, you have to make your website fast. And guess what? You’re in for a treat! I’ve put together everything you need to know to get the perfect Google PageSpeed score for your Joomla site.
Let’s dive right in.
Tools to Check the PageSpeed of a Website
First thing first, to improve your page speed you must first know where you stand.
Fortunately, there are so many free tools available to check the page speed of a site. Not only that, but they also provide suggestions on what files to tweak on our site for a faster load.
Here’s a list of some of the tools that are free to use and reliable.
- Google Page Speed Tool
- Pingdom Page Speed Test
- Google Analytics
Recommended PageSpeed Score to Target
How long are you willing to wait for a web page to load before getting frustrated and bouncing away? 5, 10, 15 seconds? Most visitors are likely to abandon your site if it takes longer than just 3 seconds!
According to Google, a web page that takes 5 seconds or less to load has 60% greater page views and a 35% lower bounce rate than a web page that takes more than that.
While you might want to aim for a 100/100 Google PageSpeed score, the best any normal website can probably expect to achieve is between 80 to 90. Unless you spend a lot on website hosting, you won’t reach those scores.
Generally, a score of above 80 indicates a page is performing well.
How to Improve Your Google PageSpeed Score?
Once you have found out your current page speed score and set a goal to achieve, it’s time for improvements.
Some of the many ways to improve your Google PageSpeed are:
Choose a Reliable Joomla Page Builder
Unreliable page builders can make your site bloated by adding unnecessary codes and files thereby slowing your site down.
But SP Page Builder won’t do that! Its awesome features like caching system, image optimization, lazy loading, etc. make it the best choice for building lightweight and fast web pages.
For images from several addons, for example, Article, Slideshow, Carousel, Clients, Image, Modal, and Person – by default, it uses built-in native lazy loading for the Chrome 76+ browser users. For the rest of the browsers, SP Page Builder uses IntersectionObserver’s Coming into View.
To enable lazy loading from the Global Configuration, go to the global settings of SP Page Builder and turn ON the Lazy Load button.
Use Joomla Templates Optimized for Speed
Templates are great right? They let you create beautiful websites in a matter of minutes without having to wrangle with any code. But choosing the wrong template can backfire you instead of doing any good.
Choose templates that do not increase your load time and make it easy for search engines to crawl the content of the website. We have a wealth of templates in our collection that is SEO optimized, responsive, and well-coded.
Enable Joomla Caching
While there are so many ways you can speed up your Joomla site, enabling caching has shown far better results than anything else.
If you enable cache, the browser bypasses the server and loads the content directly from its cache. Needless to say, it significantly improves your page speed. Learn how to easily set up the Joomla cache and speed up your Joomla site faster than ever.
Remove Unused Joomla Extensions
Remove unused extensions and plugins! Period. The more extensions you install on your site, the slower your site becomes as they take up some system and database resources.
Remove extensions you no longer need or use, not only to improve the speed but also for security purposes.
Enable Gzip Compression on Joomla
When you use Gzip on your Joomla site it improves the performance and significantly reduces the response size by 70%. How? Its brilliantly simple algorithm locates similar strings and replaces them temporarily thus reduces the size of the web pages without decreasing the content quality.
Refer to our article to learn how to use Gzip compression on Joomla.
Use Content Delivery Network
Instead of loading your media files such as videos, images, audios, etc. from the host server, a more efficient way is to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to load them. Some popular CDN providers that will work with CDN for Joomla are Amazon CloudFront, BunnyCDN, etc.
Mobile Optimization for Your Joomla Site
More than half of the web traffic comes from mobile users. Don’t you think it’s foolish not to optimize your Joomla site for mobile devices?
Another important reason why you should optimize your site for mobile use is because of Google’s mobile-friendly ranking algorithm. Basically, this algorithm is designed to give mobile-friendly websites a boost when it comes to ranking on Google mobile search results. You can also use extensions like jAmp, Responsivizer, etc. for better speed on the mobile web page.
Minifying merges all CSS and JS files so the number of requests decreases. It also removes all unnecessary spaces, line breaks, and comments to reduce the file size.
You will find several Joomla extensions to optimize your site in the Joomla extensions directory. Some of the best optimizing extensions for Joomla are JCH Optimize, JBetolo, ScriptMerge, etc.
Image-heavy websites struggle to increase page speed and thus increase their webpage bounce rates.
Here’re some best practices to follow for adding images to your site:
- Resize your images before adding them to the server
- If you cannot resize before uploading them, define the height and width in HTML
- Compress your images to reduce unnecessary file sizes
- Use WebP images
- Use alt text to describe the image in one sentence
- Appropriately use PNG, JPEG, and GIF file types
- Use web fonts rather than placing text within images
Improve Server Response Time
The amount of time it takes for the web browser to receive a response is known as the server response time. This is often measured by Time to First Byte.
According to Google’s PageSpeed Insights, your server response time should be under 200ms. Invest in a high-performing web server even if that takes some extra bucks.
The benefits of optimizing your page speed are clear. So, when are you going to start optimizing? Follow the actionable tips mentioned above and see the improvement for yourself.
Did we miss anything? Let us know what you do to improve your page speed in the comments. Good day!