What is Page Speed?

Definition: Page Speed measures how quickly a web page loads when a visitor first clicks on the link. Customers expect their pages to load quickly. Fast page speeds ensure a good first impression for your customer. They’re also critical for improving your search ranking. On the flip side, slow page speeds increase the likelihood of losing your customer before they have a chance to shop. They can also hurt your search ranking.

Why is page speed important?

If a page on your online store doesn’t materialize within seconds, you risk losing your potential customer to the dreaded “back” button. Considering the dire nature of maintaining a lightning-fast page speed on all your pages, optimizing for shorter load times isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity.

A slow page speed is going to hurt your pagerank, too. Whenever a customer clicks the back button before they’ve even entered your site, that action will negatively impact your SEO. Page speed is a critical factor in Google’s algorithm, playing an outsized role in helping your online store climb the search rankings. With this in mind, a competitive speed on all pages of your online store is crucial to maintaining strong SEO.

What causes slow page speed and how do you fix it?

A number of different factors can slow down your page speed. Here are a few examples.

  • Too many redirects: Redirects are much better than 404s. But if you end up with a chain of redirects from multiple deleted pages, your shopper’s browser is going to take time to process all that URL shuffling. Fix old redirects to point directly to their final resolution page.
  • Bulky code (CSS, HTML, etc.): Depending on how much custom code you use on your online store, cleaning up extraneous code (commas, spaces, unused code, etc.) and minimizing comments and formatting can make code easier for the browser to read and render. This should speed page load time up greatly.
  • Large or numerous image files: Pictures take time to load. The more images your page has to load, the more time it’ll take. You can fix this problem by including fewer images on the page and compressing the remaining images.
  • Javascript issues: Beyond actually cleaning up your Javascript, you’ll want to remove any blocking Javascript. This is script that runs before the browser has a chance to render the HTML.

Fix these kinds of issues and your page speed should improve immediately.

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