A slow loading website is not just bad for your search engine rankings, it also turns away your visitors, or worse, your customers and clients. Search engines will abandon indexing your website if it does not load on time. They assume that your website does not exist and hence it is dropped from the search engine index. Google openly says that the loading speed of your website affects your search engine rankings.
Similarly an average visitor is quite impatient. Scores of other things are happening around him or her and in between them if he or she has to wait for more than a minute to load a single page he or she will certainly lose track or move onto another website. On an average a smart phone user won’t visit your website if the website doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
So how do you make your website load faster?
Tone down on images
Are you needlessly using images? Why are you using 10 images when 1 or 2 would be sufficient? Are you optimizing your images? Do you know that you can reduce the size of an image by almost 50% without reducing its quality? This is also called image compression. Do that with every image you upload.
You can also use CSS Sprites (here is a good explanation of these) so that the browser doesn’t have to make multiple HTTP requests in order to download multiple images.
Get your website hand coded
When you use GUI HTML tools to design your website they insert lots of junk code. This can considerably slow down your website. If possible, hand code your website or ask your web designer to do so.
Keep your stylesheet light
As you play around with your stylesheet, lots of extra code can creep in. Layout specifications that can be written in a single line don’t need to go on and on for 10 lines. There are many tools available online that can help you optimize your stylesheet in order to reduce its size.