Several factors affect the health and functionality of websites. Check out this guide’s suggestions for improvement if your website is running slowly.
A website or e-commerce project may be set up and managed successfully, but the job is far from over once the site is up. Your website will suffer without proper health and performance monitoring, and those effects may go well beyond just a delayed load time. Did you know that you will improve the situation in addition to increasing user satisfaction?
In addition to having effects on those who design or use them, poorly functioning websites also leave a higher carbon imprint. The typical internet page generates 0.5 grams of carbon dioxide each visit, according to the Website Carbon Calculator, which calculates the carbon footprint of websites.
That amount increases to 0.9 grams when taking a look at the mean, which also takes into account highly polluting websites. In addition to the problems on a worldwide scale, a poorly functioning website will cost you time, money, and income. Similar to our health, a website is simple to neglect and challenging to improve.
To perform suitable monitoring procedures and speed up processing, you must be aware of the key elements that contribute to the overall health of a website. Making websites is now simpler and quicker thanks to the development of website builders. All you have to do is register, select a domain, select a template, and presto! Within seconds, you have a website.
Many website owners, however, ignore the reality that building a website is simply the first step. Additionally essential are appropriate performance upkeep and health surveillance. On that topic, let’s examine some crucial website performance and health metrics, including what they are, how to track them, and how to make changes.
Factors to Monitor for a High Website Health Score
Core Web Vitals:
Google Page Speed Insights
Your Core Web Vitals should be the first metrics you take into account while performing performance testing. These performance indicators demonstrate responsiveness, stability, and speed, enabling you to assess the effectiveness of your website’s user experience.
Various programs track your Core Web Vitals, but Google Page Speed Insights is a popular choice among website owners. You will be reported for putting your URL into the tool that will indicate if you passed the Core Web Vitals test and any additional factors you need to pay attention to. The three main metrics you will notice are as follows:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Aim for a time of no more than 2.5 seconds.
First Input Delay (FID)
Aim for a score of no more than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Target a score of 0.1 or below
Include size characteristics on your visual and video material to prevent unpredictable layout adjustments if your score is higher (or reserve the space with CSS aspect ratio boxes). Keep your content from crossing over, and take care when animating any transitions.
Blockers for slow pages
Your website’s load time may be impacted by several variables. However, if you’re short on time and would want to start by concentrating on the primary offenders, pay particular attention to the following elements:
- Large image file sizes (more on that below).
- Too many redirect chains.
Enabling early hints is an additional choice that instructs the browser in the HTTP server response which resources it should begin downloading to take advantage of “server think-time” and accelerates page load times.
To test your website:
Navigate to https://pagespeed.web.dev/
Enter the URL of the page you want to scan.
I’d suggest starting with your homepage.
WebPageTest.org is another useful resource that displays your Core Web Vitals in addition to additional metrics that may greatly enhance the functionality and health of your website. It’s also free!
Simply put a page URL into the site’s search box to launch a comprehensive test from the default location. Additionally, you may sign up as a user and select from a list of locations to test your website across various nations, devices, and browsers.
WebPageTest will provide you with a Performance Summary that is divided into four main sections: Opportunities and Experiments, Observed Metrics, Real User Measurements, and Individual Runs. This Performance Summary will show you exactly where your website stands in terms of performance and what might be slowing it down.
We often delegate concerns about website performance and health monitoring to the tech staff. But what if I told you that your website’s design and the components you use may determine how well it performs? It’s time to include the design team.
Although images are excellent, if they are not scaled correctly, they may cause your website to load slowly. Resize your photographs before posting them, and don’t upload huge files if they won’t be displayed in full.
Similarly, instead of using bulkier JPEG or PNG files, compress your photos and experiment with various file formats like WebP, JPEG 2000, and JPEG XR. To guarantee that pictures load as the user views them rather than all at once, think about using native lazy loading.
The loading=”lazy” tag on img> or iframe> tells the browser to load them when the user scrolls closer to them, and almost all browsers, including Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, support it. Avoid lazily loading above-the-fold pictures as this will lower your page’s LCP score. Google suggests using the fetchpriority=”high” tag on images above the fold to raise LCP.
You don’t need to preload the pictures if you utilize that property. Images above the fold should either be preloaded or assigned to the “fetch priority” attribute. Additionally, use the “srcset” attribute’s responsiveness to load pictures that are appropriately scaled for the screen size and prevent loading redundantly big images on tiny displays. This will significantly raise the LCP score.
Although customers with 20/20 vision may find it difficult to read extravagant bespoke fonts, they can also significantly slow down your website. Replace fonts that are hosted externally with more web-safe fonts, and consider using Google fonts – provided that they are hosted through Google’s CDN.
Moreover, since this font standard may drastically lower font file sizes, think about implementing changeable fonts into the overall design of your website. Preload your fonts, please.
Animations and auxiliary features
It goes without saying: Don’t overdo it with the sliders, animations, films, special effects, etc. A few dynamic components here and there are good, but overloading your website with moving graphics may be annoying for both visitors and servers.
Avoid using non-composited animations since they need the page to be painted again, which adds to the main thread’s workload and makes the website look visually unsteady as it loads.
PWA solution for mobile optimization
Why not go all out and create a Progressive Web App (PWA) from your mobile site? PWAs load cached material faster since they are designed with service workers. Additionally, PWAs are similar to native mobile apps, which are excellent for performance and user experience.
Technical Performance Metrics Additional Uptime
Your website’s uptime demonstrates how well it is operating. Your website’s user experience, Google rankings, and ultimately your income will suffer if it often crashes or goes down. Aim for a 99.999% uptime if at all feasible, and test your website from many locations.
Monitoring uptime instruments:
- Better Uptime.
Data Base Performer
Your website may be responding slowly because of poor database performance if you’ve examined the fundamentals yet nothing seems to be working.
This may be verified by keeping track of how quickly your queries are responding and identifying the particular database queries that are taking the longest.
When you’ve finished, start optimizing! You may find solutions based on precise data and rapidly identify bottlenecks by using technologies like Blackfire.io.
Web Server’s Hardware
If your disc space is overflowing with log files, photos, videos, and database entries, your website can slow down. Maintain frequent CPU load monitoring, particularly after implementing updates or making design modifications. By effectively monitoring and debugging your whole stack, tools like New Relic may assist you.
Many of the metrics that were previously addressed have already had a big influence on search visibility. Therefore, by optimizing your website pages with Google PageSpeed Insights, you are also taking vital steps to improve your SEO. Alternatively, you may choose a website crawling tool that best meets your needs, such as Semrush, or Sitechecker.pro, Screaming Frog, or DeepCrawl.
Website crawlers help find all types of issues, such as:
- Broken links.
- Broken images.
- Monitor core web vital metrics.
- Redirect chains.
- Structured data errors.
- Noindexed pages.
- Missing headings and Meta descriptions.
- Mixed content.
Make sure you’re prepared for the following issues:
XML sitemap: Verify that your sitemap is constructed appropriately and determine whether any adjustments or a new submission of your sitemap through Google Search Console are required.
Robots.txt: Use a robots.txt file to better regulate crawl traffic on your web pages (HTML, PDF, or any other non-media formats that search engines can read), especially if you worry that Google’s crawler may be overtaxing your server.
Website Caching and Security
Purchase an SSL certificate!
A secure website is in good health. Even if your website runs flawlessly and has a perfect score, visitors (or search engines) won’t trust it if the address doesn’t begin with https://. An SSL certificate is simply a piece of code that runs on your server and creates an encrypted connection, ensuring the security of user data.
Although obtaining an SSL certificate is not very challenging, the manual process might take a while. However, if you are working with a reputable hosting company likes BlueHost, your provider will almost certainly be able to give a free SSL for your name.
Think About Using A CDN
Distributed computers working together to provide material quickly over the internet is called content delivery networks (CDNs).In other words, a CDN is a solution that, independent of a user’s location, accelerates the performance of your website by maintaining its content on servers close to that user. Caching is another name for this.
A CDN is essential if you have a global presence! By spreading out traffic and increasing security with features like DDoS mitigation, it will speed up page load time, save bandwidth costs, spread out traffic (cutting the likelihood of your site going down), and boost traffic.
Leading companies in the sector include Google Cloud CDN, Amazon Cloudfront, and Cloudflare. To choose the finest CDN for your website and company needs, conduct your homework since there are many alternative solutions available.
Configure a Web Application Firewall
By excluding questionable HTTP traffic, a Web Application Firewall (WAF) safeguards web applications. It aims to shield apps against assaults like:
- Cross-site forgery.
- Cross-site-scripting (XSS).
- File inclusion.
- SQL injection.
Below is a list of the most popular and trusted web application firewalls:
- Cloudflare WAF.
- GoDaddy Firewall.
- Microsoft Azure.
And for WordPress, you can consider installing plugins such as:
- All-In-One Security (AIOS).
It’s all done now! As you can see, several factors affect the functionality and health of websites. Checking your Core Web Vitals to identify where you can make improvements should be your first logical move if your website is running slowly. Additionally, you may examine additional technical metrics and make improvements to them.
The health of your website depends on SEO as well, so look at your links, search visibility, and potential load blocks to determine where you can make improvements. Don’t forget to use caching and your SSL certificate as well. Your website’s design can also affect how quickly and effectively it loads, especially if you or your designers like to use heavy design components. Keep in mind to optimize your photos, stay away from dense typefaces, and utilize animations sparingly.