What Affects Website Speed and How to Improve It

Last updated on June 12th, 2023 at 09:27 am

Your website speed impacts every aspect of your site performance, from SEO to brand reputation to conversions.

It is regarded among the most crucial factors in creating a successful online business.

What Affects Website Speed

It is saddening that many businesses are not equipped with the knowledge to optimize it.

To fully boost your site speed, you have to know the elements that affect it and ways you can improve it.


What is Website Speed?

Before we begin, you need to have an idea of the meaning of website speed.

People erroneously assume it is related to the speed of their device when visiting a website.

However, It simply revolves around how fast a browser can showcase your site content to visitors.

Website speed is how fast a webpage takes to load.

All the elements that are loaded on the webpage impact how fast a user can move on to a different page.

Things like videos, scripts and images have a longer loading time than text.

A website with a slow loading time can displease users since they will have to wait for elements to be loaded before they access the content.

You can use different tools to check your site speed, including:


What is the Importance of Website Speed?


User Experience

The major aim of improving website speed is to boost the user experience (UX) for those who visit your site.

Any theme or layout you use on your website should offer a positive user experience, and speed is a very influential factor in determining this.

UX has a serious impact on nearly every element of your website.

It is the reflection of the way visitors regard your brand, the visibility of your website in search results, and the number of conversions you have.

If your website is slow and sluggish, your visitors will be left with a poor experience, and this will negatively affect your business.

However, a fast website can have a positive and enriching experience for visitors, leading to customer loyalty and increased conversion rates.


Brand Perception

Your website is among the first point where your customers interact with your brand.

This means that your site experience has an enormous influence on the way they perceive your brand.

A sluggish website with a slow loading time will leave a bad impression that can ruin your brand reputation.

Some visitors may assume that you are not professional. Others may doubt your expertise and believe your site is damaged or not secure.

Brand perception is important, and great site speed makes sure that you enjoy an excellent start to all kinds of buyer engagement.


Visitor Retention

The major objective of website design is to draw visitors and retain their interest immediately.

However, if your website is slow to load, it will frustrate visitors and struggle to retain them.

Studies by Google have revealed that a website’s bounce rate goes up by over 30% when its loading time jumps from 1 to 3 seconds and by over 80% when the site loading time climbs from 1 to 5 seconds.

A colorful, visually appealing website is great. However, if it is not fast to load and struggles with a high bounce rate, it won’t live up to your expectation.



Your website speed can have an enormous influence on your ranking in search results.

Google made page speed a ranking factor in 2010. The same thing also applies to mobile pages.

Speed is among the metrics search engines look at when checking for user experience.

Furthermore, it offers websites with great UX with improved visibility on search results pages.

Even though page speed is not as critical as relevance, it continues to have a considerable effect on your site’s position in search engine results pages.

A website with a slow loading time can have an adverse influence on conversions, traffic and, eventually, sales.

To offers your website an excellent opportunity to rank well, you have to make sure your website is fast loading and high performing.


Conversions and Sales

There is an inseparable connection between sales, conversions and website speed.

Almost 70% of shoppers acknowledge that page speed influences their decision to make purchases from an online store.

This implies that website speed has an effect on visitor satisfaction.

If a customer has a pleasant experience on your website, there is a chance for high conversion.

It is crucial to take into account that your website’s speed is intricately linked to lead generation and sales.

A fast loading time can be integral to your success online.


What Factors Affect the Website Factors?

Here are some factors that affect the speed of your website:


File Size

The bigger the file, the more time your browser will use up to download it.

For instance, if your photo has a width of 750 pixels and a height of 560 pixels, the browser has to load two different files – the bottom and top half of the pictures.

If your images are in Webp format, your site will load faster because of its lossless compression feature.

This is often better than PNG or GIF format.


Number of Files

If there are multiple files on your web pages, it will impact the data amount processed by browsers.

This will mean your website will load slowly.

Thus, it is smart to minimize the external resources you have on your web pages.


File Type

Some file formats need additional processing from the server to show up.

For example, some browsers may not access PDFs if the user does not have a PDF reader installed.


Server Response Time

This is said to be how much time a server takes to respond after getting a request from a client.

If your website has large files, it may cause a slow server response time.


Browser Compatibility Issues

Browsers utilize a variety of technologies to access websites.

They all have their individual functionalities and limitations.

Certain browsers may not be capable of handling some HTML tags; others can.

A good example is Internet Explorer8, as it can only access a certain type of HTML 5 tags. It can’t access Java widgets, Flash audio or video.

Other browsers may not be able to handle some specific kinds of multimedia content.


Network Latency

This simply means the length of time needed to send data via the network directly to the server from a client.

Longer latencies show the user’s web connection is slow.


Bandwidth Limitations

Many networks constrain the bandwidth offered to users.

This implies that users are limited by how much data they can receive and send.


Client-Side Scripting

Some browsers let developers embed scripts in their web pages.

Others would need them to utilize a third-party script library.



Browsers store webpages in a cache to ensure that they do not need to reload them each time someone accesses them.

If a user re-visits that exact webpage, then a cached version is displayed rather than undergoing the procedure of getting the new copy from the web server.

But, caching is usually not effective in dynamic sites as there are always changes in the site content.

Furthermore, only the newest version of the web paged is stored as a cache by the browser.


The Loading Order of Web Pages

The manner in which different elements on a web page loads influence how fast it loads.

For instance, if a link shows up first, then there is a high likelihood that a user will click it before any piece of content.

The reverse is the case if the text is the first to load.


How do I Improve my Website Speed?

You can boost your website speed in numerous ways. Here’s how:


Optimize Images

One way to add value to your image is by adding high-quality, high-resolution images.

Visual content plays an important role in your narration, whether it is on your landing page or blog post of your website.

It also adds beauty and engagement to your content.

However, if you aren’t mindful, these images will cause your website to be sluggish and have an impact on its loading time.

Here’s the solution:

  • Ensure your images are cropped and re-sized using image editing tools.
  • Then, use free image compression tools (such as TinyPNG) to lower the file size without compromising the quality of the images.
  • You can also change your image format to WebP.


Ensure Your Code is Minified

You might have likely observed that as we explore ways to boost website speed, the general principle is: “the smaller, the faster.”

And we have arrived at “minifying.” If you use a website speed checker tool, you will probably be advised to “minify CSS, HTML and/or HTML.”

Minification revolves around lowering codes and file size by getting rid of unneeded or redundant elements without affecting your site’s functionality or appearance.

To put it simply, it is a way to tidy up or declutter your site’s code by getting rid of line breaks, spaces, comments, etc.

These unnecessary codes were inserted for the purpose of making them simpler to understand or navigate programmers.

Eliminating them won’t affect your site, but it will lower the size of the file.

Minifying may lead to a significant drop in the size of the file based on the amount of extra space utilized as your programmer built your website.

You will surely see an accompanying improvement in your website speed.

If your site is built with WordPress, you can use simple plugins, including Autoptimize Plugin, Fast Velocity Minify Plugin or WP Super Minify Plugin.

Google also has a comprehensive guide on minification, with different recommendations for JavaScript, CSS and HTML.


Opt for a Performance-Optimized Hosting Service

Your website hosting service can greatly contribute to your website loading time.

It is an intermediary between your users and every page and file on your website.

When you choose a poor hosting service to cut costs, there is a high chance of struggling with performance issues with serious consequences.

It is highly recommended to pay for reliable, quality hosting that will positively impact your website speed.


Utilize Content Delivery Network

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are server networks that deliver easier, quicker and more stable access to your website by means of storing your web contents at geographically distributed data centers across the world.

CDNs do not replace your web hosting service.

They assist in boosting your website speed by accelerating the delivery of content between your host servers and browsers.


Utilize Browsing Caching

Browsers employ caching to avoid going through the process of fully reloading web pages when a user revisits your website.

Elements that are cached usually include images, JavaScript files, and stylesheets, amongst others.

As earlier stated, it is crucial your site visitors experience fast loading time.

However, setting up caching can reduce that fast loading time for return visitors by a few seconds.


Embrace Minimalism

Lastly, ensure your website is minimalistic.

Plan your plugins, widgets and visual content properly and be sure they are relevant to your website.

Those that aren’t in any way impactful or functional get rid of them.

In the matter of aesthetics, you have to abide by the dictum “less is more.”

Avoid cluttering your website with heavy objects that aren’t particularly helping your prospective customers convert or make purchases.


What Affects Website Speed FAQs


What is the ideal web design resolution?

1280 x 720 is often regarded as the ideal screen resolution for a desktop website. The desktop version delivers the most optimal user experience and is meant to be wide and easy to access.


What is the number of fonts my website should have?

A website shouldn’t have more than three fonts. A website with lots of fonts can confuse users with changes in layout and design.



Website speed is an important part of technical SEO.

In this article, I explained the factors that affect website speed and how to improve it. A slow website can frustrate users, leading to high bounce rates and low conversion.

Improving your website speed shouldn’t be done as a mere formality. It is the key to establishing your web presence and fostering customer loyalty.

Harrison Acha is a Digital Marketing Expert, Seasoned Blogger, Facebook Marketing Expert, Writer, SEO Expert, and Digital Content Creator. Have been in the IT industry for more than a decade, and helping both tech and non-tech professionals become more productive and less frustrated with technology. Follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

PrimeGate Digital is a Result Driven Blog that strives to go beyond ‘Conventional Digital Marketing’ through digital innovation and performance marketing. We have experience working with world class brands and products.


Our Latest Blog

Contact Details

Address: No 10 Omoalade Alafia, Shomolu Lagos.
Call Us: +23439686407.
Email Us: [email protected]