4 Tips to Improve Website Performance in 2021 | TechAffinity

You can easily improve your website performance with these 4 tips that demand minimal edits to site code.

We all know time is money. Hence, a faster loading website saves more time and thus, converts better. Whenever there is a need for performance improvements, it often involves the editing of legacy codes and it would affect the structural integrity of the site. This is the case when it comes to improving the performance of JavaScript.

One main advantage of JavaScript is flexibility as it is a dynamic and loosely typed language. This advantage becomes a challenging task when it comes to maintenance of code. Both developers and clients unanimously prioritize performance and improvements by required resources and ease because of development time constraints. Understanding and implementing this is quite difficult if you don’t have programming knowledge, and you don’t have a full view of the site back-end code.

Let’s discuss four of the most recurring quick fixes.

Tip 1: Removing Third-Party Tools, Widgets & Web Technology

Most of the online businesses rely on third-party technology for tracking, monitoring, customer support (live chat), etc. for their website. The challenge here is, when you use third-party technologies, it usually executes on your website using a code on which you have no control. Hence, optimizing the performance of that particular code is not possible.

The number of third-party scripts used on a page can significantly affect the page performance adversely because the scripts are from different domains. To further understand this, you must understand what happens when a web page is loaded. When you load a web page, the browser identifies all the resources that demand a DNS lookup.

Then, the browser has to wait until the lookup is over before downloading the web page. This event depends on the response time of origin server. After the server’s response, the code will be read and understood by the browser and then served to the users. This event takes only milliseconds of time. But, the problem here is, when it is multiplied by the lookups the browser has to do and adding the slow response time, the milliseconds increase to seconds.

In reality, you don’t have to carry these much weight on your website.

As part of the website audit, you should always review the amount of third-party tools integrated on your website. You can leverage tools such as BuiltWith, Wappalyzer, etc. to lookup the technologies used. Using these tools, you can decide whether to keep or delete certain third-party tools.

If certain technologies are in use, then you must analyze the benefit of keeping it over the impact it is having on page load. For that, you can take advantage of Google products such as Page Speed Insight Tool and Lighthouse to highlight the performance impact.

Additionally, with the help of Chrome dev tools Block Network Request Blocking feature, you can test how quickly your web page loads when a particular script or resource is blocked from loading. Similarly, webpagetest.org’s RequestMap is a great tool to visualize load activity. It gives you a visual representation of the size of assets transmitted by bytes using Chrome request data.

If your website is too old, there are higher chances of finding unused external codes. Below are certain commonly found cases:

  • Scripts for live chat support

You can easily remove these scripts because they do not affect the overall integrity of the code present in your website. Simultaneously, if you want to keep these scripts, move as many as scripts to Google Tag Manager (GTM) or other tag managers to reduce the number of DNS lookup being done by the browser.

Analyze the Google Tag Manager scripts regularly to get rid of unnecessary scripts. Also, you can take advantage of the Window Loaded Trigger feature in GTM to delay the loading of scripts that are not needed as soon as the visitors landing on your webpage until it is fully loaded.

Tip 2: Implement DNS Prefetching & Preconnect

To speed up your DNS lookups, you can use browser resource hints such as DNS prefetch and preconnect. Generally, browsers wait until they need a resource before requesting the origin of that resource. During the resource request period, the loading of the particular page is on hold until the request is resolved. In simple words, DNS prefetching is a process of calling non-critical resource origin in advance, thereby speeding up the lookup time and giving the browser a head start. Also, you can prefetch third-party integrations on your website such as chat boxes, survey widgets, social share buttons, etc.

You can also use preconnect to establish early connect. In this case, you must ensure that preconnect is used to load critical resources such as assets hosted on CDNs, web fonts, etc.

Tip 3: Use a Single JQuery Library When Possible

Some third-party integrations come with a jQuery library. In simple words, jQuery is a JavaScript library that facilitates the ease of use of JavaScript features. As the latest websites use JavaScript to be interactive, it would already have a version of jQuery loaded on the website. If you’re calling two versions of a library on your website when you actually need one, it is a waste of resources.

Also, while loading an external script, always go for a version that does not load its version of jQuery. Now you can set the script to use the global version that is already present and loaded on your website. You must also ensure that the script you are using is compatible with the version of jQuery you’ve already loaded on your website.

You can take advantage of Chrome dev tools JavaScript console to check which version of jQuery is used on your website. It is easy to check if you follow the below steps:

Type Ctrl + Shift + J to open the console

Type console.log(jQuery().jquery); in the command line

Now you’ll see the version of jQuery loaded on your website as shown below.

Tip 4: Remove Redundant CSS Instructions for Old Browser Support

The older your website, the higher is the offense count. You can easily remove redundant CSS instructions such as old browser support (IE fixes) and old prefixes as they are a separate block of code. Instead of inspecting every line of your CSS code, there are tools that simplify the process of identifying the unused CSS on your website.

You can use the free and open-source Yellow Lab Tools to check the old prefix and browser support. The report generated from Yellow Lab Tools is easy to comprehend and work on to resolve the issues to improve website performance. Also, it is highly recommended to track and check your user data to identify the number of users that still use old browsers. If none of your users use old browsers, you can remove support for these old browsers.

Wrapping Up

There are a ton of amazing tools out there to improve the traffic to your website. Undoubtedly, speed will always remain a major factor, and delivering the best user experience is a top priority. As a website owner, you must regularly audit your external scripts to deliver the best user experience to your visitors in the most efficient manner.

We have expert digital marketers who have hands-on experience in improving website performance. For effective management of your website, you can shoot your requirement to media@techaffinity.com or schedule a meeting with our team.

Originally published at https://techaffinity.com on November 4, 2020.

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