A Primer on Page Load Time

What is Page Load Time?

When a user enters the web address of your website, their browser contacts the world wide web’s domain name servers (DNS) to discover what server an internet hostname maps to. The DNS returns the IP address of the destination server. The browser then establishes a connection with that server and sends a request for the document at the web address that was typed in.

It is at this point that with a slow server, users may have to wait for important resources such as images and scripts to load. This delay before the page starts rendering is called “Page Load Time” or PLT.

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What Causes Page Load Time?

There are many factors that contribute to page load time, but Web design NYC and Web design toronto team believes three important ones are:

1. Internet Congestion

When multiple people are simultaneously using the same server, there is a greater chance of requests colliding and slowing down each other’s page load times.

2. Distance Between Point A and Point B

The further away your users are, the more time it takes for data to travel through cyberspace. This is why people in Australia experience slower page load times than those in America, because there’s a great distance between Australia and servers (point A) located in the US (point B).

3. Amount of Data

Some pages transfer significantly more data than others. A page with the entire text of the HTML, JS, CSS, and image files will transfer more data than a page that has none of these files.

What are Some Common Solutions to Slow Page Load Times?

There are many ways you can speed up your website’s performance without having to pay for new hosting or faster servers. For example…

  1. Segment the site so you have multiple hostnames, each with their own content and resources attached to them. Then users will only have to fetch one domain name instead of many when they visit your website.
  2. Cache images on your web server or CDN (Content Delivery Network) in either GIF, PNG, JPEG, or GIFV (GIF with video support). It will speed up your site as speed matters a lot in SEO, as mentioned in our top SEO tips.
  3. Lazy load images and scripts using Javascript so images won’t appear until the user scrolls down to them, and scripts won’t start executing until the user scrolls to them.
  4. Lazy load other resources like videos using technologies like MSE (Media Source Extensions) and ESM ( ECMAScript 6).
  5. Utilize the browser’s prerendering capability with SSR (Server Side Rendering) or React Instant Loader.

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