12 tips to improve website performance

Jane Hillman avatar
Jane Hillman

Feb 01, 2022


website performance

First impressions count. And nothing puts people off your business quicker than a poorly performing website. According to Google, the probability of bounce increases by 32% as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.

A poorly performing website can have a detrimental effect on user experience and brand perception, and ultimately means you lose out on traffic, leads, and sales.

But fear not. Implement the following tips to ensure your website is the number one marketing tool at your disposal.

12 tips to improve website performance:


  1. Conduct a site audit
  2. Choose the right CMS
  3. Deliver content over HTTP2
  4. Use a CDN
  5. Don't forget mobile
  6. Use effective browser caching
  7. Remember to compress
  8. Use plugins sparingly
  9. Review additional code
  10. Select asynchronous loading
  11. Don't lose sight of 404 errors
  12. Ask for support

Read our guide to discover how to speed up your website, and understand what  could be slowing it down.

1. Conduct a site audit

Before you make any changes, it’s worth auditing your website. This will help identify where the biggest problems lie and help you to prioritise fixes.

We would recommend using a website grader tool to test your website's performance, SEO, mobile design, and security. This will help you identify where you are succeeding, and where you need to focus your attention.

2. Choose the right CMS

Hosting your own website is expensive, time-consuming, and requires technical expertise. Choosing the right CMS platform can help combat those issues, so you can build a high-performing website. The HubSpot CMS, for example, gives you:

  • Support. 24 hour, 365 days a year access to a professional and knowledgeable support team.
  • Security. HubSpot prioritises security. They employ automated attack detection, system monitoring, code inspection, regular penetration testing, a bug bounty program, and more.
  • Optimisation. Images are optimised as standard, ensuring your site is fast and responsive.
  • Fast page load speed. HubSpot has built a number of technologies into their CMS to enable fast load speeds at no extra cost.

Choose a CMS platform that can scale with you as you grow, has an intuitive UI, and has internal support teams to help you when required.

3. Deliver content over HTTP2

When a visitor loads your website, the browser sends an HTTP request to the hosting server. The server then sends back the requested resource. Each resource request decreases load speed, so the fewer requests you have, the better your site will perform.

The solution to this is HTTP2 - the modern equivalent of HTTP1. It’s faster, more reliable, and has built-in multiplexing, which loads requests in parallel with each other. By ensuring your provider can deliver your website over HTTP2, you can speed up its overall load time.

4. Use a CDN

The distance between the device making an HTTP request and your server matters when it comes to load speed. The bigger the distance, the longer your website files will take to load and send.

A content delivery network (CDN) can help mitigate this. When a user visits your website, your CDN will determine the server closest to their physical location and deliver the cached copies of your website files from that server.

Not only will using a CDN improve load times, but it can also reduce your bandwidth costs and improve your website security.

5. Don't forget mobile

80% of B2B buyers use mobile during the buying process and more than half of visits are abandoned if the mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. It’s vital you don’t overlook your mobile site in favour of desktop.

To ensure a great experience and consistent performance for all users, you need to take a mobile-first approach to your website.

"It's worth investing in specialists to create the best mobile experience possible."

Mike, Technical Director, Blend 

6. Use effective browser caching

A browser cache saves website data like HTML files and images on your visitors’ devices. When they return to the web page, the browser loads these files from its local cache instead of requesting them from the web server.

Caching speeds up webpage delivery, improves user experience, and decreases bounce rate.

Lots of CMS platforms automatically cache the current version of your website, but you can go one step further by extending the caching timeframe. This means that content like global CSS styles and logos can be stored for a year without refreshing.

7. Remember to compress

Large graphics and videos can have a negative impact on page load times. Also, if you employ lots of high-resolution images, you run the risk of negatively impacting your Core Web Vitals.

To combat this, choose images carefully, and always remember to resize them. If you leave your browser or server to do this, it can hamper your website’s performance.

Compression tools like Compressor are also worthwhile. Your files stay as small as possible, keeping performance at a maximum while retaining quality.

Compressing images and text could help 25% of web pages save more than 250KB and 10% save more than 1MB. These changes reduce bounce rates and increase page rank on Google SERPs. Google

8. Use plugins sparingly

WordPress and other marketplace plugins can be very tempting. But they’re not always created with performance in mind. They can also introduce lots of new coding elements like tracking or analytics to your website.

Plugins can slow down your site. So, evaluate which plugins you truly gain value from and ditch the rest.

9. Review additional code

Superfluous code can severely hamper the performance of your website.

Regularly review your additional code such as tracking pixels or analytics tools. If they’re not providing useful insights, you can probably get rid of them.

You can also introduce a performance budget to enable you to make better decisions around what can and can’t be included on your site. You can optimise performance by continually reviewing against your budget.

10. Choose asynchronous loading

When someone visits a page on your website, its JavaScript and CSS files are executed top-to-bottom. This can lead to an increased load time.

However, opt for asynchronous loading, and your JavaScript and CSS files execute in parallel instead of in sequence. This will improve the performance and responsiveness of your website.

11. Don’t lose sight of 404 errors

If a visitor lands on more than one 404 page on your website, the chances of losing their interest quickly is high.

So, don’t overlook how many deleted or moved pages lead to 404 pages on your website. There are tools that can identify and fix the problems. Get into the habit of checking for these monthly, or even weekly, depending on the size of your website.

12. Ask for support

We can’t be experts at all things. Outsourcing your website performance to an agency that spends their whole day doing this very thing will be worth the cost.

Choose an agency that has broad technical expertise so you can be confident your website will be created with performance as the number one priority.

What are you waiting for?

While 73% of marketers believe that improving page speed is urgent, only 3% say it’s their top priority. And we know that as a marketer, you're probably being pulled in lots of different directions at any one time.

But website performance is crucial. It’s the first impression your potential customer gets and your first opportunity to excite them. Create a seamless web experience and make it easy for your prospects to remember you.

Factors affecting website performance

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