Top 15 Best Practices You Must Follow to Get a Good Score on Lighthouse
If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, then 40 percent of users will abandon it. Regardless of the platform your website is built on, it is always a good idea to optimize it.
Why should you optimize your website?
The answer depends on the nature of your business, your target audience, and the kind of response you expect from your audience. You can optimize your website to achieve a wide range of objectives.
Also, Google includes page speed as a factor to determine a website’s ranking in SERPs. By getting a good score on Lighthouse — an open-source, automated tool providing personalized advice to improve your website — you can check your website on a number of metrics. These include:
- First Contentful Paint
- Speed Index
- First Meaningful Paint
- First CPU Idle
- Estimated Input Latency
- Time to Interact
These checks will reveal the areas of improvement for your website and a wide range of accessibility issues will be detected automatically.
In the following lines, we will take a look at some of the best website optimization practices that can help you get a higher score Lighthouse. Let’s begin:
1. Create Clean HTML & CSS: Optimize your markup by creating separate CSS files. Keeping CSS files separate from HTML makes it easier to maintain your websites, tailor-make pages for multiple environments and share style sheets across different pages.
2. Optimize Images: Serve high-quality images in the right resolution, dimensions, and format while keeping the size as small as possible. Optimized images increase page-load speed, improve SEO ranking, offer a better user experience, and reduce the bounce rate.
3. Use Image Sprites: Limit the number of server requests, optimize the page size, and save bandwidth with image sprites. A sprite combines multiple images into a file but serves them separately. It is faster than uploading individual images just when they are required.
4. Minify CSS and JS: Reduce the amount of code and markup in web pages and script files to optimize bandwidth usage and reduce page-load times. One way is to get rid of extra spaces and comments.
5. Leverage Browser Cache: Save your users’ time, optimize the web server bandwidth, and reduce page-load time by storing some files into your users’ browser caches. When a user will revisit your website, they will experience faster loading times.
6. Remove Query String: Remove the portion of the URL after ‘&’ or ‘?’ from static resources. The text after these characters is useful only on dynamic pages (imagine internet banking), but not on static ones.
7. Compress GZIP: Use the GZIP compression feature, which is more or less a part of most modern browsers to reduce your bandwidth costs and serve web pages faster.
8. Inline Critical CSS in <Head>: Make your website faster and consistent with critical rendering. Since there are tens or even hundreds of pages in a website that run on different templates, you might have a hard time deciding the speed of web pages manually. With critical CSS, you can block the part of the page that should appear to the users.
9. Combine CSS and Files: Reduce the number of requests by combining CSS with other files. When additional (non-combined or separate) CSS files are loaded, the chances of interruption during loading increase.
10. Reuse Existing Templates: Create your own internal and unique templates and use them for a wide range of projects – internal communications and client projects. Having set templates allows you to focus on content.
11. Use Scaled Images: Save a large chunk of data and add to the performance of your website, especially when people are on mobile devices with scaled images. Scaled images require less space, load quicker and mitigate resource usage. It is a great way to optimize your website and it improves your website’s ranking in Google SERPs.
12. Use Better Image Formats: Encode images in WebP, JPEG XR and JPEG 2000. They are image formats with superior compression and better quality. Images encoded in the new formats load faster and consume less data as compared to their old counterparts.
13. Minify HTML: Remove unnecessary characters in your HTML files to reduce the file size and improve loading speed. Minification doesn’t impact the functionality of the file, it just optimizes it for downloading. Since Google considers speed as a factor for ranking, minification can also contribute to your SEO efforts.
14. Use Custom Fonts: Switch to custom fonts because web fonts like Google Fonts generate additional HTTP requests to external sources and block rendering. Approximately 60% of websites use custom fonts now.
15. Buy a Decent Web Hosting: Stay clear of cheap shared hosting as they can be compromised or have irritable down times on multiple occasions. It is extremely important to have a trusted and fast web hosting service. It serves as the backbone for your website and plays a major role in optimizing your website.
To Wrap Up
There are multiple ways to optimize your website’s performance with simple tweaks.
Do you know any other tips that can help in website optimization? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Optimize your website performance today and attract more visitors