10 Tips to Enhance User-Centric Speed Metrics for Your Website’s Performance

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Quick processing and fast loading speeds are the keys to grabbing a user’s attention and time on your website.

You must’ve heard people talk about how fast a particular website is and how quickly it responds to their commands.

However, it is actually an indefinite statement to make when you use the term ‘fast’.

Why do we say this?

A website might be faster on your device but might take a different time to load on some other device.

Device capabilities and network connection play a huge role in deciding a website’s performance on that specific device.

So, when you check the speed of a particular website, the time displayed is the loading speed of the website on the majority of its users’ devices.

What Does the User Need?
Performance.

And performance doesn’t only refer to the website’s initial loading speed but also to its overall experience.

From the first click of opening the website to the last action, be it just scrolling, typing, clicking a dialog box, the user should be able to cruise through it all.

If a website’s initial loading time is less but takes a long time to process a heavy JavaScript bundle when clicked on, the user might not appreciate it.

If a link on the page doesn’t work when clicked on, the page doesn’t scroll smoothly, or a call-to-action (CTA) doesn’t take the user to the desired page, it is an unpleasant experience as well.

Here’s how badly poor website performance impacts a business:

website speed impact

If you want to avoid making these mistakes, you might want to ponder on the following points.

What metrics would accurately measure a user’s performance?
How to use these metrics on actual users?
According to the metrics and measurements recorded, when can an website be called ‘fast’?
How to improve the website according to your findings?
To help you answer the questions above, we have listed the metrics you need to optimize below.

Proper optimization of these aspects are sure to boost the loading speed of your website.

The user-centric speed metrics are:

First Paint (FP) and First Contentful Paint (FCP)
These metrics mark the points that are visible first after a user navigates to a page.

This is mandatory to answer the question if it’s working or not.

While FP marks the first change on the screen that differs from the page you’ve navigated from, FCP measures the first content that is visible to you, be it text, image, etc.

Look at the image below to understand better.

first paint and first contentful paint

Source: WP Rocket

First Meaningful Paint (FMP)
This metric is basically the inspection of the content displayed to check if it is useful or not.

The “hero elements” (most important aspects on the specific page) should load and open first.

As long as the need for information is fulfilled, the user might not be bothered if the rest of the page loads or not.

Time to Interactive (TTI)
TTI is the metric that marks the point when the data on your website has rendered and is visible to the user as well.

The content might not be visible to a user in case a JavaScript on the page hasn’t loaded yet, or some long tasks have blocked the main thread.

Long Tasks
At times, long tasks can be the hindrance and cause a website to slow down.

If a user performs a task on the website, it might not load until the main thread is free of all other tasks.

Refer to the table below to know what you need to optimize and what are the effects.

Experience Metric
Is it working? FP/FCP
Is it useful? FMP
Is it valuable/useful? TTI
Is it smooth and fast? Long Tasks
Now that we’ve cleared out what you need to work on, here are some tips that can help you boost your website exponentially.

10 Tips to Improve User-Centric Speed Metrics for better performance of Your Website

  1. Dig New Sources for Better DNS Solutions
    Better DNS lookup times are the key to faster loading websites, as it is the first thing that happens when a page loads.

Improving this time can boost all the user-centric speed metrics of your website.

reduce dns lookups

Source: KeyCDN

For those using the default DNS provided by their hosting provider, we want you to know that you’re missing out on a lot!

Cloudflare is the most loved and the fastest DNS provider. Not only does it have a great admin, but is free too!

Other efficient options available are WordPress, DigitalOcean, dnsimple, and Zilore.

  1. Quality isn’t Enough, Optimize your Images
    Images play a major role in deciding the size, thus the loading speed of a website.

If you want to boost the speed of your website, there are a few aspects you need to change about the images of your website.

image optimization

Source: Google Developers

WebP
WebP is a better image format to go for while uploading images on your website, thanks to its smaller size.

The size of a WebP-format image is websiteroximately 25-30% smaller than that of jpg, jpeg or PNG.

This, however, might be problematic if someone wants to use your website on a browser that doesn’t support WebP images. In such cases, one might spot a blank image in place of the actual one.

SVG
SVG is a vector graphic format, which basically means the quality remains the same regardless of the size.

Not only is it extremely performance-friendly, but it can be animated too. Now that’s way better than just an image. Isn’t it?

Change your images to SVG format and reduce your page size at the earliest, and boost your page’s loading speed by a huge margin.

Lazy Load Images
This is a clever and, nowadays, a common technique that only loads the information that is needed.

It is an effective way to reduce the loading speed of a page.

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