5 Tips to Improve Your Python Page Load Time

By: Alex Evans
  |  April 14, 2023
5 Tips to Improve Your Python Page Load Time

Having great design or top-performing content is not enough. A good website should also load your web pages quickly and efficiently. Web page load time or page speed measures how long it takes for a web page to fully load. In an eCommerce website, visitors will feel more comfortable browsing products when each product page loads almost instantly. Thus, learning how to optimize your website in every way possible is a solid investment in your website.

This post focuses on five crucial strategies that help increase website speed in Python. Some readers may already have difficulties in overcoming some common Python challenges, but let’s learn about improving your site’s performance first. Then we will also discuss the advantages of having good site loading speed.

How to Check Your Website Performance With Python

Many factors affect your web page speed, such as the web host, website design and bandwidth. For this reason, we recommend checking the site performance before implementing the strategies for improving your page speed.

In this section, we will show you how to do load testing of your website using Python code. Since Python is one of the most popular programming languages, you need to understand efficient ways to improve its speed. First, determine how long your website takes to load by following the instructions below.

  1. Open your web development environment and install the urllib3 and time libraries via pip, the package installer for Python:
python -m pip install urllib3
  1. Next, import the libraries using the following command:
from urllib.request import urlopen
from time import time
  1. Use the urlopen() function to obtain your website’s URL:
website = urlopen(https://www.mywebsite.com)
  1. Then, return the time passed since the epoch using the time() function:
open_time = time()
  1. Enter the read() function for reading the website’s entire content:
output = website.read()
  1. After that, type the time() function once more to return the time passed since the epoch:
close_time = time()
  1. Close the website or the opened file using the close() function:
website.close()
  1. Next, subtract the time obtained during the epoch from the time after reading the entire website content:
print(‘The page loading time of my website is’,round(close_time-open_time,3),’seconds’)

Once you run the code, the output will look something like the following example:

The page loading time of my website is 0.005 seconds.
Process finished with exit code 0

Besides checking speed using code, you can also learn other best practices for load testing in Phyton. 

5 Tips to Improve Page Loading Speed

You have various ways at your disposal to optimize your website performance in terms of speed. Let’s cover my top five.

1. Invest in the Right Web Hosting Service

Each web hosting service offers different benefits and features. For example, shared hosting utilizes a single server to host multiple websites. Although it is a great option for beginners, you might experience slower page load time if traffic spikes occur on other websites sharing the same server.

For this reason, consider investing in a more reliable web hosting service, such as cloud hosting. Choose the best cloud hosting service that suits your needs by checking whether the plan includes cache management, as this feature can significantly boost your page and website speed.

2. Optimize Images

Having many images with large file sizes on your web pages can greatly slow down your website. Optimizing the images you use will help reduce page load times. Also known as image optimization, this method keeps image file sizes as small as possible without lowering the quality.

When combined with easy site navigation and responsive design, image optimization can also improve your user experience, as well as reduce storage space and bandwidth consumption.

Here are a few ways to optimize your images:

  • Use the correct file format. Choose more lightweight image formats. JPEG images, for example, have a relatively small file size and load faster compared to other file types
  • Compress the images. Consider compressing images with a raster file format, such as SVG, AI or EPS. Two techniques for image compression include lossy and lossless compression
  • Adjust the image dimensions. Using the right image dimensions can help boost page load speed. For example, scale your image correctly using programs like GIMP, Adobe Photoshop or Pixlr before uploading it to the site’s media library

Alternatively, you can perform image compression using the Python image optimization tools, such as Pillow, img4web and Tinify API. To demonstrate the process, we will use Pillow.

First, install the Pillow library in your web development environment using pip. Open Terminal or Command Line and enter the following command:

pip install pillow 

Next, specify the resolution of the image you want to compress. Then, open a text editor and enter the code snippet below:

import PIL
from PIL import Image

mywidth= 1280
myheight= 720

img= Image.open(‘test.jpg’) img=img.resize((mywidth,myheight),PIL.Image.ANTIALIAS) img.save(‘testresize.jpg’)

Remember to change the mywidth and myheight classes with the image’s actual width and height and replace test.jpg with the file name. Once finished, save the text file using the .py extension, and the file output will be in the same directory as the original image file.

3. Utilize Distributed Caching Using Redis

Caching means storing files in temporary storage, so they can be accessed quickly while reducing the load times. Implementing this practice is crucial for every web-based software developer, as it helps improve the performance and responsiveness of an application.

For example, if you build a web application that handles over a thousand requests, you will need a caching technique, like distributed caching, to allocate the cache across servers. Therefore, if one of the servers is unavailable due to technical reasons, the cache can still be accessed on different servers.

Redis is a powerful distributed caching tool to help Python developers deliver a seamless end-user experience. To test it out, follow the instructions below:

  1. Install the Redis package with the following command:

pip install redis

  1. Next, implement the Redis controller class. Look at the code below for a reference:
import redis
import logging
class RedisController:
     def __init__(self, host, port):
         pool = redis.ConnectionPool(host=host, port=port, db=0)
         self.__redis = redis.Redis(connection_pool=pool)
     def add_to_cache(self, key, value, ttl_mins):
         self.__redis.setex(key, timedelta(minutes=ttl_mins), value=value)
     def get_ttl(self, key):
         return self.__redis.ttl(key)
     def get_value(self, key):
         return self.__redis.get(key)
  1. Insert the following code to enable the caching process:
class RedisRunnerClass:
    def __init__(self, cache):
       self.__cache = cache
    def run(self):
       self.__cache.add_to_cache('Name', 'YourName', 5)
  1. After that, run the application using the command below:
RedisRunnerClass(RedisController("localhost", 6379).run()

4. Reduce HTTP Requests

Too many HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests result in increased page load times. So, we recommend reducing the number of HTTP requests to improve overall site speed.

HTTP requests occur when users’ web browsers make requests to a web server to load website content. This process might take longer when websites have large file sizes or dynamic content. Additionally, the more files a web page has, the more HTTP requests need to be processed. 

Before reducing HTTP requests, site owners need to identify how many requests there are per web page. To do that, use Google Chrome’s DevTools or HubSpot’s Website Grader. Then, proceed by following the steps below.

  • Delete rarely used plugins. If you have a WordPress website, consider removing unnecessary plugins since having too many makes your site load slower
  • Remove unrelated images. Images make your content look more appealing. However, users’ browsers will take longer to load if there are too many images
  • Reduce third-party HTTP requests. For instance, refrain from embedding YouTube videos or using plugins that process third-party requests, which can result in slow page speed

5. Minify CSS and JavaScript

Reducing the JavaScript and CSS file sizes on your website can help boost page load speed. There are two methods for minifying these files – manually or using a plugin. 

Before getting into the steps, we advise creating a backup of your website first to avoid any errors.

Decreasing the File Sizes Manually

First, access your website’s files via an FTP client. Then, download the JavaScript and CSS files and save them as a copy. Next, open the JavaScript or CSS files using a text editor, and copy all the content.

After that, visit minifier.org and paste the content into the provided field. The tool will show the results automatically. Then, copy and paste the minified content to your original JavaScript or CSS files. Lastly, upload the files to your website’s folder via an FTP client.

Using a WordPress Plugin

If you want to use a WordPress plugin to minify the CSS and JavaScript files, we recommend installing the Hummingbird plugin. 

First, install and activate Hummingbird via your site’s WordPress admin area. Once activated, the plugin will run a setup wizard and automatically optimize your JavaScript and CSS files.

Hummingbird provides other useful features other than minifying JavaScript and CSS files. The plugin can troubleshoot and fix elements that slow your website down, plus generates a site performance report for easy monitoring.

Benefits of Having Fast Page Load Time

Fast page loading speed can positively affect various aspects of your website, such as its traffic, search engine optimization (SEO) and user experience. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits.

Reduced Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of users accessing a web page and leaving without interacting with its content or visiting another page on the website. The ideal bounce rate is around 26% to 40%

Various factors affect bounce rates, such as an unresponsive website, broken links, a misleading site title and slow page loading time. Therefore, having a good page load time can significantly reduce your site’s bounce rate.

Higher Search Engine Ranking

Page speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. This means that if web pages load faster, there’s a better chance that your site will get a higher ranking position in search engine results pages (SERPs).

A higher position in SERPs means better web page visibility, leading to more page views and visitors.

Improved User Experience

Good user experience (UX) indicates a positive interaction between users and a website. There are many factors affecting UX, including page load speed.

Fast website speed helps build a positive UX by delivering site content in a timely manner. A page load time of under three seconds is considered ideal for reduced bounce rates and higher conversions.

Conclusion

Slow-loading web pages can hurt a website’s user experience and, eventually, its credibility. So, implementing the best practices to improve page loading speed should be a priority.

Here is a recap of five strategies for reducing page load time:

  1. Invest in the right web hosting service
  2. Optimize images
  3. Utilize distributed caching using Redis
  4. Reduce HTTP requests
  5. Minify CSS and JavaScript files

There are many benefits to improving site speed. Your web pages will have a lower bounce rate and rank higher in SERPs. Website visitors will also feel more comfortable navigating through your web pages. Implementing these practices to improve your page load speed takes time, but the results will be worth the effort. Good luck on your journey to creating a successful and fast website!

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