The short answer is yes, redirects impact performance. Even though the page redirect process is automatic, your users will experience immediate delays. And that is not taking into consideration the fact that once the page direct is finished, a final request must be made to the server to load the page, so hopefully, whatever the destination page is, it should be optimized to load as quickly as possible. Delays, on top of more delays, will just end up frustrating visitors. A single page direct is not uncommon, however, multiple page redirects should be avoided. There are ways to minimize the impact on visitors and we will talk about that in the following sections. First, let us talk about the redirect process and how that impacts overall performance.
Avoid Multiple Page Redirects
Do Page Redirects Actually Impact Performance?
What are the Different Types of Redirect Codes?
When the time comes to decide on how to redirect page, web developers and marketers have a few different 3xx status code redirect options to choose from. The most used redirect is probably the 301 Moved Permanently. However, the 307 Temporary Redirect (which is the successor to the 302 Found redirect) is another option. A 301 redirect means that any user that requests the old URL will be automatically redirected to the new URL, however, the benefit of a 301 redirect is that it passes on the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking of the old URL, which is a major benefit. The 307 Temporary Redirect should be used, as the name implies, for temporary pages. The original URL will be used again, so requests should still be made to that page until the temporary page is taken down.
How to Avoid Multiple Page Redirects
First, in a perfect world, page redirects would be avoided altogether. However, we all know that is not always doable in real-world scenarios. Your website, products, and services are continually evolving, so it is not always easy to just remove a page and begin anew. A lot of work went into making sure those pages ranked well, so you do not want to just lose that page ranking. Sometimes there is no way around redirects. Whether it is because you need to point visitors to a temporary page while changes are being made or whether an organization changes names due to new branding initiatives or even an acquisition. Whatever the case, there may come a time where redirects are necessary to the objectives of the business, as domains and pages need to be redirected to the new company page, or a completely new domain. If you must set up redirects, try to limit them to just one redirect. The longer you make the redirect chain, the longer your users must wait.
Lighthouse is an open-source tool that is used to run an audit against your web pages and provides scores and suggestions for improving page performance, accessibility, SEO, and more.
PageSpeed Insights is a tool created by Google that reports on the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices, and provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.