We talk about redirects in the SEO field regularly. From cleaning up 404s to preparing for a site migration, it continues to be a critical part of our website audits and site maintenance. However, when it comes to SEO, redirects are almost exclusively considered in how link equity is transferred. But are we forgetting something?
What about page load speed? We know at a bare minimum a redirect means your browser must process an additional HTTP request before rendering the page. But how long does that really take? Is it enough to matter?
In this research, I have explored a few key questions to understand how redirects affect page load time.
- How much do redirect chains impact page load speed?
- How much does the number of redirects listed in your .htaccess file impact page load speed?
- Is page load speed affected by the order a redirect is listed in an .htaccess file?