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How to improve the speed of your website
Date: 2015-07-06 06:48:35

Waiting for a slow browser or a ridiculously slow internet connection has to be one of the most annoying things in life. However, it's not always the internet itself, it could be your webiste...

One of the most  used expressions that we use is "How slow is the Internet!" - A common question when we want to access a website that loads very slowly. Luckily for us, but unfortunately for the webmaster of the site in question, there is nothing related with the internet connection or the hosting site to blame for this situation.

internet speed

We’ve been a victim of this annoying situation, and if takes to long to load it’s most likely that you will closed the site which definetly will affect the company’s site traffic.

Therefore, the speed of the website is being part of the user experience, and Google actually relies increasingly more on it’s algorithms.

Since 2010, Google announced that the loading speed of the website will be included in the ranking algorithm, as is confirmed by Matt Cutts on his blog.

The best evidence of why we need websites that can load quickly comes from the popular selling website Amazon, whose 100 milliseconds delay may causes a loss of 1% of profit.

 

Here are 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Website!

1. Enable compression

By compressing your CSS & JavaScript files you will see that browser downloads will be a lot faster.

You ca use Gzip to reduce file sizes from 200+KB(non-compressed) to less than 40KB(compressed). Your users will experience a big difference in site speeds on your webiste for both desktop and mobile.

In order to enable compression for static files simply add this code to your .htaccess file:

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php text/php text/html text/plain text/css text/xml application/x-javascript text/javascript application/javascript text/x-js

BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html

BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip

BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

Header append Vary User-Agent

 

2. Optimize your images

Images are normally the main offender for slowing down a website. Remember to optimize all images above 50KB before uploading to your website.

Also, it’s best to use progressive images for JPG files because progressive rendering provides a much smoother user experience.

Have a look at the image below, they may look the same but the lone on the left is non-optimized and is 80KB and the one on the right is optimized and it is only 18KB, 4 times smaller.

non_optimized_thumb optimized_thumb nail

 

3. Move Javascript files to the footer

Yes, JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, Mootools and Prototype are great because they extend the functionality of your website, however they can also block the rendering of your page.

The thing is, browsers doesn’t start loading page content unless the JavaScript files in the header have been downloaded.

The best way to fix this is to move your JavaScript files, the ones which not required during the initial page rendering, to the footer of the page.

 

4. Merge CSS files – Inline small CSS files

Merge_CSS_file

A browser can only handle a cetain amount of HTTP files at a time, and when this limit is reached, some files may be queued while others are being downloaded.

When merging all CSS files into one CSS file, you will see that your page will render in a much shoter time.

There’s a couple of good WordPress plugins available such as Autoptimize and Better WordPress Minify that can help you merge or even inline your CSS stylesheets.

 

5. Enable caching

Enabling caching will drastically improve the loading time of pages that do not change that often, as your code doesn’t keep generatring the same page overa dn over again.

Enabling caching will mean that your user experience is much faster and that your server can handle more traffic.

Again, WordPress have some pretty awesome plugins such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache that provide different kind of caching e.g. page caching, database caching and object caching among others.

Enable_Caching

 

6. Minimize the number of HTTP requests

Reduce_HTTP_requests

Your site will definitely suffer loading speed if you have a lot of HTTP requests.

To solve this issue, you can combine your CSS files, merge JavaScript files and combine images in data sprites among others to make as few HTTP requests as possible.

 

7. Fix your 404 errors

You may not know this, but any missing file generates a 404 HTTP error and this will affect the loading time of your site.

Make sure that you always check for 404 HTTP erros during the rendering of your pages to achieve the quickest loading speed.

Fix_404_errors

 

8. Take care of your page size

Pingdom_optimized_page_size

Yes, we want to provide as much information to the users as possible, but you should try to keep your page size to a minimum.

This is even more important for the mobile users as having to load a 2MB site on your cellphone via a 3G connection is a recipe for disaster.

...so, does adding a new image add any value to your  website? If not, it’s best to avoid doing so.

 

9. Scale images

You should never scale images on the fly in HTML. We recommend that you create a thumbnail of the image that you need at the exact dimensions that it will be used in your pages.

Let’s say you have a image of 1200px x 675px and you want to use a smaller version of 480px x 270px, rather create a new resized version of the original image and use that instead.

 

10. Optimize your database

Optimize_database_tables

As long as you have a database-driven site (which includes WordPress and all other CMS-based sites), then be sure to optimize your database.

Full database optimization can be a really tricky and time-consuming process, but phpMyAdmin offers you a few basic optimization options  by “optimizing your tables”.

 

Conclusion

Everything improves when your site loads faster.

Google will start ranking  you higher, users will be happier, bounce rates will decrease, conversion rates will increase and most important of all, you will make more sales.

 

...So start optimizing the loading time of your site today!


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