Your website’s speed is more critical than you know.
How fast your website loads impacts everything from your search engine rankings to user experience. Regardless of how amazing your products are, your users won’t hang around to enjoy them if your site loads slowly.
Thankfully, website speed is a fairly simple problem to solve. With a few slight tweaks, you can significantly reduce load time and increase your site’s speed.
In the following post, we share a few tips and tricks on how to make your page loader much faster.
Optimize Your Images
There are many things you can try in order to optimize your images. First off, you can compress your image files to optimize your images.
Usually, the larger your image file, the more time it takes to load. Compressing image files can help you accelerate image loading by reducing the strain on the load time without sacrificing photo quality.
Another tip is to include suitable keywords in your alt-text summaries. Better still, you can save images under a filename that goes with the keywords in the alt-text summary.
In addition, be sure to find out if any of your photos are pixilated. This might mean they were saved under the wrong file size or type.
Enable Browser Caching
Browser caching enables assets on your site to be saved on your hard drive one time into a temporary storage area, or cache. Those files get stored on your local drive, which allows future page loads to be faster.
However, caching works only for repeat visitors. New visitors won’t have your website cached yet, as your page must load files one or more times before it caches (stores) them.
Use a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of numerous servers located all over the globe that deliver website content to visitors depending on their geographic location.
Therefore, users experience big improvements in your site’s performance. For example, if a person is accessing your website in India, they’ll be retrieving website content from a nearby server, instead of across the planet in Ohio.
On a CDN, you can store images, CSS files, JS files, and other uploaded files, such as PDFs and videos. However, CDNs can be quite expensive particularly if you’re using lots of bandwidth and have faster internet.
But if your site receives lots of visitors from all over the world, you need a CDN. All the major sites definitely use one. Then again, A CDN isn’t necessary if you’re just launching a blog or building a mini app.
Minimize HTTP Requests
Sites can be slow due to excessive HTTP requests. Once someone visits your site, they request some files. Through the HTTP protocol, their browser requests the files from your server.
Here’s how you can minimize HTTP requests:
Combine files: Using scripts and external style sheets is vital to prevent them from slowing down your page loads, but have no more than one script and one CSS file.
Use CSS sprites: Combining all or most of your images into a single sprite will turn several image requests into only one. Then you can simply display your desired image section using the background-image CSS feature.
Image maps: Some time back, image maps were very popular. With image maps, you can reduce multiple image requests to just one if you’ve got contiguous images.
Use fewer images: If some of your web pages are laden with images, try removing a few, especially those with large file sizes. This will not help decrease HTTP image requests but can improve your user experience by eliminating distracting pictures that don’t match your text.
Assess Your Plugins
Plugins may bring new features and functionality to your site, but having many plugins on your site makes it load slowly. Poor or out-of-date plugins can dramatically slow down site performance, which can be resolved by removing outdated, duplicate, or hardly used plugins.
By getting rid of unnecessary extra space, line breaks, etc, you’ll speed up parsing, executing, and downloading. This simple task may cut data from your web page, and every byte of data counts. Tools such as CSS Compressor can be quite useful in this regard.
Configure Expires Headers
When someone visits your site, their computer stores your site files so that your site loads faster when they visit it the next time. The file header has an expiration date (usually 24 hours) that decides how long the files will be kept on their computer.
You can set up the “expires” headers to increase the expiration date or so that files never expire. This will ensure that your page and server load times remain intact.
Update Your Web Hosting
When getting started, you probably chose the cheapest web hosting for your site. That’s perfectly alright and good enough while you’re starting to build up visibility and traffic in a new site.
But as your traffic grows, your hosting needs will change. If your site traffic has significantly increased and you’ve not upgraded your hosting option, that can slow down your site’s loading or performance.
Swapping shared hosting for cloud hosting or a virtual private server (VPS) can make a world of difference to how fast your site loads for visitors.
Check with your hosting service to see if you need to upgrade, or consider switching to a new web hosting service.
Having a fast site is vitally important now more than ever. Users expect sites to be lightning quick and, if you don’t meet their expectations, you risk losing a huge chunk of site traffic and eventually, your loyal customers or revenue.
So, be sure to provide your site visitors with a smooth experience by making your web pages load faster so you can stand out from the crowd.