So today’s article is about how you can Increase Website Speed. Since we’re becoming more reliant on the internet in our day to day lives, broadband providers are ramping up their services. Catering for the masses of media we now consume. So you’d assume that for a large majority of people speed isn’t an issue?
So it’s not just a case of how fast a client PC can download a web page, since there’s a lot more going on.
Now one way you can solve this is by upgrading your web server, although that can mean significant cost increases. Then again if a client’s hardware just isn’t cut out to deal with that level of content, then even a powerful web server won’t help.
There is however a lot you can do to improve your site speed – Even without too much of an impact on your pocket.
A 1 second delay in your page response time can result in:
- 7% reduction in conversions
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
How to Start Optimizing Your Websites Performance for Increase Website Speed
The cheapest and easiest way, (which you could probably do in an afternoon to be honest), is to optimize the content you already have, making it quicker and easier for client computers to process.
The first step is to determine what exactly on your website needs optimizing; even small changes added together can make a big impact so it’s worth finding out.
The best place to start is to use a tool that analyses your website speed and works out what’s slowing it down, then giving you advice on what to do about it.
Two of the best also: GTMetrix, which is by far the best, and Google PageSpeed Insights, which are both free to use.
www.gtmetrix.com – A very handy, easy to use tool that gives practical advice on what is slowing your site down and how to fix it, also scoring aspects of your website from A-F so you can see what needs the most attention.
Different from some other tools GTMetrix even creates some of the optimized file versions for you, such as images and CSS scripts, saving you a lot of time and hassle.
http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights – A lot more stripped back than GTMetrix but also tests for mobile, which is highly important when you consider 3G speeds and inferior hardware. You’re also learning exactly what Google expects from your site, which is never a bad thing.
Use a CDN (Content delivery network) for Increase Website Speed
A content delivery network is a distribution of web servers spread across multiple locations to deliver content to users more effectively. CDN’s can be easily integrated with your website (Especially if you use a CMS such as WordPress, Drupal Magento etc..)
Enable GZIP Compression for Increase Website Speed
Gzip is widely accepted as one of the most effective compression methods for website content, on average reducing the size of web pages by up to 70%. According to Yahoo, around 90% of internet traffic flows through browsers that support Gzip, so it’s definitely worth taking advantage of, it’s even recommended by Google.
Here’s an easy guide by GTMetrix on how to enable GZIP Compression on your website:
Make Use of Browser Caching for Increase Website Speed
This is a method of telling a browser whether a resource on a website needs to be requested from the server or whether it can be taken locally from the browsers cache. Once the resources have been downloaded once if they don’t need to be updated again then the site will load much faster.
If you have a CMS such as WordPress there are great plugins available to manage this for you. For example: https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache
Here’s a guide by GTMetrix on it too: http://gtmetrix.com/leverage-browser-caching.html
Reduce HTTP Requests for Increase Website Speed
Like the example at the beginning of this article, it’s easy enough to download one big video with modern internet but many websites are made up of lots of different elements, the more you can do to reduce these elements the faster the page will load. You can take measures such as:
- Focussing on “what’s important” – Make sure the important stuff loads first, like the visual elements and put the fancy functions last (at the bottom of your page)
- Use CSS instead of images – CSS is tiny in comparison to the dozens of images you could potentially fill your web page with.
Many of these techniques are easy enough to implement yourself in a short space of time, if you’re not very technical they are easy enough for a developer to implement and should not cost you a huge fortune.
Hopefully you will see some big improvements in your site speed from implementing these techniques, if you knew some of them already perhaps you have learnt something new.
Also make sure to create backups before making any changes so you can always revert back if it all goes pear shaped!