Speed has always been obsessing us through-out during the course of our evolution. It’s one thing which has pushed us to build something smarter and faster. Google too has started weighting sites that are faster to be better, hence listing them higher in its SERPs. Learning to building a super charged – fast website is possible for everyone – believe me!
After all it’s not just for gaining higher positions in SERPs rather offering an optimum customer experience in the first place.
So how to build a super-fast website? Here’s what you’ve got to do :
When someone requests for a website/page, various components contribute in the background – starting from the browser, ISP, server and back. Hence the higher the volume of requests, the longer it’d take to load the page complete. Therefore, if you want to achieve a fast site, you must first ensure the site is throwing minimum http requests.
Here are ways to minimize it…
Combining CSS and Script Files
Combining CSS and scripts is one of the easiest ways to achieve a fast performing website. A smart webmaster would try combining most files together inorder to achieve optimum site-speed.
Using CSS Sprites in stylesheet
Unlike previously when each image was loaded separately, webmasters now make use of CSS Sprites – enabling them to build it into a single item within the stylesheet.
Limiting the Number of Plugins
CMS’s such as Drupal, WordPress, Magento etc. have simplified the efforts of building a website to a large extent. Furthermore, the extensible list of plugins and extension for just about anything has enabled users to add features to a site that doesn’t come with the base CMS.
But, what most of us don’t know or understand, having many plugins installed may also give rise to multiple HTTP and Db. requests, therefore slowing the website. Hence it is advisable to limit the use of plugins, restricting it to only what’s essential and removing all the unused ones.
Using a CDN – Content Delivery Network
As the name suggests, a CDN ensures faster delivery of content on your website. In this, a copy of your website content is created at every CDN location. So, when someone initiates a request for a page at your website, the CDN server which is closest or has lesser load would fulfill by serving it. Unlike traditionally where on a single server would be hosting a website at a specific geo-location and serving to requests coming in from worldwide. A CDN is proven to deliver requests made to a site ‘faster’.
Hence enabling a CDN for your website can fasten up your website to a good extent.
If you’d like to get it enabled for your website OR would like to know more about it, please feel comfortable speaking to our sales team anytime during 24 hours of a day via. Live Chat Or Phone.
Optimizing Images on Website
Yes, images can cause some serious load on a website and affect its speed and performance. Image files are heavier and delivering them over the Internet can cause load over the server. Therefore, inorder to reduce the load time, webmasters would often resize it to the essential dimensions and weight before publishing it over the web.
Optimizing images on a website is the key to speeding up a site.
TIP: You may choose to make use of Yahoo’s Smush It service for image optimization too.
Reducing the Use of page Redirects
Sometimes when a particular web page is moved (or removed) to a different location across a website – for any reason, it’s important for you and your visitors to find what they are looking for with minimum efforts. This is where Redirects can come in handy. But having loads of such redirects across a site, may harm the site speed too.
Many old sites if you observe are found to have redirect loops and chains, webmasters must audit the htaccess and redirect all old url’s to the current version of the page.
Use a Server-side Compression Program (such as GZIP)
GZIP is a software program which is installed over the server, which takes care of compression and decompression of files. By doing so, the page is compressed at server-end hence enhancing the download time for the user/browser.
According to Yahoo, installing GZIP can decrease the page response size by upto 70%.
Getting the Stylesheet(s) moved up in the header
Most of the recent browsers won’t render sections of the pages unless the stylesheet(s) loads up. But if you get the stylesheet moved up to the header, you’d have a more chance of the page getting progressively loaded. One of the major advantages of such a tweak is, while the complete page is loading, the user would have material to read while the rest of the pages are being loaded, hence earning you a good chance for the visitor to stay at the page instead of bouncing back, which usually happens when the stylesheet is placed at the bottom.
Limiting the number of Scripts
Scripts as we all know, may be one of the causes of a slow loading website. Therefore, limiting them in numbers can do the trick to speed-up a website.
Usually, it’s observed that when you get a site developed from a third-party, often duplicate scripts are deployed first – which is not recommended. Be certain to keep only the scripts that are crucial for your business website.
Similar to how we did with the stylesheet, moving the scripts to lower sections of a webpage can help you improve the page performance. Doing so can help you experience a noticeable difference in the overall performance.
It still doesn’t work-out, is it? – Well then it’s time to go to a higher hosting platform
Despite every possible measures that you followed from the above list, if you aren’t able to reduce the websites page load time, it’s possible that the platform on which you are hosting your website needs to be looked into as well.
If you have root access to the server, you may try testing its settings to match up with the site requirements. A good tweak should do the trick. Whereas, if you aren’t experienced at server management, better lay-off, get it done from someone who has expertise at it. A managed hosting service usually proves worthy at such instances. You may try requesting them to optimize the server for you to get a better load time for the website.
At times when a website is hosted over a shared environment, the resources of a machine would be shared by many other websites. There’s quite a possibility that some other website(s) is/are using up resources to an extent that the overall availability could be adversely affected. If that’s true, there’d definitely be an impact on the performance of your website. In that case it’s suggested either to consider an upgrade to a higher plan that offers more resources OR request the host to move your site to a different server if that helps.
But, having the site hosted with a plan that offers you dedicated resources, could prove to end the troubles you’ve been facing over a shared server – a VPS, Cloud or Dedicated can be the platforms of your choice for that reason.
The load time of a website is an important factor which is considered not only by the modernized search engines, but by visitors too. According to research, good performance is the most important expectation for digital experience and can directly affect revenue. Visitors are usually impatient, hence the earlier you are able to grab their interest, the higher would be your chances of making him/er stay at the website. AND the best way to achieve it is, is by serving to their purpose of visit FASTER!