Top 10 Ways of Speeding up Your Website

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON March 20th, 2014

Top 10 Ways of Speeding up Your Website

Even the prettiest websites that people fall in love with at first sight can still get dumped in the end – and never to be visited again – simply because they don’t load fast enough. Most people online hate waiting. Do it once and you may be forgiven, but do it more than once and you’ll lose them for good. Search engines, especially Google, now also reward speedy websites very generously with traffic. To avoid unnecessary risks, follow the top 10 ways of speeding up your website listed below:

 

Ever Heard About Website Diets?

A website doesn’t has to consume a gigantic amount of web space to be beautiful, informative, and a visitor’s dream come true. In fact, for it to be perfect you need to make it as compact as possible. Focus on making every kilobyte of your website count!

It is now also important to have a specific ultra-light mobile version of your website, thanks to exploding mobile traffic, as regular browser version of a website loads impracticably slow on a mobile or tablet. The browser versions of websites also usually don’t fit well in the tiny mobile screens which further makes dedicated mobile versions of websites essential.

 

Optimize Images

Anything over 500KB for each page is a little too much. Consider using image compression tools like RIOT or SmushIt to optimize your images as usually images are responsible for a high load time.

It is also important not to scale images in the image HTML tag. For example an original image is of dimensions 500 x 600 and you have put “width” and “height” attributes in an “<img>” tag with values ‘300’ and ‘250’ respectively. This resizing of ‘width’ from 500 to 300 and ‘height’ from 600 to 250 would be done in the runtime which would in turn slow your entire website (now imagine multiple images being resized on a single web page).

 

Use Speed Testing Tools

Use free online tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom to figure out other ways to optimize your web pages along with figuring out the exact loading time of your website. Note your loading time after each change you make in your site to know in which direction that change is heading.

There are also dozens of paid online tools that generate audit reports of your website and give you valuable tips on what is causing your website to load slowly. Think of these applications as the ultimate way to create a lite-version of your website without sacrificing quality!

 

Web Pages can be Compressed, too

If you love compressing your files in ZIP or RAR then you’ll probably love the fact that web pages can be compressed as well. One way of doing this is to make use of HTTP compression, which can reduce the size of your files by around 70%. Sometimes, it can be more. It really depends on how successful and strategic you are when it comes to compression.

GZIP compression also speeds up a website considerably and most hosting control panels (like cPanel) provide built-in options to enable gzip compression.

 

Optimize Your Code

Just as an extreme measure you can also remove all white spaces from your website’s code (whether CSS, HTML or Javascript) to make it compile faster. It is also advisable to use short hand CSS and to avoid using inline CSS, as it slows down the execution of your website’s code.

Removing W3C validation errors related to your code also makes your code to compile faster. It also makes your website cross-browser compatible and makes your website to appear identical on all browsers.

*Note for beginners: Web pages are coded just like programmers code programs in different languages. Your browser only shows you the rendered output and not the code. (Open any web page on your browser and right click in the empty space and click on “View Page Source” to view the code that rendered that particular web page.)

 

Reduce the Number of Round Trips Your Website Requires

Most components of your website require a round trip. Basically, this is the time spent in which data travels between your Internet browser and server – and vice versa. Obviously, the more objects you have that require round trips, the longer it will take for your web pages to load.

In order to cut back on your web page’s required round trips, you need to figure out a way to combine similar objects and put them in one file. All CSS data can be placed in one folder. The same goes for JavaScript and so forth. Even multiple images can be combined into a single large image (a technique called CSS Image Sprites) to reduce ‘http’ requests.

 

Prioritize What Web Browsers Prefer

So you like JavaScript. That’s fine, but you should also know that web browsers tend to take more time deciphering the data provided by JavaScript. On the other hand, a Cell Phone Expert said that most browsers work very quickly when they have to decode data provided by HTML pages.

JavaScript still has a place in your website, but you need to make sure that using it has clear and substantial advantages. Otherwise, you’re better off sticking with browser-friendly languages like CSS or HTML.

It is also advisable to put all Javascripts in the footer of a web page to allow rendering of HTML and CSS first.

 

Make Your Website Cache Friendly

Cache as much of your website’s data as possible! This will help your users’ browsers load your pages more quickly. With caching, you’re letting browsers remember stuff about your website – stuff that they’ll have quicker access to and an easier means of retrieving and reloading when users revisit your website.

There are various cache plugins and extensions available for almost all major Content Management Systems (CMS) which are absolutely free and are quite powerful. Although do remember that a cache only improves the reloading time of a webpage (first time visitors will experience no improvement in loading speed).

We are using W3 Total Cache, which is one of the best plugins for WordPress, here at Chillopedia for making our blog cache friendly!

 

Use a Content Delivery Network

It is necessary to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for speeding up your website considerably. CDN service providers host your website files with them and propagate these files to their servers which are placed throughout the world. As a result, a visitor to your website gets the data fetched from a server that is present in the nearest geographical location, this more than halves your website’s loading time immediately.

Here at Chillopedia, we are using MaxCDN to speed up our blog. You too should get Powered By MaxCDN Content Delivery Network!

 

Make Sure You Choose a Quality Web Hosting Service

Always go for a well reputed web hosting services providers without worrying about the marginal difference in costs. A good host would give you less headache when issues would arise related to your website. Here at Chillopedia, we are using the hosting services of PakServers.com!

Remember, with your website’s services accelerated expect more interaction from your visitors. If you can’t respond to them as quickly, then you’ll still lose them to your competition in the end. Therefore do not forget to speed up your customer support also.

 

Conclusion

A fast website is extremely necessary to make good impression on your visitors. A fast website also encourages the visitors to spend more time on your site and to view more pages during each of their visit. On the other hand, no one likes a slow website no matter how useful it may be, would you wait for 60 seconds for Google Search to return a query? Certainly not!

Have you ever optimized your website for speed? Are you facing any issue? Let us know in the comments section below!