How to improve web page speed? 8 tips to speed up your website

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How to improve web page speed? 8 tips to speed up your website

"Is your website as slow as a tortoise? ". Slow loading of web pages is one of the most common problems for online businesses. It is frustrating for users and may be penalised by search engines. Web pages should load in less than four seconds. Any longer and users may abandon the site and you may lose a customer.

If a user lands on a website and it takes more time than usual to load, the user may not take it seriously and may not find any value in visiting the website. Thus, it is important to ensure that your website loads faster.

There are lots of changes you can make to a website that will make small improvements to your website load speed. All these changes add up to speed up your website and in turn create a better experience for the visitor to your website.

Contact Wicko Design to book an appointment to discuss how we can help improve your website load speed.

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Here are 8 tips to speed up Web Page Loading Time:

  1. Choose the right Hosting Company
  2. Optimise your Images
  3. CDN or Content Delivery Network
  4. Lazy Loading
  5. Plugins and Themes
  6. Database Structure and Revisions
  7. Website Caching System
  8. JavaScript and CSS minimisation

website hosting

1. Choose the right Hosting Company:

Choosing website hosting that best the requirements of your website. There are several website hosting companies that offer website hosting environments specifically for the latest CMS platforms such as WordPress and Joomla.

Make sure that the server is running the latest PHP version that is compatible with your CMS platform. The lest version of PHP can help increase your site security and performance.

Make sure your server is located in the main country that your website is going to be viewed from. If you have a site that is viewed across many countries then you can use a CDN system to help cache files in various countries that can be served up quicker for customers in those countries. More information about CDN's in point 3 below.

2. Optimise your Images:

This is the most common issue. It is found that a large number of web pages are found to have images which are not optimised. The image file size should be optimised to the maximum extent possible. It is preferable that the size of an image file should be between 5KB and 20KB.

Choosing the correct image format for your images and upgrading them to the latest web optimised format such as webp will help improve your file sizes for each image which will mean less time to download. Websites such as ecommerce web stores might use a lot of images so it is important optimise your images.

CDN

3. Use a CDN or Content Delivery Network

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN helps reduce load time by serving your content from a server that is physically closer to your visitor. While a CDN is not a silver bullet for performance, it can be an important part of a comprehensive strategy.

A CDN is a network of servers that cache content and deliver it to clients from the server that is closest to them. An added advantage of using a CDN is that it also helps overcome the issue of security threats. The reason is that the content comes from the CDN servers and not your own server. The CDN servers are handled by a third party, not you.

A CDN can help reduce load time by serving your content from a server that is physically closer to your visitor. Since they distribute your content across multiple servers, they will be able to serve the content from a server that is physically closer to the visitor. For example, a German visitor will have their content served from a German server, an American visitor will have their content served from servers in the US, and so on.

The latency impact of using a CDN depends on the location of your visitors. If most of your visitors are close to your server then you might not see much benefit. However, if your visitors are distributed across different regions then you can get significant improvement.

4. Lazy loading.

Lazy loading is the opposite of progressive enhancement. It allows you to load content once it is needed instead of loading it up front. For instance it will only load images that are visible on the current page location and load the remaining images as the viewer scrolls down the page, reducing the amount of images required to be downloaded for the initial page few. This technique allows you to make your pages smaller and faster.

Lazy loading is a good technique to use when you have a website that uses an image slider or a gallery. In this case, you can lazy load the images in the slider or the gallery. For example, you can lazy load the first image in the slider or gallery. This is what Google does for its image search results. If you hover over an image then it will lazy load the next five images in the slider.

Lazy loading can improve your page performance by reducing the number of HTTP requests, thereby reducing page load time. For example, if you have a page with two images in it and one of them is lazy loaded then there will be one HTTP request for

5. Plugins and Themes

When choosing themes and plugins your your website you need to consider how they will effect your site load speed. If you are using a theme or plugin that loads scripts and stylesheets with your page, then you need to ensure they are as small as possible. This will reduce the byte count of your page by reducing the amount of HTTP requests required to load the page.

With so many plugins available its very easy to simply add new plugins and features to your website. But each plugin could add additional load time to your site. This is how a website can quickly become bloated with scripts and stylesheets from plugins.

Often there are plugins that do similar tasks to other plugins or even that same thing. Make sure you evaluate your plugins and only add those that are necessary.

Its also good when choosing your theme and plugins to check they are well supported, recommended and used by many other websites. You can normally view this by the number of reviewed left for the plugin and the number of installs they have. Also check when the plugin was last updated and make sure that you are running the latest version. Plugins are often updated to improve performance, security and ensure they are compatible with the latest CMS platform and other plugins.

There are several developer groups that have several plugins available for your WordPress or Joomla website. Using plugins from these groups will help ensure they are compatible with each other and often well supported via forums or support tickets.

database

6. Database structure and revisions.

Every page or post created on your website will have data stored in your database. Plugins will also store settings and data in the database. Over time as your website increases with posts, products and orders then the amount of data stored in your database will increase. With so many blocks of data in your database tables then the time it takes for search for each piece of information with also increase.

There are options to help reduce this and manage the data. Making sure old data is removed or stored in a separate table. Deleting old posts and products, ensuring that are removed from the database. If you do delete posts and articles make sure you have redirects to new or relevant products and posts so any external links to your website don't end up broken.

Revisions is something also that can take up additional space in your database. it is best to limit the number of revisions for each page and post and also set a time limit for the revisions to be kept.

7. Use a caching system.

Caching is a great solution for requests that are made to the same resource over and over again. By storing the response that was previously returned, we decrease the load on the application servers and decrease the time it takes to get a response.

There are many different cache implementations; Memcached is a popular option.

For more information on caching, take a look at the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caching_(computing)

http://www.slideshare.net/jasongrimes/memcached-a-distributed-memory-object-caching-system

http://codeigniter.com/user_guide/general/caching.html

css javascript

8. Use JavaScript and CSS minimisation

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content:

Include CSS in the <head> instead of inline on the page. This will help render the HTML document faster. It also helps download CSS in parallel with other resources, which can speed up rendering of web pages.

Minification

JavaScript and CSS files can be minified to remove all unnecessary characters. This will reduce the file size and download time.

Use asynchronous JavaScript and CSS

Make JavaScript and CSS asynchronous if possible. For example, instead of:

<head> <link href="/css/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> </head>

Use:

<head> <link href="/css/style.css?v=1.0" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" /> </head>

There are many plugins to help with website speed, optimisation and script managements. Make sure that you don't add plugins that do the same task. Sometimes setting these up can take time with a bit of trial and error to find the best settings that work best with your website and plugins.

Contact Wicko Design to book an appointment to discuss how we can help improve your website load speed.

Contact us

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