Feeling your website is laggy or performing slowly? Read more on how you can speed up your website instantly.
Think that speeding up your website isn’t really important? Think again.
Research and surveys have found out that a single one second load delay in a website directly converts to time and results in the following:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions
All these just for a second! Now imagine what negative impact it will have on your company and business if that second prolongs and becomes a handful of scattered seconds. Disaster.
This directly converts to your business sales and the reputation in the global market. Hence it is really important for businesses to note that their sites are working perfectly and without any unwanted delays etc.
Read more to find out ways in which you can implement to speed/load up your website much faster.
- Upgrade Your Web Hosting Plan
Usually many companies and business when they initially start out their online presence, they opt for the most affordable or cheapest plan they can find with web hosting providers. In many instances, this then leads them to getting into what we call a shared hosting server.
However, as your business grows, your site contents also grows parallelly and this would make a direct impact on the speed. Therefore, one of the most easiest methods to speed up your website would be to upgrade your plan and to get on a VPS or dedicated hosting.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) is basically a server that is distributed across multiple computers over cloud. This option is more affordable solution for small to medium enterprise owners than compared to dedicated hosting. On the other hand, dedicated server hosting is as the name suggests, its dedicated to you only. It’s like renting out a room you have complete control over the contents and usually comes with a price tag. Learn more about these comparisons here.
2. Hypertext Transfer Protocol
Hypertext Transfer Protocol or simply known as HTTP is request and response protocol sent to your designated servers and responds with the particular action. Therefore, some sites are loaded with too much HTTP requests and responses thus it affects the speed of the entire website.
There are several ways you can try to eliminate the number of HTTP actions in your website. To find how many requests and responses your website makes, you can simulate a speed test on Pingdom.
After being presented with the table of varied HTTP requests and response file size & load time, now you will be able to narrow down onto your HTTP culprits and refine them further.
3. Internet-Friendly Images
Usually many sites are also slowed down miserably by the over use of high graphics etc.
This is usually overseen by developers and business owners when it comes to setting up their website. Larger files sizes containing rich graphics generally lead to more slower times for your website.
The primitive method is to start eliminating most of the pictures/media files on your website. This should in return bring a direct boost in speed instantly. However, a website without pictures might be boring. Rather than completely discarding all pictures, you may choose to follow these 3 simple steps in case you are importing a few to your website.
- Change the resolution
- Compress the picture
- Cropping the picture
Once followed the above 3 mentioned steps, it will reduce the overall quality of the picture but tremendously decreases the file size resulting in a more efficient manner for your website. You can do these steps in various Softwares preferably Adobe Photoshop or free Softwares like Gimp, Paint.NET. There are also free online browser based applications like Photopea.
4. Be Mindful About Plugins
This may be only applicable to plugins that are running on WordPress Sites. Overlord of use of plugins will result in what is known as ‘Plugin Bloat’. This is also something that you should look into. The more the plugins are in a website, the slower the loading times will be.
However, completely removing all the plugins from your website may not be the ideal case. There are some work arounds to this and you can reduce the overall use of plugins. If there is a way manually code in rather than to use a plug in for simple stuff, it might be a good idea. For example, instead of using the Google Analytics plugin, you may choose to just manually add the tracking code information onto the website header and footer manually.
Occasionally evaluate once every 2-3 months and keep any eye on your website plugins and remove the unnecessary ones with the following guideline:
- Plugins not of use anymore
- Plugins outdated and not efficient anymore
- Plugins causing ‘deprecating functions’
5. Remove Unwanted External Scripts
Just be aware and mindful of these as these external scripts really do play a part to significantly slow down your website. Here are some examples.
- “Like” boxes in Facebook pages
- External fonts and icon sets
- External commenting systems like Disqus
- Pop-up boxes and similar lead-capture tools like SumoMe etc.
6. Optimising JS and CSS Files
There are basically 2 main methods you can follow to optimise JS and CSS files.
Basically minification as the name suggest tries to minimise on the whitespaces, comments, unwanted semi colons, hex code lengths etc.
This finds and studies and finally executes on how to replace the repetitive strings with pointers to the first instance of that particular string.
7. Use Of Page Caching
The main ideology behind page caching is to enable websites to store some information with regards to what is known as static files such as HTML documents and/or pictures. This would in return allow the webpage to access and load up more quickly as it is not required to retrieve this information from the server-side every time a request and response is made.
However, a small downside to this solution is that page caching only works for repeated visitors to your website. Your site has to however load fully for first time visitor anyways.
Here are 2 most popular caching plugins used.
- W3 Total Cache
Most popular performance plugin for caching used widely. Learn more here.
- WP Super Cache
Typically a higher performing cache plug in for really intense high traffic sites. Learn more here.
8. Server Response Time Improvement
Server response time is basically most of the above mentioned attributes when it comes to loading up your website to significantly slow them down. These things varies and includes such as the amount of resources the website uses, type of Softwares used for the development of site and servers, hosting solutions etc.
To manage and improve better on this aspect, look out for performance bottlenecks that is really bringing down the site in terms of speed such as slow database queries, slow routing, lack or insufficient memory and try to fix them at cost. Based on research, the adequate and optimal server response time is under 200ms. Learn more about this here.
9. Opting For CDN Method
CDN or Content Delivery Method is a highly distributed platform that stretches itself across multiple various servers that ultimately help in reducing the time taken to load a webpage. This is mainly done by reducing the physical distance between the user and the server.
Many services opt for CDN as this is globally recognised and a proven strategy that enables users across the planet to view the same high quality content with fast loading times. As many businesses go online over the years significantly it has really taken the place and being the backbone for delivering the online contents in various industries for retail, finance, healthcare, education and several other industries
10. Reduce Use Of Redirects
Redirects are basically kind of set instructions that forces or rather channels the users automatically into a different link website. There solely used when for example a single page or your website is under construction or happens to be broken etc.
However, the over use of redirect in some situations can be overwhelming and also cause to slow down the website. To put it simply, having too many redirects would result into more request and response activity to the servers, which can be seen drastically slow on mobile devices. Hence, its best to keep them at a minimal level or to completely get rid of all the redirects.
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