How to Optimize Site Speed

In an average a person decides whether to stay in a website or not in the very few seconds after entering the website. There are many aspects that work in the decision making, but one of the major concern is the site loading speed. Those websites which have a much better loading speed moves much ahead of those who have poor speed in holding the visitor into their website.

Well let us put some light over those points through which we can improve our site to make it load faster and improve conversions.

Site speed factors

What affects site loading speed? Let’s see:

  • CSS file size (5kb or larger)
  • Total image size (50kb or larger)
  • Javascript and other script usage (none, 10kb or larger)
  • amount of file requests (stylesheets, Server Side Includes, images, scripts, etc)
  • web server speed (server resources, Internet connection speed)
  • database usage (none, one or many)
  • HTML code page size (20kb or larger)

Got it, but what are we supposed to do with all that?

Web server speed

Web server has a good amount of hand behind your site speed that too in many ways like: if there are many sites on the server it runs a bit slow secondly if it is hosted on a narrow Internet connection the lack of loading speed for the website persists. To fix these issues we can either move to dedicated virtual or physical server or rather can pick the option of going for another hosting company.

Databases

If you are using a lot of databases, at the very beginning you should look upon whether you need the database solutions at all. If the answer is no, switch to static pages.

If you have to use databases, you can merge some of them to make them load faster. After this the speed that gets increased isn’t very significant enough, but still makes a little impact for sure.

HTML code size

If the website of yours is using tables for layout, you can decrease the total HTML size by around 50% through converting your website to CSS for layout. This will not only increase your site speed, but will also make the site display nicely in liquid layout and very easy to edit.

CSS file size

If you are using stylesheets, you might feel like optimizing them by using shortcuts, grouping selectors with the same properties and values together, in fact use the cascading effect and so on. This possibly can reduce the size of the CSS file by 15-25%, if not more than that, but that is quite good enough.

If you employ inline or internal styles, you would place them in an external CSS file. This will permit browsers cache them and they would not need to load them each and every time the page loads itself.

Well if you aren’t comfortable doing all the above things take the help of a developer.

Total image size

Again if your website has huge number of images, you may go for considering several things. The very basic one is to consider whether all the images are really needed to convey your thoughts at all. Those images that you find not really essential should be the then removed.

Also if some of those images have texts in them, you should replace them with text styled with CSS. For sure this can be done on your main and secondary navigation. This will increase the site loading speed. For both humans and search engines this will make the website readable without images and really accessible henceforth.

If any of the images are still left, you might want to make sure that they are created to fit the size they are displayed at.

Lastly, optimizing the image files themselves is a good option too. In general, you do not need any more than 72 dpi resolution for the images. Also, you would prefer to save images as GIF or PNG files, if you don’t need high quality images. Large product images should generally be displayed in the JPEG format anyway. Try saving the images “for the Web”, if you can.

If we focus simply over optimizing website images, the total page size gets reduced by half or more. This is one of the most effective techniques to make your site load faster along with converting your website to CSS.

JavaScript files size

If JavaScript is being used by you in your website, you need to think whether your really need it or not. Some stuffs like mouse-over, can easily be done by all browsers without any scripts.

In any case, you’d rather put your JavaScript in external files and attach them using the <script> tag. Like this, the page will load faster and the search engines won’t choke on Javascript.

Total results

If at the end we now talk about how you can increase your websites speed following the above points, it is truly up to your skills and your site. Every site is unique in its approach and tone, content material and size, so it is very natural that there may be difference between two sites optimization style too.

But if you really optimize all the site speed factors discussed here, you can be assured of the fact that a good amount of rise in the speed will be visible for your website. So go ahead and give it a try. Good luck.

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