If you're looking for ways to speed up your website here are our top 5 ways that will help.
Website speed matters now more than ever before!
As the average internet connection speeds rise around the world, web users are becoming less accepting of slow load times. Google has stated clearly that it desires to reward fast sites with higher positions in the natural search results.
To take advantage of these benefits, you need to make site speed a priority. Let me help you get started with some great tips of ways to speed up your website.
Ways To Speed Up Your Website
Size Your Images Before You Upload Them
If you use a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress or Joomla, you undoubtedly know that you can upload images at full size and then proceed on to adjust their display size within your website’s backend there are ways to speed up your website.
Yet, doing this forces web browsers to implement multiple commands, pulling up the initial images and then re-sizing them, which can slow down your site.
To stop this from happening and if you are looking for ways to speed up your website, you are much better off using an image-editing program to adjust images to the correct size prior to adding them to your website.
Most everyone already has access to a simple tool like Preview (on Mac), or Microsoft Paint (on Windows). Using these programs, all you have to do is open up the image and re-size it in your editor of choice, as one of the ways to speed up your website.
Once you have done that, you can take your image editing to the next level with a compression tool. This sometimes needs to be done because, even after re-sizing the image, the total file size might still be relatively large and this will slow down your site’s loading speed. This is another one of the ways to speed up your website
One of the best tools available is an online tool called TinyPNG.. All you have to do is click the link, upload your re-sized image and this tool will reduce the file size without reducing the resolution. This will really help as another one of the ways to speed up your website.
At this point, all you have to do is download the image and upload it to your website.
Your images will look precisely the same and will load much faster.
Eliminate Unnecessary Plugins
There are a vast amount of plugins and scripts out there that are freely available today making it quite enticing for website owners to add more than what they really need. However, keep in mind, every plugin you add requires resources to run and more resources mean a slower site.
Here is another one of the ways to speed up your website. Prior to adding any new plugins to your site, ask yourself if the functionality you gain is worth the trade-off in site speed, or whether the plugin’s content could be coded into your site’s theme in its place.
If your site is running slow, or you think it could be running more effectively, perform a plugin run-through.
This procedure involves deactivating all plugins on your site, one by one. After you deactivate a plugin, run your site through a tool such at GT Metrix. This will show you the speed of your website.
If you notice that the speed of your site significantly rises after deactivating a plugin, then you have found the guilty party. If you absolutely require that specific plugin’s functionality for your site to work, then experiment until you find another plugin that doesn’t affect the speed of your site.
Plus, getting rid of plugins can prevent plugin conflicts that arise when you have too many active plugins at once. The more plugins your site has active at any given time, then more likely their code may conflict and cause them to not work properly.
Be Sure to Have Up-To-Date Scripts on Your Site
Depending on the CMS or e-commerce platform your site uses, you might need to check back frequently to regulate whether new releases of your site’s scripts are offered.
If they are, upgrade your site as soon as possible, being sure that you have a current backup file in place first. Site script developers are continuously working on refining their code for future releases, predominantly when it comes to site speed. Updating your scripts to the newest versions could help a lot towards eradicating coded roadblocks that prevent your site from loading quickly.
Having said that, remembering to check-in and update your website can be hard. I mean really, you have so much stuff to do already.
Fortunately, this isn’t something you have to do on a daily basis. Once a month is enough to do a simple run-though of your site and install any updates that are available.
If your website runs on WordPress, then you’ll find these updates within the Updates tab of your WordPress dashboard. One simple click and your site will install the latest software updates. That’s it.
Remember, however, to set a recurring event on your calendar and set aside an hour each month. You won’t regret taking that hour of your time. In fact, most times it will take much less time than this, but it’s vital to build the habit of always safeguarding that your site and plugins are running the latest version.
Not to mention, having your software up to date will help to patch up any holes that could lead to your site being hacked.
Make Use of CDNs
CDNs or Content Delivery Networks, are massive networks of servers that are kept around the world. Usually, if you’re not using a CDN, then your users will have to access your web host’s server at its central location.
Now, this can lead to slow site speeds, particularly if your visitors are located far away from the central location of your server. Furthermore, if you’re just using a single server, there is always a chance it could get overloaded and cause your site to crash.
CDN’s can solve both of these problems by permitting your users access to a cached version of your site from the web host that is closest to them. Even better, if one of your server locations is overloaded, they can then be switched to a new server location.
This will result in faster load times which will make your customers and the search engines happy.
Enable Browser Caching
What is browser caching? A technology which permits a website visitor’s browser to store copies of your site’s individual pages. Therefore, when the visitor returns in the future, the content can be called up from within the cache rather than reloading the entire page. This saves the number of resources used to display your pages, resulting in faster overall load times for your visitor.
The easiest way to enable browser caching is with a plugin like WordPress W3 Total Cache. To install this plugin on your WordPress site, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to your site’s Dashboard, then Plugins>Add New, and search for W3 Total Cache. Click Install, then Activate.
- Once the plugin is activated, navigated to the new Performance tab at the top or left-hand side. This is where you’ll control all of the features of the plugin.
- There are a ton of features that you can turn on or off with this plugin.
Otherwise, talk to your web developer about ways to integrate browser caching into your server-side scripting.
Turn on Gzip Compression
Gzip Compression is a technology that minimizes the size of browser-based HTTP responses, sometimes by as much as 70%.
Using Gzip Compression can speed up your site’s load times considerably.
There are three ways to turn on Gzip Compression on your site.
1. Add the following code to your site’s .htaccess file:
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
# Or, compress certain file types by extension:
2. Add the following code to the top of your HTML or PHP page:
<?php if (substr_count($_SERVER[‘HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING’], ‘gzip’)) ob_start(“ob_gzhandler”); else ob_start(); ?>
3. Install a Gzip Compression plugin like the W3 Total Cache tool for WordPress, but keep in mind what I mentioned earlier about installing too many unnecessary plugins.
These are merely a few of the different practices that can be used to speed up your site, but they are definitely some of the easiest.
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