Website speed is something you have to work on soon or later if you are trying to retain visitors. There are many websites to check your speed, such as (https://gtmetrix.com/) or (https://tools.pingdom.com). Websites like GtMetrix will give you your website’s performance scores and recommend what items you should change. It will also give you the load speed for all the other webpages that you have created in your server.
We all know why speed is important when it comes to a website. But do you know that this affects ranking system as well? Google ranking system loves to place websites that have fast load speed on the first page.
Before we start, let’s talk about hosting; if you have a shared hosting, you should consider getting an upgrade if you are getting more than 100,000 unique visitors a day (if not, move on). The stuff I’m about to write will increase your website up to a certain extent, Shared hosting are cheap and are made to handle certain amount of load at a time.
So, after you’ve checked your website’s speed, you now have to work on it. The first item on the checklist is to reduce all file sizes. Your logo, thumbnails, or any image files should be reduced. Don’t try to be fancy with HD images, instead, offer them a separate link to the HD files separately, if they’re interested. If you own a WordPress website, use WP SMUSH plugin, and it will reduce all image sizes for you.
Next on the list is CDN. What is a CDN you ask? It stands for content delivery network and it’s used to increase speed. Websites have static files (static files are stuff that doesn’t change), which are CSS, JS, images and stuff. These static files can be saved in a server that’s closer to user’s physical location to increase delivery speed. Since the server is closer to them, it increases it. Hey! But is this going to cost me a lot? No actually, there are services like cloud flare (it’s free, but they do offer business packages and such).
Cloud flare is a free service that will increase performance through CDN and optimization features. They also offer security, DNS service, analytics and more. It’s easy to set up and can easily cut down your website’s speed and increase security.
Next item on the checklist is cache. When a visitor comes to your website, they send a request to your server. However, if there is a cached version, it will usually be there without sending a request to the server, unless it changed since the last cache. This saves a lot of requests to your server and as a result, increases speed and decreases the chance of crashing your website from so much request. If you use WordPress (like many other website owners), there are a lot of plugins you can install for your website. You can do research on this, but you should definitely install WP optimize (which will help you clean out unused spaces and such) and W3 total cache (to increase load speed for frequent visitors). Just make sure you are up-to date with the plugins, since they get outdated time to time.
Combining images into CSS sprites the next item on the list. This is very important for website owners with a lot of images. When you have a lot of images, you are forcing your server to go back and forth to get all the required items to load. However, if you use CSS sprites, it combines all background images on a page into a one single image.
There are many more other ways to increase your websites speed like compressing and getting rid of items you don’t need on your server, enabling HTTP, minifying, and much more. However, if you have completed the items on this posting, you should have cut down your website’s load time a lot. If you would like to continue working on your website’s time, you are free to do more research.