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5 Tips to Speed Up your Website

  • Published in Blog

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1. Minimize HTTP Requests

According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc.

An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.

That being the case, the quickest way to improve site speed is to simplify your design.

 

2. Reduce server response time

Your target is a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds). And if you follow the tips in this article, you’re well on your way to achieving this. Google recommends using a web application monitoring solution and checking for bottlenecks in performance. Tap into these resources:
Yslow – to evaluate your site’s speed and get tips on how to improve performance.
Google’s PageSpeed Tools – to learn more about performance best-practice and automate the process.

 

3. Enable compression

Large pages (which is what you could have if you’re creating high-quality content) are often 100kb and more. As a result, they’re bulky and slow to download. The best way to speed their load time is to zip them—a technique called compression. Compression reduces the bandwidth of your pages, thereby reducing HTTP response. You do this with a tool called Gzip. Most web servers can compress files in Gzip format before sending them for download, either by calling a third-party module or using built-in routines. According to Yahoo, this can reduce download time by about 70%. And since 90% of today’s Internet traffic travels through browsers that support Gzip, it’s a great option for speeding up your site.

 

4. Enable browser caching

When you visit a website, the elements on the page you visit are stored on your hard drive in a cache, or temporary storage, so the next time you visit the site, your browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server. Here’s how Tenni Theurer, formerly of Yahoo, explains it… "The first time someone comes to your website, they have to download the HTML document, stylesheets, javascript files and images before being able to use your page. That may be as many as 30 components and 2.4 seconds. Once the page has been loaded and the different components stored in the user’s cache, only a few components needs to be downloaded for subsequent visits.

 

5. Optimize images

With images, you need to focus on three things: size and format.

Image size: Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. Use image editing tools to crop your images to the correct size, reduce color depth to the lowest acceptable level or remove image comments.

Image format: JPEG is your best option. PNG is also good, though older browsers may not fully support it. GIFs should only be used for small or simple graphics (less than 10×10 pixels, or a color palette of 3 or fewer colors) and for animated images. Do not use BMPs or TIFFs.

 

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