Best tips to improve the loading speed of your website
The usage of internet has surged tremendously over the last few years. Adding to it is the smart-phone-craze that have been driving people crazy. And this has resulted into a dramatic transformation of usage of internet by people. Consequently, there have been more and more expectations with regard to how things are presented over the internet. Here are the top ten point to increase your website loading speed.
Taking a cue from that, it is pertinent to think about how you are presenting yourself or your brand on the internet, i.e. through your websites. Today’s modern user won’t think twice before pressing the close button if your website is taking too much time to load. Another reason why you should say NO to a lagging website is the Search Engine. Yes, it also considers the speed of your site before placing you on the search result rankings.
So, how do you do that? Here are some of the Best tips to improve the loading speed of your website.
Take the first Step
And that first step is a good server. Whenever a user tries to access your site, the browser will have to locate the server where your website is hosted. And if this process takes too much time, you know it’s time to act!
Thus, the most important way forward to optimize the loading time of your site is by reducing the time taken for transfer of data from a server to the machine. Apart from that, other tips that you should experiment with in order to load your websites faster:
Tip #1 – Use Cached content
Tip #2 – Try compression
Nowadays, every modern browser supports compression. Once you have checked for that, your server can GZIP compress the components before transferring them and then the browser can decompress it. This will lead to almost 60% reduction in the quantity of data transferred. Needless to say, its amazing effect on your loading speed.
Tip #3 – Minifying HTML, CSS and JS files
While developing your website, the Web Developers would have used comments, documentation and white spaces while writing CSS, JS and HTML. While this is a recommended practice for developers but they are also sent to the browser, thus leading to the transfer of a huge chunk of data. A proposed alternative is to minify all the HTML, CSS and JS files before they are served to the server. Lesser the size of data transferred, higher will the speed of your site.
Tip #4 – Trying merging CSS/JS
Modern webpages, on an average, refer to around 10 or more CSS and JS files. Now, your browser will have to make a separate connection to your server for every file. However, at a time the browser can only load 2 connections. Meaning, it will have to wait longer and longer before it loads all of them. This can be worked upon significantly by merging CSS and JS files before it reaches the browser, thus enhancing the speed of your site.
Tip #5 – Merging background images
This is how it works – suppose there are two buttons on your webpage, ‘Prev’ and ‘Next’ placed as images. In this case, your browser is downloading two images at a time. Now, try creating one image having both the arrows and place them in different positions as the background image on your webpage. This way, you can merge a number of background images into one and have a significant impact on your load time.
Tip #6 – Take note of image sizes
While we understand visual content is great but it also eats up a lot of data. Irrespective of this, most websites today are image focused, thus leading to huge amount of data transfer. However, this can be easily managed by working upon the image format and quality. A 30-50% reduction in size of the image can tremendously increase the website efficiency without losing the quality of the images. Also, saving the images as .gif, .jpr or. png can also make a lot of difference.
Tip #7 – Place JS and CSS files correctly
Placement of JS and CSS files in head section of your webpage is again of utmost importance. It should be placed in correct order so that the browser can start the rendering process as soon as it gets the content. On the other hand, if the placement is incorrect, the browser will wait till all the files are downloaded and only then the entire webpage will fire up.
Tip #8 – Specifying image dimensions in HTML
Another effective tip is to specify the dimensions of the images in HTML, so that the browser can read the rest of the page while leaving a placeholder for the image till the time it is loading. Most experience tech-experts are aware of this technique and use it smartly while developing WordPress or Magento sites.
Tip #9 – Decide the priority of the content
Prioritize your content and ensure that the time taken for the browser to render important content is shorter than any other content on the page. This will enable the visitor to read important content on the go, till the time other content is loaded.
How to check your page speed?
A number of online tools are available to check your website’s loading speed and performance. What’s more, they also provide suggestions on how you can further improve your speed. And for all the tech savvy crowd, there are inbuilt tools of the browsers such as Audits in developer tools of Google Chrome which can be used for this purpose.
But Don’t follow these online tools without expert support
The ratings and recommendations given by these online tools are merely suggestive and not absolute. Hence, it is always advisable to take expert help before executing any of these tips. There can be negative effects, if tried out by a novice.