What is the benefit of speeding up a website?
Website speed is a vital factor for every website owner. The most important thing is that the website speed on traffic should not impact your revenue adversely. It is more important to have a speedy website for mobile visitors also. Because Google research reveals that 53% of mobile site visitors are leaving web pages due to it takes more than three seconds to load.
According to some studies, it has found that a one-second delay in site loading can reduce page views by 11% and reduce customer satisfaction by 16% and eats away 7% of the coveted conversion rate. Currently, Google considers website speed as a ranking factor. It can happen adverse effects on the below factors due to having slow websites.
- Traffic and page views.
- Brand image and perception in the mind of visitors.
This article guides you to build up a strong and successful speedy website. The article gives you 21 ways to enhance the website speed as listed below.
- Removing unnecessary plugins and add-ons.
- Limiting/Removing social sharing buttons on the website.
- Loading analytics and Ad network code asynchronously.
- Enabling ‘Expires Headers’.
- Enabling cache.
- Using a content delivery network. (CDN)
- Finding a faster web hosting provider.
- Evaluating the website theme/Template.
- Installing Google page speed on the server.
- Optimizing/Re-sizing the images. (Can have a huge impact)
- Enabling Gzip compression.
- Optimizing the database (Regularly)
- Combining the background images into image sprites.
- Enabling HTTP ‘Keep-Alive’.
- Fixing all broken links on the website.
- Avoiding image hotlinking.
- Limiting the number of external requests.
- Using a reliable CMS.
- Using a PHP accelerator.
- Preventing others from Hotlinking the images.
You can learn how to speed up the website through the above tips by reading this article. Before that, you have to do two tasks.
- Check current website load time via Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights. Then you can compare the speed changes once you have tweaked the site as shown below.
- Check whether you have backup the site. As sometimes it may mess up the site due to tweaking or editing files.
Then you can read and apply the above tips to speed up your website finely.
Remove unnecessary plugins and Add-ons.
The website speed can be reduced more due to unnecessary plugins and add-ons. It should consider more if you use blogging CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. You can further, read the A good case study about the impact plugins can have on a website’s speed. It shows how it can enhance the website’s speed from 4.23 seconds to 1.33 seconds. Further, it has found that plugins contributed to a whopping 86% of website load time.
Both numbers of plugins and the quality of plugins should be considered. It should remove plugins that have a lot of scripts and styles. Those are performing a lot of remote requests and add extra database queries to each page on the website. Plugins support you to enhance the website’s functionality. However, it is important to use plugin which is convinced that it is necessary for you. Then WordPress users, need to install the P3. (Plugin Performance Profiler)
This plugin can scan all WordPress plugins and find out the bottlenecks. It provides a report by showing how each plugin affects the website performance.
Significantly limit, or remove, social sharing buttons on the website.
Load Analytics and Ad network code asynchronously.
Both analytics tracking code and ad networks’ codes can slow down your website’s speed. The important is that you can avoid this issue by configuring all tracking codes to use asynchronous delivery in a situation such as the remote server is slow or down. Then a server outage or delay with your Ad network or analytics service will not slow down the website.
Enable expires headers.
The server response time will cause more for the website speed. Because it will slow down to load the website when many requests are being sent to the server. Then Expires Headers will show your visitor’s browser when to request files from your server vs. from their browser cache. For instance, is an Expires Headers is configured that a particular visitor’s browser requests a file once in a month, then that file has been kept in the cache from a recent visit. The visitor’s browser will not request the file until a month is over. Hence, this limits the number of HTTP requests on your server and reduces the load on the server. Because the same file will not be asked repeatedly.
Caching allows website owners to store a version of the website on their browser. It will serve them until your website is updated or instruct to refresh the website version. This will speed your website. However, you can enable website caching in various ways and it will depend on the platform you are using WordPress. So, you can install the below plugins.
- W3 Total Cache
- W3 Super Cache
Use a content delivery network (CDN)
Many websites have hosted on US servers. Therefore, those websites will faster for US visitors and visitors who are using US VPN services while it may slow down for visitors in other countries. So, the CDN can fix this issue by distributing the website files across a network of servers in various locations of the world. This will speed your website speed significantly.
Below are the two best CDN options.
- Get a better web host
You have an option to move your existing host provider if your website remains slow. As the website host is vital when it considers the speed of the website. So, according to the results of tests and analyses on hostingfacts.com, below are the three best hosting providers in respect of website speed.
- A2 Hosting (318ms)
- Hostinger (320ms)
- MDDHosting (359ms)
Your website theme
You can make speed the website by changing themes that have unwanted features such as animations, complex layouts and etc. to a simple theme. Then it will lead to reducing the page load time multiple times. Also, the best server confirmation will not save the website if it uses a crappy theme with bloated code. So, you must consider the performances when choosing a theme for the website.
Install Google page speed on your server.
Google PageSpeed module optimizes the website speed automatically. This is an open-source server module. Google PageSpeed module makes modifications to the server and files by following website performances best practices. You can install this module by yourself or else you can ask support from your hosting provider.
Optimize and reduce image size.
Normally, un-optimize images will be very heavy and it may use a lot of server resources. So, it will take much time to load. If the image size on the website is 1mb or 2mb+, you have to reduce the size of the image. But it should not affect the quality of the image. Then you can use the following tools to do it.
- WP Smush (For WordPress users)
- EEWWW Image Optimizer 9For WordPress users)
- Kraken (For everyone)
Enable Gzip compression.
Gzip is compressing website files into zip files. Because of that it will reduce the size of the files and increasing the speed of the website. If you need to enable Gzip compression on the website, you can refer to this guide by GTmetrix.
Regularly optimize the database.
Optimizing the database is a very powerful approach to improve website speed. This method is very effective if you use WordPress or CMS which are rely heavily on database usage. Some CMSs and plugins rely heavily on your database to save data. So, it enhances data stored in the database. Because you use CMS/plugin and it makes your website slow down. This is can be seen commonly in plugins which are saved logs, statistics, and user data. This can apply if you use WordPress and enable post revisions, pingbacks, and trackbacks.
So, it can make your website speedy by cleaning up the database. This process can be automated with the WP-Optimize plugin in WordPress or manually by following this tutorial.
Combine your background images into image sprites
The website will be slow for a user’s browser which is sending more requests to your website. Then multiple background images will create several various requests when trying to load the website. I t can fix this issue by combining images into one. Then the visitor can request only one image when trying to load the website. This can be done through the image Sprites.
So, it can reduce requests by combining background images into image sprites. It will decrease the number of bytes the visitor’s browser downloads. As well as the delay caused by roundtrips made when the server is downloading other resources. It will support to speed up the website. You can use SpriteMe to combine the images into sprites.
Enable HTTP Keep-Alive
The visitor’s web browser grabs each file which is in your web server individually. It means that the connection closes when a file has grabbed and reopen to request a new file. This will cause to slow down the website. Because it uses so many processors, network, and memory. However, you can enable HTTP and Keep-Alive and it confirms that all file requests made to your web server will made via a single open connection. It will lead to speed up the website. As it limits the number of connections to the server. Then you can enable HTTP Keep-Alive simply by copying and pasting the below code into the .htaccess file. You can follow further steps by referring to these instructions.
Fix all broken links on your website.
Avoid image hotlinking
This can refer as inline linking also. Here, it links an image on another person’s website without loading the image on your own server. This will lead to slow down your website if the website that hosts the image you hotlinked is experiencing a downtime or slow. However, it will save a lot of bandwidth. So, initially, you have to host your images on the website before linking.
Limit the number of external requests
Normally, you have to rely on files and resources from other websites. Because it ensures a completely functional website. Then you have to embed multimedia files such as videos and presentations. So, when you are requesting those external files from slow websites, your website also will be affected by slow load time.
Hence, you have to limit the number of external requests which your website will make and allow it to make requests for reliable websites.
Use a reliable CMS
CMS can be introduced as the framework of the website. So, it is essential to use simple HTML reliable CMSs such as WordPress or Drupal. The risk will be high if you use less reliable CMSs or something developed by yourself. So you should confirm that you have done tests and right research to ensure a speedy and reliable CMS.
Use a PHP Accelerator
If you use a PHP Accelerator, you will not require to enter the same information on the website. However, it will add to your loading time. Then you can try on both replacing PHP files with static HTML files or use a PHP accelerator and it will lead to speed up the website. You can find more PHP accelerators by referring to Wikipedia entry
Prevent others from Hotlinking the images.
It is very important to prevent other people from hotlinking your images. Because they take your bandwidth by hotlink images. As a request can make to your server all the time their visitors try to view the images on the website. So, you have to avoid this by disabling hotlinking of images hosted on the server. You can refer to This article on Hongkiat for more details.
Test your website speed
Below are some best recommendations which can test the speed of the website.
- Pingdom website speed test: You can decrease site load time and number of server requests by this tool. This also compares your website speed with other websites online.
- GTMetrix: This tool provides a rating for your website by analyzing the website speed through Google Pagespeed Insights and Yslow.
- Webpage Analyzer: You can obtain details regarding your page size and website download time and suggestions on how to improve the site load time.
- Google Pagespeed Insights: This target towards a score that is closer to 100 and it has a mobile speed test tool.
- Yslow: This tool analyzes the speed of the website based on Yahoo’s website performance rules.
- WebPage Test: In this tool, when the score is closer to 100. Your website is fast.
This article will support you to make your website fast. The speed of the website is a vital factor for every website owner. So, you can easily refer above 21 methods carefully and apply them in practice to fulfill your objectives. This is a good guideline for website beginners as well.