How to Speed Up Your Website: 6 Tips to Get You Started
You’re not alone if your website takes forever to load or renders slowly. We’ve all been there.
One analysis discovered that the average load time across 5 million websites was a little over 10 seconds on desktop and slightly above 27 seconds on mobile. So clearly, there are a lot of slow websites out there.
Why is this a problem? Research shows that the probability of a person bouncing from your website increases by 90% as your site load time goes from one second to five. Furthermore, for every additional second, a user has to wait for your page to load (up to five), your conversion rate drops by 4.42%.
In other words, if your website is slow, you’re losing customers and money. So, speeding up your website will positively affect your business.
But how do you do it? Read on for six tips to get you started speeding up your website.
1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a distributed server system that delivers content to users based on their geographic location. When using a CDN, your website’s static files (such as images and CSS files) are cached on servers worldwide. Visitors to your website will download these files from the closest server, which will speed up your pages.
If you’re not using a CDN, your visitors will download these static files from your web server, which may be far from them. This can add significant time to the loading of your pages.
Many different CDNs are available, but Cloudflare, StackPath, and Google Cloud CDN are some of the most popular. Cloudflare is a good choice if you’re unsure which CDN to use. It’s easy to set up, and there’s a free plan available.
Several plugins are available to help you set up and configure a CDN if you’re using WordPress. The Cloudflare plugin is a good option, as it’s free and easy to use. Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, follow its settings page instructions to connect it to your Cloudflare account
If you’re not using WordPress, you’ll need to add a few lines of code to your website’s .htaccess file to redirect traffic to the CDN. On the Cloudflare website, you can find precise instructions on doing this for popular web servers, such as Apache and Nginx. After adding the code to your .htaccess file, upload it to your server.
Your website’s static files should now be loading from the CDN if everything was done correctly. You can check this by using a tool like Pingdom to test the loading time of your website’s pages.
2. Minimize HTTP Requests
A critical factor that affects loading time is the number of files that need to be downloaded. This is because each file requires a separate request to the server.
For example, if a page has five images, each image will require a separate request. This can add significant time to the loading of the page.
To minimize the number of requests, you can combine files where possible. For example, if you have a page with five images, you can combine them into one file. This will reduce the number of requests to two: one for the HTML page and one for the image file.
You can also use CSS sprites to combine multiple images into one file. CSS sprites reduce the number of requests made to the server by combining multiple images into one file.
To use CSS sprites, you first need to create a sprite sheet, an image file containing all of the individual images. You can then use CSS to position the individual images on the page.
Several plugins are available to help you create and use CSS sprites if you’re using WordPress. One of the most popular is the WP-CSS Sprites plugin. For non-WordPress sites, you can find plenty of online tutorials on creating and using CSS sprites.
3. Optimize Images
Images are one of the most common files that must be downloaded when a page is loaded. To ensure your images are loading as fast as possible, you need to optimize them for the web.
There are many to do this, but the most important thing is to ensure your images’ file size is as small as possible. The file size of an image is determined by the number of pixels it contains. The more pixels the image has, the bigger the size.
To reduce the file size of a picture, you need to reduce the number of pixels it contains. This can be done using an image editing program like Photoshop.
When you save an image for the web, you’ll need to choose the file format that best suits your needs. The most common formats usually are JPEG and PNG.
– JPEG files are best suited for images with a lot of detail, such as photos. They can be saved at a lower quality setting, which will reduce the file size
– PNG files are best suited for images with fewer details, such as logos. They can be saved at a higher quality setting, which will increase the file size.
Another way you can reduce the size of your images is by using a tool like TinyPNG. TinyPNG is a web service that employs smart Lossy Compression to reduce PNG and JPG file sizes. You can upload 20 files at no more than 5MB each.
Some other free services you might find useful include Compressor, PunyPNG, and Kraken.
4. Enabling Compression
Compression is another good way to speed up a website. Compression reduces the size of transmitted data, which can help reduce loading times.
The most common approach is to use Gzip, a program that allows you to compress files for the web. It’s free to download, and you can then add the code to your .htaccess file.
If you want to take things a step further, you can use a tool like mod_pagespeed. Mod_pagespeed is an Apache module that allows you to automatically compress files for the web. Like Gzip, it’s free to download.
You can also use Cloudflare as compressing files for the web is one of its features. Once it’s connected, all left to do is enable Compression in the settings.
5. Use Caching
Caching allows storing static copies of pages and assets on the user’s computer. This can help reduce loading times because users don’t have to download the files whenever they visit your site.
One of the most typical ways to cache pages and assets is by using a tool like WP Super Cache. This tool is a WordPress plugin that allows you to cache your pages and assets. It’s free to download, and you can then install it on your WordPress site
6. Use a Quality Web Host
One essential thing you can do to speed up your website is to use a quality web host. If the host has poor servers, your site will load slowly.
Additionally, your site may go down frequently if the host doesn’t have enough resources. To avoid these problems, use a quality web host.
Ready to Speed Up Your Website?
Now that you know how to speed up your website, it’s time to start. Remember, the faster your site loads, the better your user experience.
Additionally, a fast website can help you improve your search engine ranking and increase traffic to your site. So, start by implementing the tips in this article and see how your website’s speed improves.
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