With page speed becoming such an important ranking factor in the search engines, it is highly recommended that you try and make your website load as fast as possible. Nobody likes a slow website, and may visitors will often abandon your website and go elsewhere if your site is taking too long to load.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help increase the page speed of your website and below you will find out top 5 ways to speed up your website. There are a number of online tools that can measure your page speed and we recommend the following website speed tests: Pingdom, Web Page Test or Google Page Speed.
Here are our top 5 ways to speed up your website:
1. Don’t Scale Your Images
Using dimensions to scale images on the fly increases the load on a users browser as it will still be downloading the original image / file size. Your image should be 100px x 100px rather than a scaled down 600px x 600px image.
2. Optimise Your Images
Where possible, always use the “Save for the web” function included in many image editing programs. More often than not, images create the bulk of the load on any webpage, so make sure you optimise them to make their file size as small as possible.
3. Enable Gzip Compression On Your Website
Gzip is one of the most well known and effective compression methods currently available and can dramatically reduce the page size. Most modern browsers can take advantage of gzip compression. You can check if your website has gzip compression enable by doing a simple online gizp test.
You can enable gzip compression by adding the following code to your .htaccess file:
There are also many plugins and extensions available for most for your Content Management Systems e.g. Joomla or WordPress etc. that can enable gzip compression for you.
4. Put CSS At The Top & Scripts At The Bottom
Moving CSS to the section of a webpage can make your pages load faster. This is because putting CSS towards the top of your page allows the page to render progressively. The problem with placing CSS near the bottom of the file is that it prevents progressive rendering in many browsers. Although putting all scripts at the bottom of your file is not always feasible, it can help speed up your website by putting your script tags next to the closing tag. So, when it is practical to move these files to the bottom of your file, it will allow the other components (images & css, etc.) to load first, speeding up your page load time.
5. Use A Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations which can be used to deliver your website content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is usually the closest one to their location. The server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is often the one that will deliver the content to the user, reducing page load times. CDNs are often a cheap way to help really speed up your website and reduce the load on your own hosting server. Two of the best CDNs are Amazon Cloudfront or MaxCDN.
If you would like us to review your website and it’s page speed, please see our Free Website Analysis service.