A faster website would always attract more users and reduce their chances of moving on to an alternative, quickly. Adding more elements and content to your site, does add to your SEO efforts, but at the same time, it reduces your site speed as these use a considerable amount of memory on the site. Here are some tips to easily improve the site load speed and improve traffic.

1. Image Optimization

Many a times, the images added on a web page are heavier than the optimum size. This results in a slower load time for your webpage. Using the appropriate image editor tools to resize and compress the images is an essential.

2. Do-Not Use Text Images

Sometimes website designers use text in the form of an image. These may look good too. This will add to the size of the site and reduce its speed. Text styles can therefore be used in CSS and so all text must be in text only.

3. G-Zip Compression

Reducing the size of the heavy files on your website is a must. This helps in saving bandwidth and reducing the download time of the website. G-Zip compression is a simple method to compress your online files and reduce their size to an optimum level.

4. Controlling HTTP Requests

Reducing the number of HTTP requests is an essential aspect of search engine optimisation. Image requests can be reduced using CSS Sprites. CSS background image and background position elements can be used to combine the background images and reduce the number of HTTP requests. Remove any duplicate scripts in the website code to reduce the number of HTTP requests.

5. Placement of Stylesheets

Stylesheets are helpful in improving the page load time of a website. Place the style sheets at the top of a document. The style elements enable the page elements to open progressively in a document. This gives an appealing look to a website as it opens in front of the user.

6. Placement of Javascript Files

For better site speed, you must place the Javascript files at the end of the document. This enables all the basic stuff to load first and impacts the speed of the site.

7. Cookie Size

This is another key aspect of site load speed. Reducing the size of cookies on the site reduces the amount of data transferred between pages, thereby helping the site speed to improve. You can also remove the unnecessary cookies and setting an expires date to the cookies help too.

8. Minify JS and CSS

There are times when a code contains characters which are insignificant. These must be removed through the minification process.

9. Control the Number of Scripts on the Site

Use a very limited set of tools to track the visits on your website. Select the ones that you rely on and that’s all. Using too many tools will add more scripts on your site, which will pull down its speed.

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10. CMS Updation

If you are using a CMS for your website, it is essential to update it on a regular basis. This is important for the site to load at an appropriate speed. Testing an update is important before making it live.

11. Code Optimization

If the size of the code on the site is not appropriate, then the site speed will naturally be sub-optimum. Removing the HTML and CSS elements which are not important would be really helpful. Removing unnecessary declarations or combining them into one is advisable too.

12. Use a CDN

With a CDN, content can be delivered to users more efficiently with the help of a network of servers on the web. These servers are chosen on the basis of proximity and response time.

Using a CDN makes a significant impact on the load speed of your website.

13. Redirects Should be Minimal

Multiple redirects on a site can add to the number of HTTP requests. Minimizing the redirects and adding only those which are absolutely necessary is essential.

14. Common Image Formats

For better site speed, common image formats like JPG, PNG and GIF are the recommended formats.

15. Caching Optimization

A caching system like HTTP helps repeat users of the website to view the web pages more quickly. The system stores the file resources temporarily in the browser thus improving site load speed for repeated visits.

16. Optimize the Number of DNS Lookups

DNS lookup can be optimised by reducing the number of hostnames for elements like URL, images and script files. DNS lookup can be reduced by reducing the hostnames and this can help improve the speed on the site.

17. Optimize DOM Elements

One should ensure that markups are cleaned up for all the unnecessary <div> elements. Grids.css, fonts.css and reset.css can be used as a replacement for improving the load speed of the website.

18. Expires Header

Expires headers and cache control headers are useful for reducing the HTTP requests and thereby improving the speed of your site. This is done by enabling the caching of the various elements of the website.

19. Query Optimization

This a process of optimising the the time taken by each query in the database of your site.

First one has to figure out the specific areas where the delay may be happening. The process is common for all database driven websites. You can do several test runs for your database and find where the errors are and fix them as desired.

Getting your website to load faster, is extremely important to get more and repeat visitors. Using the right techniques is all that is required. At PixelCrayons, we provide a free health check for your site ensuring you get the precise information, to improve the performance of your website.

About the Author

Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works with PixelCrayons as a Sr. Technology Consultant. Varun has written 500+ technology-related blogs and helps our clients to choose the best technology as per their needs.

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