How To Make Your Website Load Faster

Written by: Isabelle

Your visitors or customers may not always experience superb net connection and it may take time to load a certain page of your website. However, most of the time, the root cause of the problem is your super slow website. It is important to speed up your website if you don’t want to lose your customers or visitors.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

According to research, 40% of people don’t hesitate to ditch the sites that need more than 3 seconds to load. It is important to test the speed of your website using Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights, DareBoost, and/or other website speed test tools. You need to give more importance to the speed result than the website score that the speed test tool has given.

Using Pingdom

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Pingdom is probably the most favorite website speed test tool around. It is simple to use. All you need to do is enter your website URL in the provided space and hit the “Test Now” button. It will give you a summary of your web page performance that includes:

• The performance grade of your website.
• The number of requests.
• The load time of your website.
• The page size.

Pingdom also offers additional information, which can be found below the summary, that you can use to speed up your site.

Using Google PageSpeed Insights

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The Google PageSpeed Insights can measure the speed of the desktop and mobile versions of your website. The range of score is between 0 and 100. A score of 85 or more only implies that your web page is performing well. You may choose to do something and speed up your website even more or wait until the next scheduled speed test. Take note that your website will not always yield favorable results. It is important to keep a regular speed test schedule to properly monitor the performance of your website.

The Different Ways to Speed Up Your Website

You need to provide the best experience to your customers and visitors when they come to your site. They won’t experience something great if your web pages take so much time to load. When the speed test did not give favorable results, there are things that you can do to speed up your site. You can try to look for a better hosting plan, make your images internet-friendly, eliminate website baggage, and/or cut down on external scripts. You can also optimize the CSS and JavaScript files. It is important to reduce HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) requests and use a content delivery network (CDN). Also, Google includes the site speed as one of the factors in determining the rank of a website.

Reduce External Scripts

The external scripts, such as the JavaScript code to add the extra feature to your site, create HTTP requests each time fresh page loads. The external scripts that may prevent to speed up your site are Facebook “like” boxes, external commenting systems, pop-up boxes, and website analytics services. This doesn’t mean you need to avoid them because they can somehow help your site. You can consult Pingdom once more and see which files consume too much time to load. You can either remove it or see how you can fix it.

Reduce HTTP Requests

Having too many HTTP requests won’t help speed up your website. Most sites often become slow due to HTTP requests that are too large or too many. Your web browser uses the HTTP each time it gets a file, such as a picture and a page, from the server. Your computer sends a request to retrieve a certain file. To reduce the HTTP request, you need to check the number of HTTP requests that your site makes (you can consult Pingdom). You need to eliminate the unnecessary images. You can also reduce the remaining images’ file size. Evaluate other areas that may be responsible for making your website go slow.

Use a Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A cloud CDN is basically the same as many optimized servers all over the world that supply web content to users per geographic location, but it is better than the optimized servers. The cloud CDN helps accelerate any website online and provide protection from attackers (see image below).

Your visitors can quickly get the web content from your site and you can be certain that the cloud CDN, like CloudFlare, will be able to block the attackers from inflicting harm to your website. If you are based in the U.S. and the person accessing your site is in Korea, the individual accessing your site will be able to retrieve the web content quickly. The user won’t wait for a long time to get the content because of the cloud CDN. To enjoy the immense benefits of a cloud CDN, it is practical to buy a cloud server (VPS). It provides more control, stability, and freedom than a dedicated server.

Optimize the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and JavaScript Files

In order to optimize your CSS and JavaScript files, you can try gzipping and/or minification. Gzipping locates all repetitive strings and substitutes them with pointers. Minification removes all the comments, eliminates white space, deletes non-required semicolons, and reduces the lengths of hex code. You can use both methods to achieve best results. Take note that gzipping is accomplished at the server level. In Minification, you can use minifying tools such as W3 Total Cache, BWP Minify, and WillPeavy.

Discard the Website Baggage

You can make your website go faster if you will eliminate the so-called website baggage such as the excessive WordPress plugins (for WordPress users), massive media libraries, themes, and others. You need to remove the trackbacks that you no longer need as well as the spam comments. The WordPress users can use WP-Optimize to efficiently clean the database. The WordPress users should remove the older installations of WordPress to help speed up your website.

There are times when hiring a professional is the best option to speed up your website, especially if your business is booming. Your slow website may cause you to lose some of your clients – you certainly don’t want that to happen.

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