There is hardly a reason that will keep users from waiting a few seconds more for a site that loads too slowly. It is more likely they will move on to another site. In the worst possible scenario, it will happen in the middle of making an online purchase. Although optimizing the speed of your website may sound easy, you definitely need to do some research before you start making any improvements on your website. Take a look at the following suggestions as for the most effective steps to launch your site into the fast track.

Enable Caching

Storing data in temporary storage area speeds up a site’s performance as a lot of content is already prepared and doesn’t have to be processed every time it needs to be displayed. Ask your hosting provider about caching options.

Limit The Number of Plugins

Plugins are useful, but having too many of them will slow your site, create security issues and often cause crashes and other technical issues. In order to measure server performance, try disabling plugins one at a time to pinpoint those that slow your site speed.

Use a Content Delivery Network

Known as CDN, it is a worldwide network of servers that enables you to duplicate and store your site’s static files like CSS, JavaScript, images, documents, videos, etc. In this way, this content is delivered to visitors from a server closer to their physical location.

Specify Image Dimensions

As your browser begins to render the page before images are loaded, specifying their dimensions will help it to wrap around non-replicable elements. You can do that in <img> elements, using height and width tags specifications.

Optimize images

Users on slow connections will appreciate if you keep image size to a minimum. Always save in JPEG format. A Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S shortcut saves an optimized image in Adobe Photoshop, and if you use WordPress, install the WP image optimization plugin.

Minify HTLM, JavaScript, and CSS

Minifying means reducing the size of CSS and JavaScript text files by removing comments, extra spaces, breaks, and block delimiters from the code to make it lighter. WordPress plugins like WP Super Minify and Better WordPress Minify will do that automatically.

Specify a character set

Another way to speed up your site’s performance is to specify a character set in HTTP headers. Simply add this piece of code into your header:

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″>

If you are sure about the character set, it’s recommended that you write it instead of using PHP functions.  

Find a Fast Hosting Company

Before you even start thinking about improving your site’s performance, you need to have a reputable company with reliable hardware to host your website. Hosting packages offered by most companies start with affordable shared hosting, and the prices increase for upgraded offers, such as for virtual servers, cloud sites, and dedicated servers.

Clean Your Database

Using WordPress has one downside – your database can quickly get very cluttered because of the saved drafts, post revisions, deactivated plugins, etc. The remedy comes in the form of a terrific plugin called WP-Optimize that regularly deletes all the stuff that clogs up your database.  

CSS at The Top, JavaScript at The Bottom

Always makes sure that your CSS is placed closer to the top of your page as browsers render the CSS file before rendering the page. In the same way, JavaScript needs to be close to the bottom since it prevents browsers from parsing after the tag before it is loaded and complete.    

With each day, user expectations grow and their patience decreases. If we remember that Google has warned that the speed of a site will affect its ranking in the results, paying attention to site speed is equally important as the quality of content it displays.

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and a regular contributor to Technivorz.

Fivenson Studios is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our graphic design team specializes in logo and web page design, as well as marketing campaigns for social and print media. From flyers and brochures to targeted landing pages, we aim to bring your company into the spotlight and reach a greater range of potential customers.

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