Search Engines getting smarter in every day. Search engineers implementing more factors to measure the user behaviors. Among those factors, website load time is an important one, in which we need to keep our attention for gaining better results in coming days. Web page load time can also affect your business too.
As per studies 100 Millie seconds increase in load time will cause 1% loss to Amazon’s revenue. User began to drop a website, when it’s response time taking more than 2.5 seconds. Load time can influence lot of Search Algorithm factors like, bounce rate, number of page views per session, returning visitors, time spent on web page etc. We already discussed about how user behavior can effect SEO.
When it is 2015, already you are late to optimize your website load time. So today i thought to list few tips that will increase your web page performance. May be few them sounds very silly, but you know a single Millie second can save your ass in SEO. So follow them as much as can and make your site load like a rocket.
1. Resolution of image
Why do you using 720px wide image when you only need a 600px. This is the most happening bad practice of web images, when there is a slot for a particular resolution wide image, most people will use larger image and make it fit by CSS styling. But you know, even you make it look like fit, actually it is loading in it’s full resolution that makes load time a slightly more.
2. Compress images
Major portion of images that you may get from world wide web are intended to use for printing purposes, so it’s resolution depth may be too high. Actually you don’t need that much image quality, so it is always better to compress your images before hosting them into website. Few good image compressing tools, that you can use are
3. Save for web in Photoshop
Usually most webmasters use Adobe Photoshop for making their images, in that case use “Save for Web” option to export it into desired format. Which will compress the image without losing it quality. Even you create image using save for web option, re compressing it on online image compressors may again make it fast loading.
4. Sprite Images
When you have tons of images on a webpage, that will increase the load time due to number of files to be download. Each time for loading an image, browser send a query to the server and to wait for server response. This will increase overall load time. To overcome this issue we can do image sprite technology.
Image sprite means, making a single file by combining all images together. Then using background-image-position css style, positioning file to display required image on required area.
5. Replacing Background image
If your webpage looks nice with background color, why do you making your site slow by using image for backgrounds. In modern material design and flat design, backgrounds are awesome with colors than images. It is old and outdated way of using HD images as background. Find trendy color combinations to make your website cool.
6. Background repeat property
Some times we will use seamless pattern for some backgrounds, like a red ribbon in navigation background. In such cases, we can take a small portion from it and repeat as we need. For the same we can use background-repeat css style.
7. Server Bandwidth
Server bandwidth is the speed your server allowing for browsers to download and upload data. It is always highly recommended to rent a high bandwidth server for giving a better experience to your visitors. You can try shared hosting for normal purpose, when your business is so serious it is better to shift to a dedicated hosting.
Set cache for server and browser then your static resources will be downloaded to the user computer and when user revisit you within the cache expiration, browser will access those files from saved cache which will improve page speed very well. There are plenty of cache plugins available on world wide web to make your effort minimal. Also if your good programming you can write a cache code yourself on .htaccess file.
9. Gzip compression
Gzip is a web file compression technology, which will compress html, js, css files 60-70%. That will make your load time faster. It is a set of codes that we need to enter in .htaccess file to enable Gzip compression.
include the below code in .htaccess to enable gzip
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*
10. Avoid external file hosting
It is better to keep all your web page files in a single server, otherwise browser need to download them from different servers, which may cause increased load time. when you are using some plugins, they may link to external files. In that cases, download and keep those files in your server.
11. CDN (Content Delivery Networks)
CDN means, simply hosting all your file on different servers located on different locations. So when some one visit your site from USA, they will get it from a server near to them. Which will reduce server respond time and increase site speed. There are lot of CDN service providers available, but most of them are paid services. In my opinion CDN should be consider only if your business is so serious.
12. Reduce number of files
Combine all your CSS styles into a single file, similarly js also. It will help to reduce number of files in same way like image sprite. But always keep a backup of all your files, which will help to modify when you need changes. Also delete unnecessary line of code styles and java scripts.
13. Minify files
You can compress your web files like html, js, css, php, by removing white space on them. This will help to compress the file size up-to a great level. Google also recommend file minify in their page load guidelines. Before minifieng your files, you should take a backup of them, becuase after compressing you will struggle to make changes on them. Plenty of online tools also available to do minifieng easily.
14. Lazy loading
Lazy loading is a kind of load type using java script in which some portion will only load when user mouse over them or try to access them. For example, if your social media buttons taking too much time to load, then you can set them lazy load. By that they only load when a user try to click. Lazy load will also serve better to reduce loading time.
15. Avoid tracking codes
Too many tracking codes are also a main reason which making your site like a snail. Use only one analytic tool, it is better use Google Analytics. Some webmaster are very eager to collect maximum performance reports, so they will add multiple analytic codes. Each tracking code will try to connect the browser with their server which will slow down webpage.
Follow and optimize each and every speed increasing tips that we discussed above with your website. When you complete, your site will load like a cheetah, if it doesn’t have any other serious issues. Saving your site speed can improve SEO and will make your visitors happy. Time is so precious until the time machine invention become successful .
If you experience any trouble to understand or practice any of this speed killer tips, please leave your problem as a comment.