After quality content, the top most important asset of your site is the Speed. There are many negative impacts when your site loads slow. A faster page load decreases the chance of leaving visitors from the landing page. Faster site also tends to reduce bounce rate and visitors feel comfortable browsing your site. And the most important thing is that search engines do not like slower sites and devalue the ranking of such sites. So from time to time you should monitor your site speed and take necessary measures to increase site speed.
How to Optimize Website Speed
1. Optimize Images
Image causes a significant effect on the page load time and force the pages to load slowly. So before including images on your post, make sure the images are properly optimized to increase the speed of your site. This might seem a tedious job to optimize every images but this worths your time. You can also download and use a Image Optimizer tool to optimize images in bulk and increase site speed.
Moreover I am using a additional tool Skitch to add text and indicator to images (specially helpful if you are using images for a tutorial). You can also try it out!
If you want to know more about image optimization, read my earlier post on how to optimize images.
2. Image Format
Usually most of the images using in the blog posts are JPEG, as they suit with them and smaller in sizes. If you are using photographs or true color images, use JPEG. For logo and button you should use GIF format images. PNG works similar to GIF and can be used for logo, but it also supports additional colors.
3. Optimize CSS
If you CSS consists of unnecessary properties then they should be wiped out. You should also eliminate the white spaces from your code. Try a CSS cleaner tool like CleanCSS to make your css work better. It should help you to increase site speed.
4. Increase Site Speed Using Slash
When your page loads as “http://www. yourdomainname. com/contact” it takes time for the server to figure out from the URL what type of page it is. But when you use a slash (/) after your url, such as “http://www. yourdomainname. com/contact/”, server knows that this is a directory and takes less time to load and increases speed of your website.
5. Deactivate Plugins
If you are using WordPress, then you might know the impact of plugins on page load time. To optimize website speed, you should only activate those plugins which you require and deactivate unnecessary plugins from your list.
You can also try out P3 Performance Profiler plugin (my favorite one) to find which plugins are slowing down your site.
Recommended Read : 51 Top WordPress Plugins for Your Site
6. Use a Cache plugin
You should use a cache plugin to increase site speed. I am personally using W3 Total cache plugin and this is currently the most popular one. You can also try another free cache plugin – WP Super cache Plugin.
What’s Next? Ultimate ways to Increase Site Speed
When you have optimized your pages and tried all the possible ways but still is not enjoying a faster page load time, then it might be the ideal time to using a CDN or finally upgrade your hosting.
7. Increase Speed Using CDN
CDN stands for Content delivery network. It is a technology that delivers static or dynamic pages from external servers and reduce your site load time significantly. It delivers static files through hundreds of servers instead of depending on a single host, specially helpful for images, audios and videos and plays an important role to increase site speed.
I am using MaxCDN for TheTopBlogger. If you are having site speed problem, then this one is worthy to try out. It works nicely with W3 Total cache plugin. Moreover $39/1 TB should be enough to consume in couple of months and even in a year and specially if you are trying for ways to increase speed and get higher ranking, that is not really a big investment!
8. Hosting Upgrade
If you are using shared hosting, receiving thousands of visitors per day, facing resource shortage to handle the visitors and facing slower load time then it might the perfect time to upgrade your hosting. For most sites a VPS hosting should be enough to handle thousands of visitors per day unless your site is a big giant you do not necessarily think for a dedicated hosting. Upgrading your hosting will definitely increase site speed if there is no major problem in your site.
You can analyze and check website Speed through free service like Google Site Speed Test and Pingdom (you can analyze 1 site for free at Pingdom). Take their recommendations and implement necessary action to increase site speed so that visitors feel comfortable while reading and browsing your website.
And finally, if you like this post, please share with others!