It is true that high performing websites boost visitor engagement, increase retention and conversion. But the biggest question is how to speed up site precisely?
There are numerous ways available over the internet that promise to enhance website’s performance, but most of them work for short-term only.
If you want to enhance your site’s performance, you need to put more emphasis on three crucial areas: front-end performance, hardware, and scripting optimization.
This article reveals ten best practices that will help you fix these three main areas of your site so that you can radically improve your site’s performance.
1. Choose a Reliable Hosting Partner
Most people are not aware, but it is true that web hosting can impact the overall performance of a website. If you own a rich-content site and your server is not able to keep up with the demand, there is a possibility that your website will experience slow page load issue.
Therefore, always make the right web hosting choice.
- Know what type of hosting you require in advance.
- Shared hosting is an excellent choice for small and mid-sized projects whereas VP hosting can be a good option for large size or growing website.
- Understand how web hosting pricing work.
- Understand how many resources you will be requiring.
Check out list of recommended hosting.
2. Pick a Fast Loading Theme
A high-performance website not only brings a positive user-experience but also improves ranking in the search engine results. Nowadays, there are countless themes available in the market, but not all are well-designed to speed up the performance. So always be extra careful when selecting a theme.
Don’t randomly go about choosing themes. Always pick a theme which is fully-optimized and tested for speed and security measures. Make sure the theme you select is not too heavy; otherwise it will slow down your website’s performance and shoo away all your visitors. Avoid themes that include complex layouts and flashy animations.
- Choose a simple theme.
- It should be responsive and browser compatible.
- It should support necessary plugins.
3. Image Optimization
Image optimization is an integral part of building a successful, influential and highly performable website. In actual, it is an art of reducing the size of images without sacrificing the quality so that your site can load with a good speed.
Moreover, it helps in image SEO. When you use a proper ‘image name,’ ‘Alt tag,’ and ‘title tag’ on images, your site gets good ranking on Google and other search engines naturally.
- Give descriptive names to images.
- Pick alt attributes carefully.
- Choose the ideal size for your images.
- Pick an accurate file type. (JPEG, PNG, etc.)
4. Use a Content Delivery Network
Believe us; it can be your smart move to speed up your site’s load time significantly. It can substantially save your bandwidth limit and reduce the number of site requests to the extent of half.
Indeed a CDN (content delivery network) hosts your websites on different servers across the globe. In this way, the nearest CDN server serves the content request from your audience. Thus your audience relishes the fastest content delivery.
If your website contains a massive amount of data, Content Delivery Network can be a good option for you.
5. Activate Browser Caching
When a user visits a particular webpage on your site, browser caching stores resources of that webpage on a local computer. These resources are stored in temporary storage.
When the same user visits that certain page multiple time, the browser loads that web page without sending an HTTP request on the server.
In short it eliminates unnecessary extra load on server and increase website performance.
See how to do this with .htaccess.
6. Enable Gzip Compression
It is another efficient way to boost up page load time. When you enable GZIP compression for your site, it saves more than 50% of your total bandwidth usage. Using this tool, you can check whether your server is sending the proper GZIP enabled header or not.
If you are using the WP platform, enable this tool and achieve the fastest website loading time.
See how to enable gzip with .htaccess.
7. Minimize the number of plugins
You might have heard a quote, ‘too much of a good thing is bad.’ Similarly, when you install too many plugins on your site, they slow down your website’s speed and overall performance.
Make sure your site is not loaded with unnecessary plugins causing your site to slow down. Remove or deactivate all the suspected plugin and check server execution thereafter.
8. Try Minification of Codes
It is the process of compressing web codes from the actual size to the smallest possible size. It eliminates and modifies some additional characters from the web codes that are responsible for slow web speed.
By opting this process, you can minimize the size of code from 10% to 90% and speed up your site. Modification of codes will eliminate, unnecessary HTML, white spaces, new line, empty elements, CDATA section, etc.
In addition to speeding up load time, it also decreases your page size, saves your web server resources and minimizes network discontinuation.
There are myriad of tools available that you can use to minify code. Some popular ones are Autoptimize, YUI compressor, Dojo ShrinkSafe, Will Peavy minifier, etc.
9. Fend Off Bad Requests
Directly or indirectly broken links can result in poor performance of a website. Broken links affect website’s performance in various manners. They can lead to lower website traffic and enforce search engines not to crawl your site’s website.
Even from user experience point of view, broken links can frustrate any user visiting your website and put your reputation at risk.
Tools to check broken links:
10. Clean up your database
Undoubtedly, WordPress is a great content management system, but the biggest issue with it is it gets messy very quickly. If you are using this platform, you can install WP optimize plugin to get rid of this issue.
The plugin is easy to install and delete all the unnecessary stuff automatically which can clutter up your database.
These are top 10 tried and tested ways to enhance website performance. Hopefully, you will find them useful.