8 Effective Methods To Increase Your Website’s Page Speed
A few years ago, Amazon announced that as their website speed up in every 100 milliseconds, so does that their revenue increases by one percent. Afterward, Google announced that page speed was one of the factors that determine how they rate their search results to improve the web.
Now, the question is; how can you increase your site’s speed? Several reliable methods are available, but, in this piece, we will start from those that would have the most significant impacts. Read along!
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
One of the most reliable means of increasing your site’s speed is to host your media files on a content delivery network. Doing this will not only save close to 60% bandwidth but also reduce the number of requests which your site makes by 50%.
Content Delivery Network functions by hosting your files within a large network of servers globally. The direct implication of this is that if someone visits your site and download files from it, the download will be made from the nearest server to the user. Also, since the bandwidth is stretched over several servers, the load on a single server will be reduced. Plus, it reduces the chances of your site getting attacked by DDoS and traffic spikes.
- Caching Plugin
If you have a WordPress and would like to cut your page loading speed, among the easiest means to do so is to use a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache or WP Total Cache. However, if your site runs with WP Engine, then, you do not have to add any Caching plugin as they are developed with one.
But, if you are not a user of WordPress or you choose not to add an extra plugin, then, use Expires Header and browser caching to perform a manual implementation – and here is how.
Browsers are informed by Expires headers to demand a particular file from the webserver or to retrieve a page version from the cache of the browser. Truthfully, this works only in a case where the user possesses a version of your web page saved in their cache; hence, the speed of your website will only be increased for users who had previously visited your site.
Expires headers increase your site’s speed in two means. Firstly, if a user wants to get the same file on a second occasion, they will reduce the effort needed to do so. Secondly, they ensure that the number of HTTP requests which have to be done is reduced, and consequently, increasing the time needed to open a page.
The implementation of Expires Headers is quite simple. All you need is to stick to the guidelines listed here to include a bit of code into your .htaccess file.
- Get your database cleaned
Among the drawbacks of WordPress is that its database may become loaded within a short time due to several post revisions, saved drafts, deactivated plugins, among others. However, you can avoid such a messy situation by using WP Optimize, which ensures that unwanted stuff in your database is removed on a routine basis. In this way, the time needed for your browser to get and return files from the database will be reduced.
- Use Gzip to compress your website
To save the site’s bandwidth as well as increase page load time, Gzip is a useful technique to use as it helps to compress the files on websites. With Gzip, you will be able to compress files to a zip file which is quicker for guest’s browser to load. After loading, the guest’s browser will unzip the file to reveal the content. This technique of sending contents from the server to browser is highly effective and takes less time.
To activate Gzip, include the following codes on your .htaacess file:
Afterward, use Gziptest.com to determine whether Gzip has been activated and if it is working effectively on your website.
- Alleviating your Redirects
Although, 301 (permanent) redirects are more preferred compared to the 404 (broken links); however, 301 redirects increase the time which the browser needs to get the right version of a page. Hence, they are not ideal.
- Get your CSS and JS files lessened
- Use static HTML to replace PHP (where possible)
To increase the efficiency of your website as well as reduce the effort needed to insert the same details several times, the use of PHP will come handy. Nevertheless, PHP uses server resources whenever information is called through it. Therefore, it is best to replace it with static HTML at the location where it fails to save time.
- Apply CSS Sprites
Imagine having several images in a single, large image – that’s exactly what Sprite is. Sprite is similar to a sticker sets that contains one hundred pieces of stickers. When you use CSS, it is impossible to “hide” all in a single image apart from a zone between a series of co-ordinates.
CSS Sprites is effective because it is quicker to load one large image while you apply CSS to reveal the section that you want to see compared to loading several small images. The reason is that the browser would not have to make several requests.