November 21, 2019 at 6:11 pm #80944ChinomnsoParticipant@chinomnso-ugwuanya
Nobody wants to wait forever for a webpage to load. Therefore, your site must be optimized to load quickly. If your visitors have to wait for long before content loads, they’ll quickly turn to other alternatives on the internet – there are probably thousands of other websites offering what they’re looking for on your site. Here, I bring you tips to speed up your website.
Use a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN), is a network of servers that deliver content. Think of a CDN as a network of restaurants under the same brand name offering the same experience and recipes. When you use traditional hosting without a CDN, your website’s content is served to all visitors from a single server. Using a CDN, you leverage on the geographical proximity of multiple servers to different users.
If your site is hosted in Ontario, Canada for example, and a visitor from Queensland, Australia tries downloading a file from your website, a CDN can intelligently route the request and serve the file from a server or datacenter in Beijing, China, which is closer. This could save a remarkable amount of time and give your users a better user experience.
Use lazy loading
Some webpages may have a lot of images in them. A good way to speed up such webpages would be to implement lazy loading. With lazy loading, all the text would load up first, along with whatever comes within the viewport view as soon as the page loads. As the user scrolls and images come within the viewport, they load up “lazily”. That way, a user does not have to wait until all the images load before he can fully use the webpage.
Cut down on HTTP requests
Statistics show that a huge percentage of page load time is spent downloading parts of a webpage, including stylesheets, images and scripts. An HTTP request is made for each of these items. It, therefore, goes without saying that the more resources you have, the longer it will take for your site to load. Carefully analyze what to keep and what to remove. Then consider the possibility of making merging multiple stylesheets into one, and multiple scripts into one if this is technically feasible and won’t return to hunt you by doing the exact opposite of what you are trying to avoid.
Rethink your hosting
Although hosting services with solid-state drives (SSD) may be costlier than those with hard disk drives (HDD), the impact on page load speeds may be well worth the extra costs. A standard SSD can read sequential data at speeds of up to 550 megabytes per seconds, and write at 520 megabytes per second. In contrast, a fast HDD can read and write sequential data at a mere 125 megabytes per second. Your files are stored on those devices. So if you can choose where your site’s files are housed, why not go for the better?
Whether you opt for a SSD or a HDD, there are other hosting options you need to consider. If you choose to use shared hosting, remember that other websites are hosted on the same server as yours. Although it may be ideal for low-traffic sites, it may not really hold up well when traffic spikes. Whether the traffic is from your website, or from the others hosted on the same server, the impact can be pretty much the same on your site’s speed. This is because your site is sharing other resources like RAM, CPU and disk space with other websites.
VPS hosting is way better. Although your site is hosted on the same server as others, you have your own resources dedicated to your website. Your site’s speed is only affected by the activities of your site alone. Here, you have a measure of control over what happens. If VPS hosting no longer meets your needs, it may be time to switch over to a dedicated server.
Enable browser caching
Enabling caching can significantly improve your website speed. Caching refers to temporarily storing static files (HTML files, images, stylesheets and scripts) on your users’ computers for faster access in the future. That way, they don’t have to download the files during every request to the site, because the resources have been previously downloaded. Bear in mind that caching works only for visitors who have previously visited your site.
When images are not optimized, they take a lot of time to load, making your website slower. There are free tools you can use to compress your images without compromising their quality. Using CSS sprites can help in increasing your site’s speed. A sprite is a file that contains several images, hiding all other images and displaying only the one(s) you need. This makes your site faster because loading one big image is faster than loading several small images. Again, you’re reducing the number of HTTP requests for images.
Hotlinking is a web development practice in which developers directly link to content from another website. Allowing this on your website could potentially slow your website down. If your website is hosted on an Apache server, you can disable hotlinking by tweaking your .htaccess file. Do not also hotlink to other websites’ resources. You would be slowing your site down by linking to resources from a slow server.
If you’re using WordPress . . .
No matter how well your server is configured, your website speed could be badly hurt if you’re using a poorly coded theme. Before you purchase a theme, no matter how beautiful it may be, be sure to use the theme’s demo to test it for speed. Uninstall unnecessary plugins. And be sure that the ones you keep do not significantly increase your page load time. Using a plugin, you can periodically optimize your database. But be sure your database is backed up before you do anything on it. Make use of good caching plugins to enable caching on your site. Using plugins, you can minify your scripts and styles, and optimize your images. Split long posts into pages. When comments have become to many on any post, disable commenting for that post – you don’t want to load 2,500 comments on a single post.
Do you have any other tips? Please share them with us.
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