Tips to Improve Your Page Speed Load Time

Do you know how fast your website loads? Did you know that a slow loading web page not only hurt your conversions but can also hurt your ranking, both of which will impact your site’s revenue? Designers sometimes get so caught up in making a site visually appealing, by adding numerous graphics, images, music,  or videos without realising that they have slowed down the loading speed of the website.

Slow load time increases bounce rate, reduces the conversion rate, and lowers the perceived credibility of the website as well as the compatibility to mobile devices. A faster website means happier visitors. The following tips will be helpful as you build websites that load quickly.

Get a good web hosting Provider. Instead of pinching pennies and purchasing a cheap host for your website be sure to select a hosting company that is reliable and reachable. Having so many really good online reviews or they are on the top 10 best web hosting providers, doesn’t mean their services are reliable, most of these hosting companies hire people to write their own reviews. If the company isn’t reliable then all of the other steps you take to speed up your website will be of little consequence.

Combine external files such as Javascript and CSS files to reduce HTTP requests. Instead of having a separate file for things such as Flash and a second file for basic image rollovers, which a server would have to source individually, you can combine them into a single scripts file on the same page. This step will cut down the number of files the server will have to load, or HTTP GET requests for that web page. This also allows you to manage all of the Javascript on the one page. This same process can also be used for external Stylesheets. When you combine files, you reduce the HTTP request overhead required to generate the webpage and speed up the rate at which it loads.

Image size optimization. Big images can make a big impact on your site visitors but they can also make a big impact on your site speed. You need to make sure your images are sized properly in the right format so they don’t slow down your site. Images can be adjusted to lower their size but still look good. GIF is appropriate for images with few colors such as logos or text and line art. JPG is appropriate for images with lots of color and detail such as photographs. PNG is appropriate when you want to use a quality transparent image.

Efficient use of HTML and CSS. With more CSS experience you find ways to use code more efficiently and use less of it. Using optimized CSS and as little code as possible in your CSS and HTML will make a big difference in reducing the size of your files. Extra lines of code can sometimes be overlooked and can add time to your loading time. Be sure to look over your web page code to be sure it is clean and optimized for best performance.

Sourcing your RSS from Feedburner. If you have an RSS feed on your site, you should use Google’s Feedburner tool which is a free service. This will load much more quickly.

Update plug-ins and software applications. If your website is using outdated elements such as themes, add-ons or plug-ins it is probably impacting the loading speed. Update all of these elements when the update becomes available to avoid any speed problems they might cause.

Cache your site. Caching your site allows you to store particular files for a specific amount of time and the page will grab them when needed. Typically a request must be sent to the server prior to loading the files which adds time to the loading speed. Caching the site makes it much faster than completing the request process.

Boosting the speed of your website can take time and become complex. Working with a professional SEO company can help the process go more quickly and smoothly.

What additional tips would you add to the list above to make a website faster?