We recently crafted a website for a client, the site had lots of content which meant high quality (read large file sizes) images. Prior to optimising the site for the web we ran a little test, how long did the website take to load without optimisation? The answer was between 4.67 and 7.84 seconds dependant on the page being accessed… a lifetime in the attention span of someone viewing their website. Studies show you have around 4 seconds to capture a users attention, and with good reason, we’re busy people and we haven’t got time to wait for websites to load. There are funny cat videos we could be watching.
We managed to reduce the site load to under a second by using some of the following methods:
Images can contain comments and colours which are not used, rendering them useless. Keeping image sizes to a minimum is a big help for users on slow connections especially on mobile devices. You can use to save for web and devices in Adobe Photoshop, use a piece of image optimizing software or if you are using WordPress, you can install the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin, all of these will reduce image load times and make for a speedier experience.
Removing Comments & Empty Elements will decrease your page size and therefore decrease load time. You can use simple online tools like http://www.willpeavy.com/minifier/ or if you are using wordpress you can use W3 Total Cache. All in all this is a moderately small gain but added to the other items on this list it can yield bug rewards.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users. The server selected for delivering content to a specific user is typically based on a measure of network proximity. For example, the server with the fewest network hops or the server with the quickest response time is chosen. It loads from different servers, based on the visitor’s region.
Specify a character set in HTTP headers to speed up browser rendering. This is done by adding a simple piece of code into your header, for example:
So there you have it, 5 simple steps to speed up your website! We are not suggesting you do the above if you do not have the technical knowledge, if that’s the case then Contact Us and we can discuss speeding your website up.