If you run a website, and want to keep it optimized and at the best loading speed as possible, there are a number of ideas you can try to help keep your website on the information superhighway.
Your website loading speed is measured in milliseconds. Most internet users don’t want to wait for a page to load so if your website is taking more than a few seconds to load, the visitor may just go elsewhere before they see all your hard work. Even if what you have to say might be fresh, new or even news breaking, a visitor may go elsewhere just based on the site loading speed being too slow. The speed of a site is also taken into consideration when it comes to ranking a website in the search engine. Search engines examine the speed of your website, and base your ranking on that along with many other factors.
Optimizing Your Images
One of the biggest reasons for slow loading websites are image sizes. Its easy to stick an image onto your website, but how often do you optimize the image for the web? Its easy to save an image file for web use in most photo & image manipulation programs like photoshop. Once you do the size of the image will be reduced, and the loading time will increase. If your going to be displaying a small thumbnail inside one of your articles, it’s important to make sure that the actual image is going to be the relevant size. If your users browser has to resize the image on the fly, then this adds to the loading speed. The 2 file formats you should stick to are jpg, and .png. Both of these file formats can be optimized for the web, which means a few colors may be reduced and the compression ratio increased. These will help your website load faster.
Decreasing Your Includes
The second biggest cause of bad website loading time is includes. These are items built into your website such as style sheets. Sometimes they are loaded from external sources, and so the loading time of the overall page is increased dramatically. For custom built websites you sometimes have many small includes. You need to optimize the website better and have fewer larger includes. This means the loading takes place less for each time an include needs to be called.
As a webmaster you might be using a popular CMS such as wordpress, joomla or drupal. They all have custom plugins that you can load into the site, and use to achieve your desired site outcomes. There are plugins for security, social media plugins, and plugins for effects for your website that you might not be able to code yourself. You should take a close look at all of these plugins, and perform an audit of the plugins you have. You should remove any that you are not using or that add very little value to your website. You should also update your plugins regularly, as there are sometimes improvements in the plugins concerning the speed, so you need to have the latest plugin version.
Another large contributing factor to your overall web speed is the web host that you host your website with online. Web hosts use different technology to run their systems, and these systems are configured differently. Its this technology that contributes to the speed that you receive from your website. Your website host may use some of the newer technologies for storage such as solid state drives SSD. They might have faster loading computers, with more memory. Again, another factor in the speed that your website loads. Some web site hosts have different policies for the amount of websites that they will host on any one server. Sometimes your website might share web space with a high traffic website and the resources of the server are taken up, and your website can become squeezed. You can measure your website loading speed, and then to fix this you might want to change your server to a different host, or upgrade your hosting package to something more dedicated.
These are an overview of the main factors that contribute to your website loading speed. You may be able to find others but these are the main ones that will make the largest and most significant changes to your website loading speed.