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10 Unique Ways to Make Your Website Load Faster

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Nothing can frustrate visitors to a website more than a slow loading web page. Seconds count, whether they choose to wait or click on another site to visit. It can be almost impossible for web site owners to make revenue from a slow loading site because the reality is that people are in a hurry.

Slow websites lead to lower search engine rankings because fewer visitors frequent them. Inbound traffic to a fast site will please both the visitors and increase the website’s ranking in the search engines.

The number-one goal is to have the website appear on the primary page after people type whatever it might be they are searching for into the search box. A website landing page that takes less than four seconds to completely download will increase the likelihood of a website reaching the first page.

A fast site means better search engine rankings because more people visit. The site might have repeat visitors often that helps the site maintain a good ranking. It helps increase overall revenue because potential customers stay there and possibly buy from the site.

Steps can be taken to speed up the download time of a slow website. The key to success is implementing them until the website loads completely in a few seconds.

articleimage186Image File Reduction

1. Reduce Image File Sizes

Nothing can be more appealing than having images to go along with the information in the content of articles on a website. The problem with images is the large file sizes that these images usually add to speed of downloading the website home page. A visitor can notice this when they are waiting for the site to download. Most of the time, the text will download before the images do.

Using software such as paint shop, paint shop pro and infra-view can reduce the file size of images from megabytes to kilobytes. This will reduce the amount of time necessary for the files to download on the website.

Reduce the size of the file by cropping the image. Converting the image to a lower resolution will reduce the size of the file also. Another technique to implement is to reduce the image size by changing the height and width dimensions of the image to a smaller version. This has a huge effect in the file size of the image once it is saved.

articleimage186Plug-in Elimination

2. Eliminate Unnecessary Plugins

Every new website owner has a fascination with installing as many plug-ins as possible. They might read how this one is needed for a certain situation and simply install it. This is a rinse and repeat situation with the website owner until finally, they have too many plug-ins on the website. Installing many plug-ins can reduce the download speed of a website.

Always take a close look at which plug-ins can be eliminated to increase the download speed of the website. Some of the plug-ins might be out of date and need to be upgraded. Others might really have no use at all and can be eliminated altogether.

3. Use a Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network uses a network of servers to cache data while locating the fastest delivery route to users. It makes large websites with tons of content and images load more quickly.

It moves data, images and content on servers that are closest to the physical location of users. Large companies incorporate the use of CDNs because their number-one goal is to offer the fastest speeds possible to users to get them to purchase from their companies.

Users in another country trying to access websites in the United States for an example would receive the content from a CDN in their country. It definitely is something to consider when a website is there to make revenue for the owner.

4. Switch Hosting Providers

Sometimes it becomes necessary to change hosting services. Not all hosting packages are alike, and many website owners prefer one to the other. Some providers might have many website accounts operating on one server. This can lead to poor service through slow download speeds and the server being down a lot. This is called shared hosting.

Dedicated hosting means you have access to the server alone. Although a difference in the cost means more money for better hosting, the difference paid out can quickly be recovered in increased revenue from happy visitors who turn into customers.

articleimage186usingcss

5. Use CSS

Using Cascading Style Sheets instead of charts or tables on a website will help the site download faster. Style sheets upload immediately while chart graphs take much longer to appear on the page.

Once the page is downloaded, it is stored on the user’s computer. A marked increase in rendering speed is an advantage for using CSS over charts. The size of the web page files is reduced by up to 50 percent.

6. Discard Clutter

Visitors enjoy a clean and well maintained website. Nothing is more appealing than visiting a website that loads fast and is properly maintained. Out of date content along with images can decrease the speed of the site downloading. Eliminate this clutter.

Break each product category into shorter pages to decrease the time it takes for the page to load. Never clutter the landing page of the website with too many images and content. Use links such as “read more” to reduce the amount of time it takes for the homepage to download.

7. Stop Using Tracking Codes

Website owners like to keep track of visitors and what they do on a website. This also slows down the website’s ability to download quicker. Each tracking code installed on a website requires the visitor’s browser to make requests to other servers. This can hurt traffic trying to visit a website during peak hours of the day.

8. Place Style Sheets at the Top

Moving stylesheets to the document head will make the website download faster. It is an important concept for website pages with tons of content. It helps visitors with slower Internet connection providers download websites quicker.

Placing stylesheets in the document heading allows the website page to render progressively. Adding them to the bottom prohibits progressive rendering.

9. Install a Caching Plug-in

Installation of a caching plug-in will increase the download speed of a website. Basically, this means that a cached version of the webpage will be given to the user unless the content has been changed since the last cache. This speeds up the download times of the site by lowering requests to the website server.

10. Reduce HTTP Requests

Http requests are made when a new visitor goes to a website for the first time. The visitor’s browser hasn’t cached the images and content from the website. Http requests are made for those cascading style sheet files, java script files and images.

Combining cascading style sheet files can reduce website download time making a website stay busier with more traffic. It will work with java script files also.

Other tips to increase website speed performance can be removing duplicate scripts, eliminating unnecessary cookies, reducing cookie size and optimizing images. Remember that website download speed is critical as to whether a first-time visitor stays and decides to come back again to visit in the future.

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James Parsons

I'm an avid blogger on SEO, social media, and design. When I'm not working with the awesome guys at AudienceBloom, I'm writing for my personal blog at JamesParsons.com or working on my next big project.

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