7 Tips for Speeding Up Your Site in 2017

Foreword

When creating a client-oriented site, you need to consider and think about a lot of things, from creative (design, filling) to technical (layout, placement on the Internet). For customers, every detail is important, so it’s important to look not only at the outside of your project – what the user will see – but also on the inside, namely how quickly the user sees it. Research shows that about half of users expect the site to load in less than two seconds, and 40% of users will close the site if it takes more than three seconds to load it. Therefore, it is extremely important that your site is loaded quickly, otherwise you risk losing a significant part of your customers. What can you do to reduce the loading time of your site?

1. Shorten the code

The larger the code of your project, the more it weighs, which means that the longer it takes to download it. So first of all you need to make sure that the code is optimized. Especially it concerns the first landing page, which the user gets to – it will be better to abandon the heavy scripts JavaScript and Ajax or to remove them to the bottom of the page. Stick to the well-known principle of KISS – Keep it short and simple – let the code be short and simple.

Service PageSpeed ​​Insights from Google advises to remove the external JavaScript file from the top of the page, because the cycle of operations that you want to perform to load it significantly slows down the loading of the page. In this case, it is recommended either to make the JavaScript code built-in, or to download this code after downloading the top of the page.

If you want to know if everything is in order with JavaScript on the page of your site, use this service: https://varvy.com/tools/js/

This tip also applies to HTML and CSS code. As in the case of JavaScript, pay special attention to external files – for example, external style sheets, which, if possible, are better to insert into HTML.

2. Use website compression

There are several technologies with which you can compress data, so you can reduce the size of text resources, and hence the time of loading pages of your resource. For example, use gzip: this utility minimizes requests to the server from the browser side. You can use it in the HTTP protocol.

To check if gzip is used on your site to compress data, you can on this resource: http://www.gidnetwork.com/tools/gzip-test.php

And after clicking on the following link, you will be able to find out whether the whole compression technology on your website is applied: http://www.whatsmyip.org/http-compression-test/

3. Reduce the number of redirects

Redirect 301 is often used to redirect from one address to another. However, this is fraught with the fact that additional network cycles will be used, because of which the download time of the site may increase, especially if it is a mobile device. Therefore, it is better to reduce the number of redirects or even abandon them.

Check your site for redirects you can with this program (there is a free version): https://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider/

4. Reduce the number of plugins

This paragraph applies to those who use CMS: WordPress, Joomla or some other. Regularly check the list of plug-ins that you use, for unnecessary or already unused. Reducing the number of plugins will positively affect the loading of your site and its work in general. If you use WordPress as a content management system, you can also optimize the number of plugins with the help of a special plug-in P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler): https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/ This plugin will show you data related to performance Other plug-ins, and how each of them affects the operation of the site. This will help you determine which plug-ins should be discarded first.

5. Optimize images

The size of the images on the site directly affects the load time of the resource. All images must be optimized: set the correct size, format and compress. It will also be useful to get rid of the so-called digital garbage: various data that fall into the image when it is processed.

6. Use your browser’s cache

Using caching, you can significantly gain in downloading speed of your site: when a user visits your site for the first time, some JavaScript and CSS files will be saved in the cache of his browser, which then will be automatically displayed at his next visits, and the browser does not have to waste time On their download. For caching, you need to configure the HTTP header of Expires correctly. You can do this by writing the following lines in the .htaccess file that is in the root folder: (Do a backup of your data before modifying anything)

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
Header append Cache-Control "public"
FileETag MTime Size
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault "access plus 0 minutes"
ExpiresByType image / ico "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text / css "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType text / javascript "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image / gif "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image / jpg "access plus 1 month"
ExpiresByType image / png "access plus 1 month"
</ IfModule>

In this case, all types have a period of 1 month, but you can change the time to what you need: the cache can be stored for a certain number of years, months, weeks or days.

If you use a particular CMS, you can install a special plug-in for this. In the case of WordPress, W3 Total Cache is suitable: caching is enabled in the settings (select Settings for this plugin in the list of all installed plugins, then General – tick “Toggle all caching types on or off (at once)”).

7. Monitor site performance

It is very important to constantly monitor the performance of your site – even when, as you think, you optimized everything that was possible. To do this, there are special free resources, the most famous of which will be listed below:

Already mentioned above Page Speed ​​Insights: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?hl=en
This tool from Google measures the download speed of your web resource (from 0 to 100 points, the higher the score, the better). The service will give you recommendations for improving performance, and will show you which optimization points you have performed. Keep in mind that since corrections are made in Page Speed ​​Insights, the number of points your site receives may also vary.

Pingdom Website Speed ​​Test: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
A good service for checking the download speed of your resource. It will be especially useful for those who administer international resources, as it allows choosing the place from which testing will be done: USA, Australia or Sweden (the result will be different). Displays a lot of different data and gives recommendations.

Loadimpact: https://loadimpact.com/
This service allows you to generate several requests to your site, where you can find out, first, the average download speed of your site, and secondly, to understand how your site will behave under a certain number of requests (will it withstand the load).

LoadStorm: http://loadstorm.com/
With the help of this service, you can launch a fairly serious test of your site. The free version of the service will allow you to test your resource with the help of 10 users, but the paid version gives you more options, in particular, you can independently prescribe a script that users will execute (for example, click on a certain button or go to the desired section). In doing so, you must verify that you own the site.

Conclusion

If you follow each of the suggested points in this article, you can significantly reduce the download time of your site. But do not forget that optimization should not happen to the detriment of users: pictures should remain attractive, navigation convenient, and information understandable and accessible.
Share your ideas in the comments as you can speed up the download of the web resource.

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By | 2017-08-13T12:04:38+00:00 July 30th, 2017|Categories: Web Development, WordPress|
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