Website speed plays an important role in deciding the overall user experience of your website. If your website loads slow, the user may leave your website without even watching the content on your website.
For a better user experience, your website should load fast. If your website loads quickly, it will greatly increase user experience and your search engine rankings and hence conversions.
Now Google also uses website speed and user experience as a ranking factor. So, It is very important to follow the best practices to make your website run faster.
In this article, I will explain to you some of the best practices for speeding up your website.
Optimize your Images
One of the best practices for speeding up your website is the optimization of images. Image files take up a certain amount of memory based on image quality and image size. As the quality and size of your images increase, they will take longer to load on your website. Keep in mind that images only affect your site load time for the pages on which they are shown. So if you have a photo gallery page, it may take longer to load the gallery page than your other website pages.
There are few points that you can consider to optimize your images
- Resize all of your images to match the exact size which will be displayed on your website.
- Limit the number of large images that are used on non-photo gallery pages.
- Combine all of your small images and icons into a ‘CSS Spritemap’ or ‘CSS Image Sprites’. Check out w3schools.com for a simple explanation of how to use them.
- Use GIF for simple and animated images, JPG for photographs, and PNG for Infographics, Logos, etc.
- On your photo gallery page, create a thumbnail version of each photo and link it to the full-sized version of that same photo. You can use lightbox plugins for that.
Increase website speed with caching
Another best practice for speeding up your website is caching. Caching allows websites with dynamic content to load faster than they normally would.
Dynamic content normally consists of several scripting files that calculate what a page’s content should be and then converts the final result into a static format so that it can be displayed. Server-side caching pre-calculates this final result into a static format so that it can be displayed faster.
We recommend that you keep your Server-Side caching enabled at all times and only disable the option if you are unable to see updates as you develop your website. We recommend that WordPress users should use the W3 total cache plugin to speed up the website.
Use plugins if you really need
Website building software comes with a core set of features to help you build your site. Several website builders (such as WordPress, Joomla, etc) allow you to add extra features which are often called ‘Plugins’.
Plugins are usually packed with dynamic coding and features that may increase your website functionality and also load time.
So, the correct selection of plugins is very important in deciding the performance of the website.
We recommend researching each plugin that you are planning to use on your website so that you can better determine how much it may impact your website’s performance.
Choose a hosting plan according to your needs
A ‘hosting plan’ refers to how powerful a website server is and the features you’ll get in your server. Web hosting companies often offer multiple tiers of hosting with different features including power, speed, memory, bandwidth, and storage limits. Hosting plans usually fall under one of the following tiers:
Shared Hosting: This type of hosting is for absolute beginners. Resources are shared among many users. You can use this for small business websites or personal blogs with limited traffic. Shared Hosting
Virtual Private Server: The advanced level of shared hosting is virtual private server. Your hosting provider will create a virtual server with some limited resources and you privately own that virtual server. You can use VPS hosting to host medium to large websites, e-commerce websites with medium traffic size.
Dedicated Server Hosting: In dedicated server hosting, you will get a complete dedicated server. You can use all of its resources to the full extent and host very large corporate websites. Also, you can use it as an intranet or cloud for your organization. The traffic handling capacity is very large.
If you are a beginner then we suggest you get shared hosting. Bluehost provides the best-shared hosting with the best performance and it is affordable.
Use page speed tools to check your website’s page speed
One of the best practices for speeding up your website is to regularly check and monitors your webpage speed. You can use various page speed tools to check your website’s page speed. The most famous tools are, etc which will help you to understand how to make your website load faster. To use the page speed insights tool:
Google will then provide a list of potential issues and their possible solutions for your website.
Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Another best practice for speeding up your website is the use of the content delivery network. The physical distance between your website’s server and your visitors has an impact on website load speeds. The farther the visitor is located away from your server, the longer it will take for your website to load.
By using the content delivery network, you can minimize the effects of distance by distributing copies of your website’s static content across different parts of the globe.
There are many different CDN networks available. You can choose any network but as a beginner, we recommend you to use Cloudflare as they are providing a basic tier of service for free of cost.
For those, who don’t know about MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights is one of the best WordPress plugins used for monitoring web traffic using google analytics. It shows you detailed insights of your website in a clean and user-friendly report inside your WordPress site dashboard.
MonsterInsights site speed report feature helps you in knowing the speed of the website and also it gives recommendations to improve the site speed according to your site report.
Here are the steps to check the site speed report.
Activate MonsterInsights WordPress plugin.
Go to Insights, then reports, and then select site speed.
Now, It will show you the report of your site speed that includes 4 parameters.
For each parameter, you will also get a detailed summary of all the factors that are responsible for the slow site speed. A goal to achieve, and recommendations to improve using some helpful resources and guides.
I hope this article helps you to understand the best practices you can follow to speed up your website. As website loading speed is one of the major ranking factors in Google, so you should take it seriously and starts working on it.
WordPress users can use the MonsterInsights plugin to get the site report and recommendations to improve the site speed.
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Originally published at https://www.geekzbuddy.com.