Size Matters – 10 Tips to Help Optimize Your Web Performance
We’ve all been there,the website you want to browse suddenly halts to a stop, with the page seemingly never fully loading. Frustrating, isn’t it? If you run an online store, blog, or website of any kind, you know the importance of website optimization practices that help your site perform and keep users happy. Below we’ll go over 10 tips for optimizing your Web Performance.
Tip #1: Test your site’s speed.
Not sure how your site is performing? The first thing you need to check is your website’s speed. There are a number of free testing tools that allow you to easily check up at a moment’s notice. Simply search “website speed test” in your favorite search engine and you’re ready to test! You can even find out your site’s speed in different locations and on different browsers.
Tip #2: Optimize Your Images.
While that great photo you edited in Photoshop looks stunning, it’s probably not ready to be uploaded directly to the web. Photo editing and graphic design software like Photoshop and Illustrator generate larger files that aren’t web-friendly. To optimize your images, we recommend that you resize images to the correct dimensions that your platform can hold without sacrificing quality in addition to saving in a universally accepted format like a JPEG.
Tip #3: Minify CSS, JS and HTML
Tip #4: Enable Prefetching
Ah, yet another mysterious tech term—“prefetching” simply refers to the process of downloading (and storing) background data and information that may or may not be needed in order to speed up processing time. When you enable this option on your site, your users experience faster loading times. It’s a no-brainer!
Tip #5: Increase Speed with a Content Delivery Network
If you want your site operation to be seamless, we recommend considering the benefits of a Content Delivery Network. Designed to provide users with greater speed based on their proximity to a CDN, this can be an easy solution for businesses looking to expand their web performance.
Tip #6: Enable Caching
Much like the fourth tip, caching is a simple way to increase your site’s performance and ensure a great user experience. “Caching” is the temporary storage of important data and images for future use in order to save memory and speed up loading times. This is an easy option that you can enable on your site to optimize it’s performance.
Tip #7: Reduce HTTP Requests
A lot goes into loading a web page—from images, to coding, and even social media links, every file on your site adds to the dreaded buffering that users can’t stand. To speed up your site performance, it’s recommended to reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to load. This essentially means reducing the number of files requesting permission to show each time a visitor loads up your page. Removing or resizing images and cleaning up your CSS can significantly lower HTTP requests and thus increase your site’s loading speed!
Tips #8: Avoid 301 Redirects
Keep your website performance in tip-top shape by avoiding 301 redirects and fixing 404 errors. While 301 redirects have some use for SEO purposes, they ultimately add loading time to your user’s experience and have the biggest negative impact on mobile users in particular. With a large slice of your visitors browsing from their mobile device, it’s important to prioritize speed and ease of use, rather than simplifying the development process on your end. Limit 301 redirects and your pages will load much faster!
Tips #9: Oops 404 – Fix errors
Similarly, staying on top of your site’s maintenance and fixing 404 errors quickly is important for enhancing your site’s performance. Check up on your site performance regularly to see what pages are leading visitors to the dreaded “404” message. Keep in mind that performing site upgrades can often lead to 404 errors, so you’ll want to increase your site checks after a big platform change or upgrade!
Tip #10: Put Down the Plug-Ins
Plug-ins are a great tool for those who want to build a site but don’t have the budget for a back-end developer. However, too many plug-ins can increase the number of HTTP requests for your site, ultimately causing a lag in loading time and boost in bounce rate. So, what’s the solution? We recommend implementing plug-ins that will really add to your site’s functionality, rather than detract from it. If you find that a particular plug-in isn’t necessary or is taking too long to load, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
We hope you find these tips for optimizing your website’s performance helpful! For more information about increasing your site’s speed and overall performance, contact the G-I Agency today.