So you finally got a blog or website up and running and are filling it with content faster than you would have dared to dream. You are doing great, but all these additions are making your site load slower than ever. Viewers are clicking away before the main content has even loaded! Learn how to easily increase website speed with these 5 simple tips!
1: Caching is key!
Website caching is a simple but very effective tool to reduce load on your webservers and to increase your website speed to get your content to the viewer quicker. What caching does is that it pre-renders a website in a simple HTML format, so that whenever a viewer enters your website it gets serverd this already rendered version of your website instead of your servers pumping out a fresh version. These cashes can be refreshed every few minutes, but it is still faster than making a new version for every visitor. This also greatly reduces the time needed for a visitor to download your site, as it just has to download a simple HTML instead of waiting for your servers to have a fresh version of your site ready.
There are several ways of increasing your website speed using this method, but especially for wordpress users this is really simple. You can just install certain plugins like w3 total cache or WP super cache. W3cache is more powerful but harder to set up and it had problems with other plugins I was using. WP super cache was extremely simple to set up and configure, but it lacks some of the more advanced options W3 total cache has. I would however advise to use the latter one for new users.
3: Combining code to speed up your website
WordPress users can download the better WordPress minify plugin. It will automatically combine different sets of code into one, increasing the website speed within seconds!
4: Combining pictures to increase website speed
Another powerful tool is combining all static pictures on your website into one big sprite. This again reduces the amount of times someone has to access your servers to download pictures, and can greatly reduce the total size of the pictures since they are compressed into sprites. Don’t worry though, their alt text and title will stay intact if used correctly.
Some guy over at Google made a very nifty tool for just that in his spare time. Over at spriteme.org you can bookmark their tool. After that it is just simply going to the website site you want to optimize for speed and run their tool. It will suggest which pictures to combine and after you approve it will do just that for you. Afterwards it is simply adjusting the location of the pictures in your CSS and upload the sprite to your servers. This can reduce the loading time of your blog or website a lot and increase your overall website speed!
5: Compressing your site for website speed!
The fifth and final method of increasing your website’s speed is simply zipping it up like you would do any other file on your computer. You can compress the data you send to your user, reducing the time it takes to load your website. There are serveral standards of compressing online data, but gzip is probably accepted the most. Note that a browser needs support for the compression, since it will have to decompress or unzip the data it receives.
For WordPress users this is gain as simple as installing a plugin. Within seconds you are saving bandwith and increasing your website speed!
I personally use or have used most of these tactics on my own website, and the speed with which the site loads has increased tremendously. My site receives a score of 90 in Google’s page-speed test. It’s not a 100 yet, but we are well underway!
What do you think is the best method to increase your website speed? Let us know below!