Blog SpeedDid you know that Google doesn’t like pages that are slow to load?

If your website is slow on a desktop, what is it like on a mobile device?

It’s really important to have a website that loads quite quickly.  As well as visitors not having much patience Google penalizes pages on websites that don’t load quick enough.

Here are 5 Ways to Optimize the speed of your website.

1.  A content delivery network

If you are running a global service you may have visitors coming to your site around the world.  Depending on where your visitor is browsing from and where the website is located the speed could be slow or quick.

To optimize for visitors in different locations you can set up your website on a content delivery network.  This means that your website is actually residing in multiple locations.

When a website visitor comes to your site the website is loaded from the nearest location to them.

Website content is kept in sync automatically in multiple locations so visitors will always get the latest copy.

2. Pay more to your hosting provider!

When you sign up to a company that will host your website (store your website and make it available for internet users) you need to consider what they offer as part of the hosting.

Bandwidth available – Imagine water flowing down a pipe.  If the pipe is bigger more water will flow down it.  If you other people are pouring water down the pipe then you’re in competition for space!  So get lots of bandwidth and make it guaranteed and not shared with anyone else.

Guaranteed Up time –  Your content is not going to load very quick if your servers are down!  You need a reliable provider that will guarantee the servers will be up at least 99.99% of the time!

Your own server or shared?  –  Your blog could be hosted on your own server or shared with other blogs.  Ideally you want your own dedicated servers!

 3.  Optimize your image sizes

If your image sizes on your website are too large it can take too long to download a page.  Check out website optimization tool which does an analysis of pages on your website so you can see which pages have large sizes.  A lot of the times you can find the culprit image that is too big and then you can resize.

website optimization
This tool will show you the largest images on your page.

If you have a small image displayed on your blog it could be really high quality so the size is large.  But because it’s small you may not need the quality to be as good as most people will not notice the difference.

The following shows 2 images.  One is 24kb in size and one is 200kb. Can you detect which is which?

Video Images
One image is 24kb and the other is 200kb!

If you enlarge these images you would know.

Consider also the formats of images for your website. Depending on the quality you require for your image and the type of image then different formats use different compression techniques.

4.  Use Caching Software

Caching is like McDonalds having a load of cheeseburgers ready that are exactly the same.  Other people have ordered the exact same so by having them already made you will be more efficient!

When you are on a website and download a page this page has to be constructed.  A request is made to the database to retrieve this page and build it.  But if you request this page again or somebody else is requesting the exact same page it makes more sense to use the copy that was already generated unless it was changed since then.

Caching can make a huge difference to performance of your website.  On this site we use a plugin called W3 Total Cache 

 5.  Do a regular tidy up!

If you optimize your blog to improve performance you’ll need to revisit it again in a couple of months time.  This is a wordpress blog and this morning I removed 850 revisions of old posts that were stored in the database and also removed some plugins that I no longer use.  So, a regular review and tidy up is required.

So what do you do to improve performance?  I’d love to hear your tips!

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