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PlanMySite.com

New Jersey Web Design Blog

No More Lag! Simple Ways to Speed Up Your Website

Make Website Faster
Today’s world is all about speed: consumers know what they want and they know they want it now.  (How do you think FedEx turned into a multi-million dollar company?)  The same rule applies to websites—when consumers click on a page, they want it to load NOW.  To optimize the online presence of your business, a website that loads quickly and efficiently is invaluable.
High-speed Internet connections have made vast improvements when it comes to speeding up page downloads, but there is still more you can do! A few simple steps will go a long way toward optimizing your website’s download time.

Make Images Efficient

Image files often slow down a site. Optimize your images by choosing the “save for web” option in your editing software and compress .jpg and .gif files. Specify image size by entering the height and width. This way, the page will know how much space the image will take and can leave that space blank while loading the text around it.

Code Smart

CSS formatting can effectively tweak your design to eliminate the need for an excessive number of images. Using CSS as a basis for layout can help clean up your code, reducing page loading time and giving you the additional benefit of potentially increasing SEO.  Streamlining CSS through a site like CleanCSS will also help optimize the load time by getting rid of dead space and unnecessarily repeated coding.

Reduce HTTP Requests

Reducing the number of HTTP requests is another smart way to reduce website load time.  You can reduce the number of components the site needs to load by using CSS formatting to reduce the number of images. You can also combine all the scripts into a single script, which will reduce the number of HTTP requests the site will have to send. This will cut down on the number of round trips to the server.

Reduce Cookies

Cookies have to transmit each time a person browsing the website makes a request. By reducing the size and number of cookies on the page, there is less to transmit with each request. This will speed up the time it takes for a page to load.

Use Load Progress Indicators

While adding progress indicators will not necessarily speed up your website’s load time, it will at least help to mollify impatient browsers by letting them know the page is loading and is not frozen in Internet limbo. If there’s anything our modern society likes as much as speed, it’s information!

Additionally, putting stylesheets at the top of the page will give people an indicator that the page is loading and while also making it appear as if the page is loading faster. Since the stylesheet is generally quick to appear, it serves as a progress indicator while also displaying some of the site’s content as fast as possible. This appeals to people’s penchant for both speed AND information!

Other Steps

Specifying the DOCTYPE can also help a website load faster because your markup and CSS won’t validate without the DOCTYPE. If you have the proper DOCTYPE specified, your page will generally load faster.

Finally—and this may be the most simple tip of all! — Make sure to include a slash at the end of your links.  (For example, http://www.website.com will not load as fast as http://www.website.com/) Granted, adding these slashes is not going to take your load time from 5 minutes to 5 seconds, but every little bit helps!

These simple tips are fairly easy to implement, yet will go a long way toward speeding up your website! The benefits are exponential: a fast, streamlined site means less work for you and your server while also creating a better browsing experience for consumers. In today’s world, everyone is looking for an advantage over his or her business rivals. Make a website that loads quickly and easily and you give yourself a competitive edge!

 

4 comments

May 16, 2011 at 3:19 am Jay

The tips were really helpful. It is always so irritating when the page takes a long time to load, these tips would hopefully solve this problem.

February 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm WMI

These are some good tips for speed. Other sites have suggested using file compression in the htaccess file, like:

SetOutputFilter DEFLATE

However, with my site, since it does a lot of database calls, the load time SEEMS slower because it needs to compile the page before displaying it.

Using CSS for images is a good idea in theory, but it could cause a CSS file to become bloated. Does the larger file size outweigh an HTTP request? Not sure.

Either way, thanks for the great tips Tomasz.

May 5, 2014 at 11:25 am Kasa

My site lags horribly when browsing. But when checking pagespeed results are satisfiying. I dont know waht to do. I pressume javascript is problem.

June 23, 2014 at 8:53 am Pawel Poturalski

Hello Kasa,
Sorry for the delay.

You may consider reducing number of HTTP requests on your website (now it is over 70 on the homepage and some subpages that I checked). I would recommend cleaning JS and merging those files. Also you have a few small CSS files that you could merge or even put as inline styles.

I hope this will help.

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