Five Great Ways to Increase Your Website’s Loading Speed
After all the work you have put into your website is finished, you expect and desire it to function optimally. Unfortunately, many webmasters discover that their pages are loading slowly, images can take forever to display and basic site functions are impaired by this level of performance. In some cases, one underlying issue may be causing the problem. However, in most circumstances it is an array of issues that all accumulate into one major hassle. For those looking to improve their site’s loading speed, below are five helpful tips for doing just that.
Reduce Image Sizes
This part of the optimization process is one that will yield results for any webmaster – even those who are not experiencing page loading issues. There are programs and online tools available to help reduce the overall file size of any image and optimize it for use on the web. Most professional image editing software has built in features that allow you optimize an image for the web at the time of its creation. By reducing the overall amount of data you are pinging servers for, you will experience an increase in your page loading times – not to mention a reduction in bandwidth and storage usage.
Cache Your Pages
By allowing your pages to utilize browser caching, visitors to your site will have a basic framework of your site or page stored locally on their computer. Whenever they access the site, these basic elements will load without needing to request that information from the host (you). By doing this, the amount of information being transmitted is reduced and the user experiences faster loading times.
Obtain Premium Hosting
If you are using a budget hosting service currently, chances are that it is not up to par in terms of speed. Sometimes, the hosting company’s servers are simply slow. If it is intolerable, consider looking for a different hosting company or upgrading your hosting plan if there is a better option in-house. Dedicated IP service providers and private virtual servers go a long way in fixing any hosting-related speed issues.
Update Your Add-ons
Whether you have plug-ins, applications running or custom themes, it is crucial that you make sure they are updated on a consistent basis. If you are using a content management system such as WordPress, then it will automatically begin pinging servers for updates on your behalf – alerting you to any new upgrades. It also helps prevent malicious individuals from using exploits to take control of your website, so be sure to make this a habitual practice.
By using CSS, you can generate sprites for your pages that load multiple images at once as a part of a greater image. In many cases, this is used on websites to load the background, header, footer, sidebars and photos all at once – reducing the number of requests sent to your host server. Not only will this make the page load faster for an individual, but it can also boost performance for sites that have a large amount of traffic. By reducing the number of requests being sent at any given time, you increase the ability for the host to transmit information without delay.