How to increase site speed?
Nowadays we won’t visit a site which takes ages to load. I mean when there are so many options out there, why wait for something which is slow. Low site speed is one of the main reasons which reduces the traffic to your site. A few seconds will make a huge difference. If your site won’t load within 2 seconds, then say goodbye to more than half of your visitors. I will guide you through the do’s and don’ts in order to increase your speed.
Fast response to requests.
When you get requests to your website and there is a delay, then there's also a problem. To check your site's response is to measure the TTFB (i.e. Time To First Byte). TTFB measures the time it takes for the server to provide the first byte of response after a request is made. There is a multitude of reasons for the speed to be slow, which can be found from the results of the test above.
Keep pages simple.
Your webpage should consist only of the main things that are required on it. Don’t add a lot of social media redirects or YouTube links which are not needed for the specific page. Keep it simple and this will keep it fast.
Before uploading any type of images be sure to compress all your images. Majority of the time on websites is spent on loading images. Compress the images from Photoshop to keep the quality of the image intact. There are a lot of free tools online to get the job done.
Optimize your code by removing commas, spaces or any unnecessary characters and reduce the size of your code files before uploading by compressing them. Another thing you can do is to combine the files where possible.
Avoid Bad requests.
Broken links lead to more load times due to wasteful requests. Pay special attention to images also when you will be fixing the broken links. Use the online broken link checker to check your broken links for free.
Use a CDN.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers located all around the world which caches content to be delivered to visitors. A CDN stores data of websites in different locations and when a user accesses the site, it will be delivered from a server which is geographically closer to the user. This increases the efficiency and speeds up the site as the distance is reduced. We wrote about what is a CDN and what it does in a previous article, so have a look to know exactly what happens.
Redirects are necessary to navigate through the website and to other external places. But every link has a latency. I know it’s not possible to not include any links, but only use redirect links only when it's necessary.
Use third-party services to host videos.
If you have a shared hosting service or you want to keep your server neat and tidy, then avoid adding videos to your server. This takes up more space from your server and as a result, connections might be slow. Best solution is to upload your video on YouTube, Vimeo or any third party and put that on your site. This makes your site faster and the video won’t face any latency while playing.
Increasing your site speed is not an easy thing to achieve, but once you're there, it will have major impacts for your site overall. There are other ways to increase your sites speed, but these are the ones I think will make the greatest impact and can be implemented easily. Higher speed will increase SEO, increase your ranking on SERPs (i.e. search engine results pages) and visitor satisfaction means more traffic.