In this blog post we will be taking a look at a number of techniques that you can use to improve the speed and the performance of your website.

The speed with which your website loads affects your business. A slow loading site increases bounce rate and reduces the conversion rate. Users will simply go elsewhere if your site is sluggish.

The majority of web users now browse the internet from a mobile device, so they are likely to not have a fast connection. This makes it even more important to have a fast loading site.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to speed your site up without too much trouble.

Reduce the number of HTTP requests your site makes

Most of a web page’s load time is spent downloading the various parts and elements of the page. These include images, scripts and stylesheets.

Your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files can be minified using online minifiers. You can combine all of your CSS files into one file, so that your website only makes one request. This can also be done with your JavaScript files. If you have a WordPress website then you can use a plugin (such as WP Rocket) to minify and combine your files.

Enable asynchronous loading for JavaScript and CSS files

When a webpage loads it goes through the code from top to bottom. If you have a large CSS or JavaScript file near the top of your webpage then the browser will wait until that file has loaded.

You can move your JavaScript files in to the footer of your website to speed things up, or you can load the CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously. This means that the page will continue loading while the CSS and JavaScript files are loading.

Again, if you are using a WordPress website you can use a plugin such as WP Rocket to enable this.

Compress your images

Large image files can take a while to load and slow down your site. You should look at the dimensions of your images, if you have a 1000px by 1000px image on your site but it is displayed at 200px by 200px then that is wasting download time.

You can also compress images. You can do this using editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP to save your images for the web, by using a compression plugin like WP Smush on WordPress or by using an online application such as compressor.io.

Use external hosting

If you have a video on your site (for a product, or a tutorial for example) then it’s a good idea to use an existing hosting provider, such as YouTube or Vimeo. You can then easily embed the video on your website.

Loading a video takes up a lot of bandwidth and if you are on shared hosting your video is going to stutter and buffer.

Using a dedicated video hosting platform bypasses this problem.

Conclusion

These tips will help improve the performance of your website, but it is also worth analysing your site’s behaviour to identify problems. You can do this using tools like Google Page Speed Test and Chrome’s Developer Tools.

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