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Site speed: How to increase website speed

Alexandros Nasiopoulos on 11-11-2019. Modified on 24-11-2019
Site speed: How to increase website speed

Site speed: How to increase website speed

In the following article, we will provide information to increase your website speed. The techniques we recommend apply to any website (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Opencart, Magento, etc.) and do not relate to a single "type" of website.

But before we move into this information, let's answer another question:

Why increase website speed?

Why increase my site speed?

What has everyone been up to with speed?

Human's expectations and "needs" have grown. I don't remember my grandmother in the village saying that she wanted a beach house or that she wanted to go to the Maldives or Dubai.

The demands of everyday life have also grown. Taxes, heating oil, internet, paid-TV, dog food, and even a dose for the 75" QLED SMART TV or the iPhone 11 of children, now have to be paid.

Humans must now work harder to meet the demands of everyday life and their needs.

But because every day in the 21st century has still 24 hours, as in the previous centuries, he is trying to do things faster.

Wake up faster, get kids to school faster, work faster, eat faster, get the information he wants faster, shop faster and sleep faster to get up the next day faster.

Did I stress you out?

Now that you are anxious, do you think you would wait 7 seconds for a website to open? And in case I haven't managed to stress you enough or are still wondering, I'll answer the question for you.

No. Unless, of course, you are an exception to the rule. However, because on your website you want to satisfy most visitors and not the few exceptions, to get it done, the first thing to look at is the speed of your website.

The speed of your website is important not only for its visitors but also for search engines.

An extremely important factor for ranking a website in the search engine results pages is the speed of the website. In other words, website speed is an important factor of SEO - Search Engine Optimization.

For this reason, Google has devoted a large portion of Google Analytics to measure the speed of your webpages. We will return to this below, in the same article.

The ranking of your website may be affected by its speed, indirectly, through bounce rate or session duration.

How;

The more users leave your page due to the slow speed or many other factors of your website design, the more its bounce rate increases and the session duration decreases. These two measurements are taken seriously by Google's algorithm for ranking web pages.

Now that we've seen why you want to increase the speed of your website, let's look at how you can increase it.

How do I increase website speed?

To find ways in which we can increase a Wordpress website speed or any other web page, we must first look for the factors that affect it.

Factors Affecting Website Speed:

  1. Template
  2. Images
  3. CSS
  4. Javascript
  5. Caching
  6. Minify
  7. Compression
  8. Redirects
  9. Server

We're going to analyze each of these factors while focusing on ways you can intervene to improve the speed of your website.

1. Template

It's no coincidence that we placed the template in the beginning. The template you are using can greatly determine the speed of your website. At the same time, it is the simplest change you can make to improve website speed.

The template, for those of you who don't know it, is what determines the look of your website or otherwise the design of your website.

Templates with lots of moving graphics or huge background-images can be appealing, but they usually slow down websites a lot.

Also, multi-purpose templates (e-shop, hotel reservations, portfolio, etc) can contain huge CSS code that you will never use. However, all of this code is sent from the server to the user who visits your website.

Finally, some or parts of the Javascript template may be located on a different server than the one hosting your website. If this server is delayed in sending the necessary js files for the proper appearance of your website, your website may be delayed quite a bit.

What can you do about the template?

Choose simple templates that suit your needs. Choose a template that, in their features, emphasizes speed. Finally, ask an experienced web developer to check if the template you are using contains external Javascript code or external Javascript libraries and, if so, download them and place them in your website files.

We will analyze Javascript extensively, below.

2. Images

Also on your own, you can control and modify the images of your website. You should pay close attention to the size of your images.

8.000px or 20,000px images, serve no one.

Your home page slider images need not be larger than 2000px or have a file size of more than 200KB each.

For your product images, 800px is large enough with an 80KB file size.

Find or buy and start using an image editor (eg Photoshop, GIMP) to crop your images to the dimensions or proportions you need, as well as to reduce their quality and size.

3. CSS

CSS or Cascading Style Sheet are files that contain styling code ie the look of your website. As we said above, in the template section, you should get rid of the CSS code that you do not use on your website.

I don't mean, of course, to look at one by one the 30,000 lines of code (or more) that a CSS file can contain to see if the classes it has are being used on your page.

However, you may find groups of classes that do not serve any purpose for the needs of your website.

If you decide to get into this process, you should definitely keep a backup of your CSS files before modifying them. Be careful not to delete the backup before making sure that the changes you made did not affect the appearance of any of your webpages.

4. Javascript

Unfortunately, with Javascript, things are not as simple as with CSS. You cannot start deleting the Javascript code that you believe your site is not using.

Javascript or js files that are usually contained within your website's files may affect the look or functions of your website.

What you can do with Javascript is, in principle, to simply select templates with as little Javascript code as possible. You can also ensure that all the Javascript code or Javascript libraries are on the server hosting your website, or even on a server with guaranteed speed and availability (without downtimes).

Finally, you can minify the js files, a technique we will discuss below.

5. Caching or Cache Expiring

Web cache (or HTTP cache) is a computer technology for caching web documents, such as web pages, images, js files, videos, pdf's and other types of internet multimedia, to reduce server latency.

Because I don't want to confuse you with technical details let's just say that by properly configuring the information sent by the HTTP protocol, you can reduce the speed of your website for users who have visited it before within a period of up to one year.

We would not recommend going into the htaccess file modification process, to configure caching. You can, of course, contact the right web development company to help you with this.

6. Minify

By optimizing the code of your website, that is, by removing spaces, comments and generally the code that your site is not using, you can dramatically increase its speed.

There are several tools available online that can easily minify your HTML, CSS and JS files.

If you want to use the tools Google recommends, these are the following:

7. Compression

You can use compression programs (eg Gzip, 7zip) to compress the HTML, CSS and JS files.

Do not compress your images with such programs. Instead, use an image editor as we suggest in the "Images" section.

8. Redirects

Reduce and, if possible, eliminate redirects completely. Whenever a page redirects, that is, redirects the user to another page within your website, the user must wait until the HTTP request -> response cycle is completed.

9. Server

Last but not least, the speed of the server and its features. The server you choose to host your site can greatly affect its speed.

Don't choose web hosting based solely on the cost of hosting. The $20 or $30 you can spend more, per year, can play a big role in the speed of your website and not just. More information on hosting can be found in our article "How to Choose the Right Web Hosting".

In conclusion about website speed

Before you take any action to increase the speed of your website, you can use Google Page Speed ​​Insights, a Google tool to control the speed of your website.

If you have Google Analytics embedded in your page by going to Google Analytics via the menu on the left by clicking Behavior -> Site Speed, you can find detailed information about the speed of each page of your website and let Google propose corrections.

Then, you can try the ways of increasing the website speed we propose in this article and which, as we have seen, are the following:

  1. Template
  2. Images
  3. CSS
  4. Javascript
  5. Caching
  6. Minify
  7. Compression
  8. Redirects
  9. Server

If none of the above can't help you effectively reduce the speed of your website, it may be time to build a new website for your business, hotel or online store. In this case, it is good to know that there are custom platforms for website development that are not only fast but also have many additional advantages.

If all of this seems difficult to you and you believe you won't make it by yourself, Cloud O.E., with extensive experience in web development and SEO, can help you increase the speed of your website. What you have to do is contact us.

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