If you make your website faster this will make for a better experience for your visitors. A speed improvement means that less visitors will bounce from your site, and more visitors will stick around and check out what you have to offer.
Although many of us enjoy high speed internet in North America and Europe it is important to remember that a very large portion of Internet users still uses dial up internet.
Although there are about 344,106,497 broadband subscribers worldwide, broadband users are a minority among the 2,405,518,376 Internet users in the world
The Fact that internet connections are not always fast is an important reason why having a fast site is so vital to the worldwide success a website can achieve.
Here are 5 tips for improving the speed of your website:
1. Optimize your Images
Smush.it is a Yahoo Developer tool that allows you to smush images, without causing any quality loss to the picture or graphic.
There is a WordPress smushit plugin that smushes your images automatically after you install it.
For even better lossless jpeg compression check out the free web app jpegmini.
2. Use a CDN
CDN Stands for: “Content Delivery Network.”
Content Delivery Networks are distributed computer systems that efficiently serve content items, like images, to your visitors.
The best CDN that I have used is Amazon CloudFront.
3. Upgrade your Hosting
When you sign up for a web hosting plan you will typically start off with a shared hosting account.
On a shared hosting plan your website will be hosted on a server with many other sites. If other sites experience a heavy amount of traffic, this can slow down your website.
Shared hosting is still the best option for many people and if you want to go this route I recommend the web host Bluehost.
The next step up is virtual private hosting. I recently upgrated to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) with Godaddy and although the cost is more and setup takes time this upgrade makes a BIG difference in speed.
4. Install the YSlow Firefox Plugin
This free web browser plugin will rate the speed of your site and give you actionable suggestions for improvement.
5. Install a Caching Plugin
First of all, in case you are unsure of what “caching” is here is a definition:
This term is pronounced like “cash” — not “catch,” and definitely not “cashé.” There are many different types of caches but they all serve the same purpose. A cache stores recently-used information in a place where it can be accessed extremely fast.
If you are running WordPress w3 Total Cache is a plugin that will allow the code of your website to be served up more efficiently.
The minify function of this plugin takes comments and line breaks out of the code. This reduces the file size and helps it to load faster.
Run a Before and After Speed Test
Using the free pingdom web page load time tool you can run a speed test on your site and get a benchmark for the speed of your site. After you’ve made improvements to your site’s speed you can test your speed again to see how much of an improvement was made.
Naturally you should try to get your web page load time as low as possible.
Have fun getting your site up to speed! :)
Have you optimized your website for speed? How did you make your website load faster? Let us know!