5 Ways to Increase Website Speed

Don’t sabotage that beautiful website you’ve built with slow load times! Here are a few ways to speed up your site, enhance SEO and leapfrog the competition:

Minimize request size

Ideally, an HTTP request should not go beyond 1 packet. The most widely used networks limit packets to approximately 1500 bytes, so if you can constrain each request to fewer than 1500 bytes, you can reduce the overhead of the request stream. Techniques for minimizing request time vary, but we’ll point out a few of the major ones below:

Leverage browser caching

Every time a browser loads a webpage it has to download all the web files to properly display the page. This includes all the HTML, CSS, javascript and images. A quick fix is to add the code below to your .htaccess file (or if you are using WordPress, you can use W3 Total Cache):

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 7 days”

HTTP compression

Every time a browser loads a webpage, it has to download all the associated web files. These include HTML, CSS, javascript, images and more. Abbreviating this process by enabling HTTP compression can work wonders for your website. Your web dev team won’t even have to implement specific compression mechanisms since browsers and servers have them implemented by default. They’ll just need to confirm that your server is properly configured and make the appropriate changes if it isn’t. The time spent will easily be made up for in increased speed and/or peace of mind.

Minify Resources

To speed up load times on your site, all HTML, CSS and Javascript should be “minified.” Minification involves removing unnecessary or redundant data through a process that protects your code’s functional integrity.

Two great resources for minimizing files are:

Image Compression

Here are a few quick tips for decreasing load time by compressing images:

  • Don’t upload overly large files. Instead, use Photoshop to resize or crop images to the maximum pixel size required.
  • Save Files For Web using Adobe Photoshop. Use a .jpg compression setting of about 60.
  • Use PNGs sparingly; if transparency is not required, flatten your image and try saving in .jpg format.
  • Strip out unnecessary Metadata
  • Remove Color Profiles

P.S. ImageOptim.com is great software for Optimization

Have fun downsizing!


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