Website speed is a big concern especially after Google Penguin algorithm. If your blog or website taking huge time to load (like more than 3 seconds) then it may not perform good in search results because search engines wants to serve quality sites to their searchers and if a site takes more time to load then it may irritate users and serve him a bad user experience. According to major search engines every online users deserves a better and faster web experience. But the question is how to speed up your site? I personally diagnose this issue and found many errors which make a website driving slowly. I have asked by many bloggers and webmasters that how to decrease loading time of a website that’s why I decided to share my experience on website’s loading time. So let’s get started.
Note: – you can take help Google Page Speed Tool to Check your website’s loading time.
Expire Headers –Most Important
If you have a big online venture or if you want to make your website big and want to increase your visitors then you must know about expire headers. Expire header plays an important role to speed up a website. Expire headers tell our browsers from where to load a website (i.e. from the original source or from the browser’s cache). We can use expire headers for our images and pages which will not change in future or will change after a long time. The main purpose of the expire headers is to reduce receiving of unnecessary HTTP requests. But make sure that you’re using expire headers only on those pages which will not change in coming future or will change so far because if you’re using these settings your changes will not visible for your visitors when they’ll Re-visit your site. But you can use expire headers for your images because images takes maximum time to load. I’ll also explain you how to use expire headers in my upcoming articles and for the timings let’s get engage with site speed.
Web Hosting Server Plan Selection
A web hosting service is very important for a website. There’re many plans available to choose from (like shared, VPS, dedicated and CDN) but proper web hosting plan selection is very important. According to my experience you can start with a shared hosting plan (which is starts with $ 4-5 /month) at your initial stage but I suggest you to use a dedicated IP address with it (you can go for bluehost for your web hosting need). Never use a shared IP address. Using dedicated IP address sent a quality signal to search engines about your site.
Note: – never start with a local web hosting provider because they’re not able to provide better support and bandwidth.
And when you’ll start getting big number of visitors at your site then you can shift to VPS or Dedicated servers. VPS and Dedicated servers are suitable to handle high flow of visitors. You can also go for CDN. CDN is also called content delivery network. CDN is a bunch of servers working around the world. CDN works with cloud technologies and they response from the same country from where they received a HTTP request like if your visitor is from USA then USA based server will handle his/ her query and same will happen with all other countries.
Web Hosting for Country Specific Websites
If you’re in a business which is country specific then it’s good to use a server which is hosted in the same country where you’re dealing. Same CDN formula applies here also. If you’re based in USA and operating a business in USA only then it’s good to use a USA based server and IP address. If a searcher is from USA then Google like to prefer him a USA based website (but SEO Terms Applicable here).
You Can USE a Caching Plugin –For WordPress Users
There are lots of articles available online helping searchers to select a cache plugin but I came across many articles and find nothing about what exactly cache is?
What is Caching in Websites and Browsers?
In simple words -Cache is called snapping. Whenever we visit a website our browser store a copy the static data of that website like images, java scripts and CSS and whenever we revisit that site it (our browser) servers that static data from its own cached copy. There’re two types of cache technologies available which we can use to make our site faster –one is client side cache and another one is server side cache but about cache in details we’ll discuss later in our article and for the timings we shall continue with which cache plugin is good for us if we’re using WordPress.
Which Cache Plugin is Best to Use For a WordPress Site/ Blog?
I check and analyze many plugins available for free for caching. I also check it with my fellow bloggers and webmasters to find out best caching plugin for WP and find that W3 Total Cache is best. This plugin works great if configured properly. We’ll also discuss how to use W3 Total cache in our upcoming posts. You can download it through your WP’s control panel and can install it to speed up your site.
Optimize You Database on Regular Basis
It’s very important to optimize your website’s database on regular basis. you can learn how to optimize SQL or My SQL database or can also hire a developer to optimize it. Optimizing databases on regular basis helps a lot to speed up your site and to reduce its loading time. I’ll show you how to optimize SQL and My SQL databases in my coming articles.
Theme and Site Design Plays an Important Role
Website’s and Blog’s themes plays an important role in website speed optimization. If you’re using a heavy responsive theme for your site then your site will definitely take more time than expectations. You have to select a theme which is very soft and free from all kind of errors and bugs. I got this issue at my initial stage and recover from it after after a long time. Actually it’s really hard to discover why our site is loading slowly especially for new comers.
Image Optimization –Very Important to Decrease Loading Time
Images are the soul of a website and also very important in terms with SEO. But as we already discussed above that images takes maximum time to load so we need to optimize them. But what we can do to make them load faster. There’s only solution to keep them smaller in size. But how to reduce an image size? For this I will three suggestions for you:
- Use PNJ images instead of JPEG and other formats because PNG images don’t use backgrounds that’s why there size are smaller as compare to JPEG and other formats.
- You can also use a plugin like WP Smush it to compress your images.
- You can learn software like Photoshop to create your own images or can also hire a designer to set up images as required.
Optimize Content on Index Page
The next thing you can do is to optimize your content on your home page URL. Like if you’re using a WordPress blog on a shared hosting account the it’s preferable to use 5 posts per page to reduce it’s loading time.
Reduce Refresh and Redirection tags and Their Time
I came across many web owners and webmasters using a huge number of Redirections on their websites. This is also a big cause of website slowness. Don’t use useless redirection or refresh tags on your website. Do not use those domains or pages which are already redirecting some other pages or domain. Decide first that which is the target page or domain and then link them directly. Like you have three domains like A, B and C and C is the target the do not use this technique like A-B-C. link C directly to A.
Remove Unnecessary Tags and Elements
Remove all unnecessary tags and elements from your website. For an example use CSS and Java Scripts outside from your website and link them to your main pages. Do not use main CSS and JS files on min pages of your website.
At the last of this article I can only say that try using the above steps to speed up your site and to reduce its loading time to make it faster while loading. If you still have some queries or suggestions you can make them in comments.