Tips for Website Performance Optimization

When people talk about website performance optimization, it all comes down to speed.

Here we will present you with some tips that will help you load your website faster.

Even now, when mobile operators are developing 5G, and the Internet speed of most providers exceeds 100 Mbit/s, the page loading speed issue is still important. This parameter can significantly affect conversion, bounce rate, traffic, and other KPIs that are important to the business. 

Besides, search engines such as Google consider website speed in search rankings. Google will also penalize the site for loading slow. 

Let’s now look at some suggestions that you can implement to improve the performance of your website.

Use Separate JS and CSS Files

When a user loads your webpage for the first time, the browser caches external resources, such as JavaScript and CSS files.

Therefore, it is best to place such files outside the page.

Resizing Images 

Resizing images is the process of scaling the image to fit the size specified in CSS or HTML. For example, the user uploaded a 1200 x 1200 image and used it as a 120 x 120 thumbnail, and set this size in HTML/CSS. 

That means that the browser must download the original file and shrink it before displaying it. 

Using appropriately scaled images will help you increase traffic and speed up website visits, especially on mobile devices and tablets. 

Therefore, the scaled image takes up less space, loads faster, and reduces the use of server resources.

Unnecessary HTTP Requests

When loading a website, unloading page elements (JavaScript, images, CSS, and videos) consumes system resources. HTTP requests for such elements significantly reduce the speed of your site. 

To avoid “unnecessary” requests, all you need to do is reduce the number of page components.

You have to combine most images into one graphic file (CSS sprite); you should also use inline images in the page style sheet, try to combine several CSS files or scripts on one page into one file; and last but not least you must minimize the number of scripts and plugins.

JPEG Image Compression

Generally, JPEG images are loaded from top to bottom and are called sequential images. However, there are progressive JPEGs. Instead, they display the entire image by loading only a portion of the data. 

That means that the images may appear pixelated until they are completely loaded. Progressive JPEG is smaller, so using it will speed up the loading speed and the overall performance of the website. 

Your server request will be shorter and more efficient, which will also reduce the use of resources such as bandwidth and disk space.

Minify CSS, HTML and JavaScript

Code minimization is the process of removing unnecessary spaces, newlines, comments, and block separators from the code. 

Those types of characters are used for easier reading and visual purposes, but they are not necessary for proper code execution. 

We recommend using GTMetrix, among others. One of the significant advantages of GTMetrix is ​​the ability to immediately view optimized versions of all the components of your site’s elements such as CSS, JS, and HTML files by clicking the View Optimized Version button next to the file. 

Therefore, shrinking will increase the loading speed of your page, which will result in satisfied visitors and better search engine performance.

Lazy Loading

Lazy loading will allow you to build web pages that can be updated asynchronously anytime you want. 

That means that you don’t have to reload the entire page when the user performs the operation, but only need to refresh part of the page. 

Some development libraries such as jQuery, Prototype, and MooTools can make delayed content to load faster.

Use a CDN

The content delivery network (CDN) is the best choice for speeding up website loading and optimizing its resources. 

CDN can quickly load your static content (images, CSS, JavaScript, video, etc.) and deliver it to the place closest to your visitors, thereby significantly reducing server response time. 

It is suitable for large sites with a lot of content, but any site can use it to speed up work.

Optimize Web Caching 

Before opening the page, the browser needs to download all its content (HTML, CSS, Javascript, and images). And if your internet speed is slow (or if you are using a mobile connection), downloading large sites can be very painful. 

Each file sends a separate request to the server, and the more requests it receives at the same time, the more time it needs to work, and the slower the page loads.

In that case, make use of the browser cache. The browser cache can save some files of the website together with the user. 

That means that the browser will need to download fewer data and reduce the requests it makes to the server, reducing the website’s loading time.

Optimize Your Code 

Analyze your source code. Do you need to use all the tags, or can it be displayed using CSS? 

For example, instead of using <h2> <em>your sub title</ em> </ h2>, you can easily use CSS to use font-style attributes to make the sub title italic. 

That’s why writing effective code not only reduces the size of HTML and CSS documents but also makes it easy to maintain.

404 Errors

Any missing files will generate HTTP 404 errors. On an average site with an average module load, you can see how the server uses 60-100 MB of memory for 404 delivery. 

We do not recommend that you install plugins or modules for checking 404 errors. Instead, we recommend that you use external services (such as Online Broken Link Checker or Screaming Frog) to periodically launch the website. 

Those tools ensure that you do not waste server resources on that task.

Gzip Compression

If someone visits your site, it will send a request to your server to deliver the required files. The larger these files, the longer it will take to download them. 

By compressing the web page and CSS before sending it to the browser, the download time can be significantly reduced due to the smaller file size. 

Gzip finds the same lines in text files and temporarily replaces them, thereby reducing the overall size of the file. 

Therefore, because HTML and CSS files use many repeated lines and spaces, Gzip compression is particularly useful in web technology.

Keep-Alive

Keep-Alive allows the user’s browser to download all necessary content (such as JavaScript, CSS, images, videos, etc.) through a permanent TCP connection without creating multiple requests for each file. 

That will provide speed and performance because your visitor’s browser will be able to get all the information from a permanent HTTP connection. 

Keep-Alive is a form of communication between the server and the browser, which can reduce the number of requests and page loading speed.

Infrastructure

Having a fast web host is just as important as optimizing website performance. We recommend that you use VPS, if you use WordPress or Drupal, it is recommended to use managed hosting, depending on your knowledge level and time.

Hotlink protection

Using hotlink protection refers to restricting the URL of HTTP referrers to prevent other users from embedding your resources on other websites. 

Hotlink protection will save bandwidth by preventing other sites from displaying images.

Conclusion

The loading speed of the website is critical because every second affects the loss of sales and the position of the site in the search engines. 

Spend some time checking the speed test results of the website to find the issues that have the most significant impact on your site’s overall performance.

If you are ready to improve your website but do not have an in-house team to do it, Optimal Websites has a great group of experienced developers that know how to tailor optimization for your unique needs. Contact us or browse our website for more information.

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