How to speed up my slow website

Many years ago, websites simply consisted of a few lines of text – loading almost instantly. However, as times have gone by, we’ve added more and more content to our websites, which results in websites which load slower.

Google uses page load speed as a ranking factor, so if appearing in search engines such as Google is important for your website, you should definitely consider the following points.

Optimize (compress) images

Since images usually take up a large percentage of your website’s content, it’s important for page speed that the sizes of these images are kept as small as possible, whilst maintaining high image quality.

Ideally, to get the best compression ratio, you should use a different compressor for each type of image; jpeg, png etc.

Related Topic:  Why Website Speed Matters

For PNG images, I’d recommend using TinyPNG. On one image I tested – which was originally 2.85MB, TinyPNG reduced to just 685KB! That’s an incredible 77% reduction in size! Since this is lossy compression, you might notice a slight reduction in quality, but only when you inspect the images very closely.

If you have JPEG images (usually photos taken with a camera), JPEGmini is good choice here, and offers lossless compression. As an example, I managed to compress a JPEG image from 2870KB to 1927KB, with no visible loss of quality!

Enable Gzip Compression

This works by compressing your website’s content whilst in transit from your web host to the visitor. Most websites use gzip compression these days, so if you don’t implement it you’ll be left behind.

[button size=”big” text=”FREE Speed Analysis Of Your Website” link=”http://www.ebizuniverse.com/dev/website-speed-optimization-analysis/” color=”blue”]

Enable Gzip Compression on Apache web servers

To enable it on Apache web servers, simply add the following code to your .htaccess file (which can be found in the main directory of your website):

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript

Read More:  Get Expert Help with Website Speed Optimization

Enable Gzip Compression on NGINX web servers

Alternatively, if you use NGINX web server, you should add the following code to your configuration (config) file:

gzip on;
gzip_comp_level 2;
gzip_http_version 1.0;
gzip_proxied any;
gzip_min_length 1100;
gzip_buffers 16 8k;
gzip_types text/plain text/html text/css application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

# Disable for IE < 6 because there are some known problems
gzip_disable “MSIE [1-6].(?!.*SV1)”;

# Add a vary header for downstream proxies to avoid sending cached gzipped files to IE6
gzip_vary on;

For our site, this gave an incredible reduction in the size of our page, which relates to an increase in page speed of up to 78%!

GzipEnabled

Enable Browser Caching

If your website uses WordPress as it’s CMS, I’d recommend installing a plugin such as W3 Total Cache, which takes care of adding the code needed – all you need to do is activate the plugin and select the options.

Alternatively, if you’re not using WordPress, or you’d rather do this manually, simply add the following lines of code to your .htaccess file (located in the ‘public_html’ folder:

ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 second”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 2592000 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/javascript “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType application/javascript “access plus 604800 seconds”
ExpiresByType text/html “access plus 2592000 seconds”

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Whilst you may have the perfect setup if you have a web server in the UK and 100% of your site’s visitors are based in the UK, the reality is usually that visitors come from all over the world. To have a web server in each of these countries would be an expensive nightmare, so CDN’s are becoming increasingly popular as a way to have a ‘virtual’ server in many countries across the world.

CDN companies essentially have servers in many locations across the world which hold (cache) copies of your website and it’s content such as images, videos, attachments etc. Most websites will usually have their website hosted in the USA or Europe, so if you’re based in Australia for example, it’d be much quicker to download large files such as images from a CDN in Sydney rather than the main web server in the USA or Europe.

Struggling with a slow website? These tips should help or if you’d like we’ll be happy to to take a look at your website and provide you a FREE review, Contact one of our consultants today or call us at 1-800-379-2829.

[button size=”big” text=”FREE Speed Analysis Of Your Website” link=”http://www.ebizuniverse.com/dev/website-speed-optimization-analysis/” color=”blue”]

Website Speed Optimization Company

Web developers are a technical bunch, and there are many tools out their to help make their job easier. There are 10’s, maybe even 100’s of potentially useful tools for web developers, so here are my top 5 tools for web developers.

Sublime Text 2

SublimeText2_Screenshot

The most well-known code editor on the market – if you’re not using Sublime Text, then you probably should.

Sublime Text understands and highlights all major coding languages, including HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Python, C# and Ruby, coloring the code to make it easier for you to read.

A free ‘evaluation’ license is available, or alternatively you can buy it for a one-off payment of $70. It is available on Windows, OS X and Linux.

Firebug

Firebug

This useful add-on for Firefox which can help web developers to find errors in code or identify why a particular element of the code isn’t working as expected. Simply right-click on the element, then click ‘Inspect Element using Firebug’ – you’ll then see a small box at the bottom of your browser highlighting the particular part of the code.

Another great feature of Firebug is that you can even (as shown in the above screenshot) edit the code in your browser to try different variations to see what looks best.

Firebug is only available for the Firefox browser, though a more basic version; Firebug Lite, is available for all other major browsers.

Lorem Ipsum Generator

Lorem Ipsum

When you’re coding a website, there are times where you probably won’t have any content to add to any pages – either because the client hasn’t sent it over yet, or you simply need a little more time to think what you’re going to write.

In these situations, the Lorem Ipsum Generator can help by giving you ‘dummy’ text to paste into pages and individual content blocks. This way, you and your client will be able to visualise what the website will look like with content.

PlaceIt

PlaceItt

Ever want to show off a new website in your portfolio? Screenshots don’t look great, and taking a photo of the webpage on your dusty monitor doesn’t look great either.

This is where PlaceIt comes to the rescue! Simply select one of 100’s of templates

You can download small images free of charge, but if you wish to have the image in a larger resolution, a small fee is charged.

Pingdom Tools

This is probably my favorite due to it’s simple interface and quick response. Pingdom’s main service is website uptime monitoring, but they also offer a useful selection of tools which web developers may find useful.

For example, once you’ve built a website for you or your client, you’ll want to test it to ensure it’s fast to load (not just on your computer!), and that there are no issues.

Simply head over to Pingdom Tools, enter your website’s URL, hit ‘Test Now’, and it’ll run a speed test.

Don’t worry if you don’t get a great score, as the tool displays the load time of each individual element on your page on a ‘waterfall’ chart, so you can see what exactly is making your website load slowly.

Pingdom Tools Test