Every great website aims to provide a great user experience as well as increase user satisfaction. Speed is one of the key elements that determine the quality of a website, and new traffic that comes to your site is not forgiving if your website loads like a snail. If you want to make sure that your visitors stay on your site as well as want a low bounce rate, you certainly have to pay attention to the issue of your website speed.
Since you don’t always have access to your server, you can maximize on what you can manipulate. For example, content elements are important. Here are some tips you can use to alter your content elements such that your site speed stays satisfactory:
• Rather than use them for static resources, query strings should be used for dynamic resources
• Specify a character set in the HTTP headers by adding a simple code to the header
• For some reasons like tracking clicks or indicating a new URL, you may redirect the browser to another URL. This adds latency and triggers extra HTTP requests. Unless they are absolutely necessary, refrain from redirects.
• Google recommends never requiring more than a redirect to one particular resource page, minimizing the number of domains that issue redirects, but don’t serve the content, and refraining from the reference URL’s that are known to redirect to other URLs.
• CDATA sections, HTML comments, empty elements and whitespaces only add to the size of your website and thus increase network latency. Removing them will have an opposite effect and speed up your website
• Browsers cannot do anything until a DNS Lookup is complete, and this means increased load time. So this means that minimizing DNS Lookups can speed up your website.
• Enable Keep-Alive as it allows TCP connections stay alive, thus reducing latency of subsequent requests
• Mobile’s pages tend to redirect users to different URLs and as such, making your redirects cacheable can help to speed up your website
• Content delivery networks basically refer to collections of web servers that are distributed across several locations and help with efficient content delivery to users. Opting for a CDN will have a positive impact on your site’s load time.
• According to Yahoo, Gzip is the most effective compression method available today as it can response size by up to 70%. Additionally, about 90% of the internet traffic travels through gzip-enabled browsers.
• Leverage browser caching to speed up your site
• Rendering a page always comes before loading images. To help your browser wrap around non-replaceable elements, specify image dimensions. Failure to do this will result in reflowing after image download and this only slows your site down, besides messing with the web design.
• Site owners tend to use useless colors and extra comments on images without knowing the effect this can have on the speed of their websites. Saving your images in JPEG format or minimizing the size of images will work in the favor of users on slow connections.
There are also several other ways of speeding up your website, but these are probably the most important ones that are often overlooked, even by experienced bloggers. While site speed may not be the holy grail, it’s important to understand that a website with slow speed hardly succeeds.