Best Tips on How to Improve Website Load Times

How to Improve Website Page Speed

One critical factor on page SEO that is often neglected in ranking site in search engine results is the page speed or the page load time. Page speed is a part of your on page SEO of your site, as you have complete control over it. It is how fast your website responds to web requests. Improving your website load time will certainly help with your search engine ranking results.

There is also a user psychology behind slow loading websites. Users who get to visit your site will end up frustrated or just close the opened tab in browser where your website page is loading. So having a slow loading website, will greatly affect search engines as well as your user. Do not worry though as you can optimize your site to load faster. This guide describes how you can optimize your website page speed and improve website load times. Learn tips and techniques in improving website page speed and make your web site faster.

Importance of Having a Good Page Speed

Having a website load time is very important, as it will help Google bots crawl further your website, and leads to better site indexing. It also reduces your bounce rate, and helps with your website user experience. Everyone hates slow loading websites, as time is very important for us. So how can you make your website load faster? Below are tips and tricks in optimizing your website and improve its page speed load time.

Make your Web Site Faster

Tips on Improving Website Load Times

Tip 1: Use PageSpeed from Google Code

Page Speed is a free and open-source project that helps web developers optimize their website by applying web performance best practices. Make your web site faster with Page Speed. You can download PageSpeed for Google Chrome or PageSpeed for Firefox, if you are using any of those browsers. You can also use Page Speed Online, if you don’t want to download the said extensions.

Guide on how to use Page Speed Online

1. Go to Page Speed Online https://developers.google.com/pagespeed/

page speed online

2. Type in your website url, include the “http://” and click on Analyze button.

3. Wait for it to finish testing and reviewing your website.

running page speed rules

4. It will generate a overview report, showing your overall Page Speed Score (perfect score is 100).

page speed online result

5. From the Page Speed Report generated, proceed to follow the suggestions being describe according to priority to optimize your website load time.

6. Optionally, you can also do a Page Speed mobile report, by clicking on the “mobile report” link just below your Page Speed Score result.

Tip 2: Enable Gzip on your Web Host

Gzip is a PHP code which compresses your web pages. To improve your website page speed, you can enable Gzip, if your web host allows you to do it. To enable it, just add this code below on the top of your site. (Note that code is in PHP, so it will only work for PHP files.)

<?php if (substr_count($_SERVER['HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING'], 'gzip')) ob_start("ob_gzhandler"); else ob_start(); ?>

After adding the Gzip code above, check your site, with the link below to see if was already enabled.

gzip

Gzip Test

http://www.gidnetwork.com/tools/gzip-test.php

Tip 3: Compress your Images or Optimize it

If your website loads to slow, possibly your images are the culprit. If you have Adobe Photoshop installed in your computer, you could follow these steps in optimizing your images. If not, you can use Gimp http://www.gimp.org/ and other free avaiable image compressors online to reduce image’s file size.

1. When you save an image as a JPEG file, Photoshop lets you choose what type of quality the image have. Just choose 8 to 10, as it preserves the quality of the image and lessens the image size.

2. Optionally, you can save your images as PNG to get the best quality with the least file size. You can also save your images as GIF, however GIF format seems to affect the quality or the appearance of your image. Choose wisely.

Tip 4: Set a Cache Expiration Date for your Image by using your Htaccess file

Open your .htaccess file or create one if you do not have, and place this code below.

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
<FilesMatch "\.(js|css|xml|gz)$">
Header append Vary Accept-Encoding
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch "\\.(ico|jpe?g|png|gif|swf)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=2592000, public"
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch "\\.(css)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800, public"
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch "\\.(js)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=216000, private"
</FilesMatch>
<FilesMatch "\\.(x?html?|php)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=600, private, must-revalidate"
</FilesMatch>
</IfModule>

## Expire headers
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault "access plus 7200 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/jpg "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/png "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/gif "access plus 2592000 seconds"
AddType image/x-icon .ico
ExpiresByType image/ico "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/icon "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/css "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/javascript "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType text/html "access plus 7200 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/xhtml+xml "access plus 7200 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/javascript A259200
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access plus 2592000 seconds"
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access plus 2592000 seconds"
</IfModule>

# MOD_DEFLATE COMPRESSION
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/plain text/xml application/x-javascript application/x-httpd-php
#Pour les navigateurs incompatibles
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch \bMSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip

Header append Vary User-Agent env=!dont-vary

# protect the htaccess file
<files .htaccess>
order allow,deny
deny from all

Tip 5: Place your JavaScript resources located in your header code, on the bottom of your page

JavaScript code placement can certainly give a little page load time boost on your site. The key here is to keep the JavaScript that are required by other scripts to run in the header, and place others on the bottom of your page. Doing this will make yor site load faster.

Tip 6: Remove the blank space of every file on your site

This step can be boring and tedious, but surely it can reduce the size of your web pages by at least 10% or greater, depending according to the length of the code. You can do this for your HTML, PHP, CSS, and JS files.

Tip 7: Use CSS sprites in your website design

CSS sprites is used to combine images into one image, instead of having many smaller images. It’s a CSS technique of using the position of the image in the sprite to display the image in correct position.

Tip 8: If you have so many external resources (like Javascript) in your website, use an external subdomain to load them

Load up your external resources in a separate domain or subdomain. This will allow you to use two servers insted of a single one, which load your external resources faster.

Bonus Tip (for WordPress Users): If you are a WordPress user then you can use caching plugin like WP Total Cache and Super Cache. Having your website in cache will help your loading time. This will greatly give a boost in improving your website page speed. See the WordPress plugin below.

W3 Total Cache

Get the plugin at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/

W3 Total Cache improves website performance and user experience via caching.

Wp Super Cache

Get the plugin at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-super-cache/

WP Super Cache is a WordPress caching plugin that produces static html files.

Proceed in applying these tips above, and you will make your website load faster. By reading this guide, you’ve just learned some tips on how to improve website page speed. Remember that making your webpages load fast, will not only make your site be search engine friendly, but also user friendly. For now, enjoy the speed boost brought to you by the tips above on how to improve website load times.

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Ameer

Ameer is your techie friend, the head admin, and editor-in-chief of this blog. In here we share the latest technology news and updates, computer tips and tricks, SEO, games and gaming news, and other tech articles that aims to help you with today's technology.

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2 Comments

  1. Blanca April 1, 2012
  2. Hyanne April 2, 2012

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