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7 Tips To Improve Web Page Load Time

Written by Peter Gilg on - like this:
improve web page load time

With the increasing focus on Google’s Site Speed Algorithm, the following are 7 tips to improve web page load time, proven techniques well known websites use to boost their site speed.

Enable Gzip Compression

While compressing pages adds just a tad to your web server’s overhead, it will reduce bandwidth and transmission time and make pages appear to load faster for your users. Gzip is a open source compression algorithm that can be used to compress the content of your website before your the web server sends data to a client browser. You can learn how to enable Gzip in Apache here.

Minify Javascript/CSS

Minify is the process (and software) of removing unnecessary formatting characters and white space from javascript code. The result is smaller files, faster transmission and quicker page loads. You can learn all about minify javascript here.

Use A Content Distribution Network (CDN)

A CDN is a system of interconnected servers around the glove, that distribute content and assets around among them to reduce the distance between a server and a client’s browser. They are commonly used by large media web sites, such as Youtube and Break. You can find a list of free CDNs here.

Optimize Images

Take advantage of image compression and reduce the size of photos and graphics on you site dramatically. Never use a raw bitmap (.bmp) on your site, instead save photos as JPEG and graphics as PNG. Smaller images tend to be ok with a smaller quality setting, while large photos should be high to enjoy.

Use External Hosts Javascript And CSS

The Http protocol sets a limit as to how many concurrent files can be downloaded from a given host. This is currently set to two, which means the browser will have to wait for one to finish before getting the next file. While this isn’t true of all file types, it is a good enough reason to host applicable files on alternative subdomains. Hosting your Javascript and CSS files on a different subdomain increases the amount of files the browser can download simultaneously.

Avoid Using Redirects

While redirects can be very useful, it’s important to remember that implementing them forces your web server to do slightly more work per applicable request. Always avoid redirect strings (301 -> 301 -> 200 or even worse 301 -> 302 -> 200) and use these tools only when no other alternatives are available.

Use Fewer Files

Of the most simple and quick way to improve load time is to combine files into one. Remember the limit of downloads discussed in item 5 above? Try combining Javascript and CSS files, and make use of CSS sprites. It’s a method of combining several images in one file and use CSS for positioning. You can read how popular websites using sprites here.

Listed in SEO, Web Development

Tags: cdn, gzip, minify, redirect, sprite

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