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6 Surefire Methods to Improve Page Speed for Your Website

Shahzad Saeed | June 27, 2016

The speed of your website has an important role in both getting your website ranked on Google and providing a great user experience to your visitors. A study shows that 40% of website visitors are leaving a website immediately if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

The same study also reveals that 79% of online shoppers won’t return to a store if they found any issue with the site’s performance. Nonetheless, your website speed can even make or break your business.

If you haven’t invested in improving the speed of your website, probably you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Let’s take a look at a few methods to skyrocket the page speed of your website.

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Method #1: Image optimization

If you’re like most bloggers, images are the largest assets of your website that your visitors need to be downloaded. There are many ways to optimize images on your WordPress website. Some of them are:

  • Image compression: Compression is the process of decreasing the images sizes dramatically by algorithmically removing image info that a human eye can’t perceive. If you’re on WordPress, you can install necessary image optimization plugins.
  • Lazy load: If you’re using too many images on your blog posts or any web pages, you can use lazy load to improve the speed of your web page. Lazy load makes sure that each image gets load only when it is visible to your website visitors. For WordPress, you can download lazy load plugin here.
  • Use CSS: Instead of actually using an image on your website, you can create it by simply using CSS functions. You can learn more about creating images using CSS from W3Schools.

Method #2: Use a CDN

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of multiple servers that are located at various places throughout the world. It speeds up your website by caching the static content and files of your site on different servers and distributes the content around the world on the basis of geographic locations of your visitor, so it’s closer to your visitor.

In addition, always make sure that your website is powered with best WordPress hosting, so it doesn’t slow down your website.

Let’s take a look at a couple of free CDN services.

1. Incapsula

Incapsula is one of the most popular free CDN networks out there. Aside from the key service, its free plan offers useful features like login protection and access control.

If you have a website with low traffic, a free plan would work fine for you. If your website is SSL, you should sign up for a pro plan with Incapsula whereas CloudFlare’s free plan covers SSL support as well. You can compare different pricing and plans here.

2. CloudFlare

CloudFlare is yet another popular CDN network that powers hundreds of different sites and blogs around the world. CloudFlare claims that they are serving 2 million web properties to supercharge their website with speed.

With free plan, the maximum upload size is 100 MB. For advanced features like faster site performance and virtually real-time statistics, you can sign up to a pro plan at any time.  The pro plan will cost you just $20 per month.

The best thing about their pricing is, it doesn’t depend on the bandwidth and with just one account, and you can have mix plan types like free, pro and business versions.

Method #3: Minify resources

The page editor (WYSIWYG) is what makes WordPress so popular. The benefit of using the visual page editor is that you are not required to know HTML tags in order to start creating your web page or blog post.

With that said, WordPress page editor sometimes creates messy code, which can even slow down your website. By minification, you can remove any unnecessary or redundant resources such as HTML, CSS and Javascript without affecting the content and the way it looks.

Minifying your code removes white space & new line characters, comments and block delimiters

You can install PageSpeed Insights Chrome Extension to generate an optimized version of your HTML code. Run the analysis against your existing HTML page and analyze the differences. If you’re looking for a free plugin for minifying, Better WordPress Minify can be the right choice. It helps you to combine and minify the CSS and Javascript files of your website.

Method #4: Reduce the number of plugins

One of the best things about empowering a website with WordPress is that it allows you to easily enhance the site by simply installing a WordPress plugin. On the contrary, using too many plugins can even slow down your website.

If the plugins are making your site slower, you’ll need to deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins. Make sure to conduct a speed check before and after the deactivation of each plugin, so you can easily figure out the problematic plugins.

Method #5: Browser caching

When your visitor lands on your website, the elements of your site are stored on their hard drive as a temporary file, so the next time they visit the page, the browser makes it easier to load it without having to send another HTTP request.

By enabling caching, you can save time of subsequent visits. Refer to this guide for cache enabling.

Method #6: Minimize HTTP requests

Another sure-fire method to reduce the loading time of your website is by minimizing HTTP requests. According to Yahoo!, 80% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end for downloading images, css and scripts.

For faster pages, you’ll need to reduce the number of elements, which will reduce the number of HTTP requests required to render it.

Below are a few ways to minimize the HTTP requests.

  • Combine multiple stylesheets into one
  • Reduce scripts and put them at the bottom of your web page.

Final Takeaway

The above tactics are surefire method to reduce the loading time of your WordPress website. Make sure you test your WordPress site with various page speed testing tools to ensure it is optimized for speed.

Below are a few resources that come handy while evaluating your sites’ speed.

Both are available for add-ons for popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Both of them are designed to help you reduce the loading time of your web pages by showing you exactly what’s slowing them down.

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About The Author

Shahzad Saeed

Shahzad Saeed is specialized in blogging and content marketing for startups and small businesses. You can hire him for your next writing project.

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