How to Speed Up Your Website

If your website was built a few years ago you will probably have noticed that it is starting to slow up a little, or a lot depending on the size of your site. There are many reasons for this but most of it can be put down to the amount of data that is on your site. If pages are slow to load then visitors will get fed up waiting and simply move to another site, so it is imperative that your site is efficient and fast. Here are some tips that you can do yourself that will help speed up your website.

Reduce and Combine Files

Many of the files on your site contain either old or the same information. And the files that determine the appearance of your site namely CSS, HTML, and Javascript are perhaps where you should start. One of the problems with these files is that they grow bigger every time somebody visits your site by adding to the number of requests. It is possible to reduce these files by combing them or minifying them. Minifying means removing any unnecessary code, whitespace or formatting which will make your pages as lean as possible.

Speed Up Loading Time

A big part of making your website faster is the loading time that your pages take, but many people overlook a key part of this and that is the time it takes for your website to begin to start loading. This is commonly known as TTFB (Time to First Byte). Basically this is the time that is taken for a browser to wait before getting its first response from the server. There is a recommendation from Google that this should be no more than 200ms. This can be speeded up using developers tools and is really quite straightforward.

Reduce Server Response Time

The DNS (domain name system) lookup for your site is directly responsible how fast your site loads, it is the connection between your site and the server. When a user types in a URL into their favorite browser, the DNS server then translates this information into an IP (Internet Protocol) address that gives its location. It is like your computer is looking through a phone book for the right number and information. To solve this issue if you have slow response times may need the switching of your DNS provider.

Hosting Options

When you first set up your new website you will probably want to keep costs down, and many people opt for the cheapest hosting they can get. But this is really false economy, especially when traffic builds up and your site gets more popular.

There are three options when looking at hosting:

  • Dedicated Server
  • VPS Hosting
  • Shared Hosting

As you would think shared hosting is by far the cheapest but remember you are sharing resources with other sites. In the case of VPS, the hosting is still shared but you have a dedicated amount of resources. Finally, a dedicated server is the best but most expensive form of hosting. There are numerous other ways to speed your website up, and sometimes it is hard finding where to start. But it is important that you place a peg in the ground and start somewhere.

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