How to Check and Improve Website Speed?

Website speed is highly important when it comes to generating or losing revenue. Various studies have proven that slow loading speeds directly affect traffic since people are quite sensitive to the length of time they have to wait for pages to load.

For example, a Linden 2006 study revealed that a mere 5 second increase (from .4 to .9 seconds) in page load speed dropped Google’s traffic and ad revenue a whopping 20 percent.  An Amazon study by Kohavi and Longbotham in 2007 had similar findings. A one percent drop in sales occurred with every 100 milliseconds of increased load time.

The Importance of Website Speed

Website speed is also taken into consideration by Google when it comes to ranking. The faster the speed, the higher the ranking. This decision by Google is due to the fact that 75 percent of users have declared that they would not revisit a website if it took longer than 4 seconds to load. Therefore, slow web loading times not only affects visitor experience, but it also prevents visitors from being able to readily reach your site because of low Google rankings.

Since web speed is so important to internet business, you should actively seek ways to increase the running speed of your site. You can check the speed of your webpage by using YSlow on Yahoo, or using either Page Speed Insights or Firebug for Firefox offered by Google. Following are some of the best ways to check website speed.

Compress and Scale Website Images

Images take up a lot of server space and, if they are not tweaked to web-based quality format, they will increase loading time. Therefore, ensure that all of the photos and images used throughout your website are compressed and properly scaled.

You can use the Page Speed plugin offered by Google to compress your images. Once compressed to web-based quality, the images are saved into a chosen local file and uploaded as replacements for non-compressed images.

Photoshop can be used to correctly scale images to pixel dimensions that are the same as your HTML code. By scaling your images to proper pixel size, you eliminate the lag time required by the server to re-size them upon viewing.

Utilize CSS Sprites and Browser Caching

To further increase your website speed you can utilize CSS sprites which allow you to combine images and reduce loading time. Therefore, you can combine numerous images into one CSS sprite and increase speed because your browser will be opening one photo instead of numerous photos. CSS sprites also allow you to maintain the effect of all the images.

Another way to reduce server lag is to utilize browser caching. Browser caching is used to store static resources which also frees up considerable space and, therefore, increases webpage speed. Browser caching is enabled by adding specific code to the .thaccess file.

Relocate JavaScript and Compress Your JavaScript, CSS and HTML Files

If your JavaScript is positioned at the top of any of your HTML documents then they will act as blockages to page loadings making them open very slowly. Therefore, you should relocate your JavaScript towards the bottom of your pages. You can also utilize HTML code in order to defer parsing until after the other aspects of the page have fully loaded.

Compressing, or minifying, your JavaScript files as well as your CSS and HTML files will also increase loading speed. There are various resources on the internet, such as minifier, that can be used to compress these kinds of files.

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