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How Can You Speed Up Your Website? 10 Simple SEO Tips

Slow websiteThe speed and performance of your website is becoming an ever increasing SEO ranking factor as well of the utmost importance for user satisfaction. As internet speeds and browsers gets faster your sites have to keep up in order to provide the user with the optimal experience they deserve, as well as maintaining good rankings in search pages.

In this post, I will give you some simple ideas and tips so that you can improve your site’s speed without too much technical knowledge!

 

Do I need to speed up my site?

That’s the first thing you need to know obviously and there is a great online tool you can use that will tell you your site speed in an easy to read load time ‘waterfall.’ This tool should identify to you whether or not your site is slow and in need of a bit of help. You can also use Google Analytics to view your page speed but it is less accurate and doesn’t give you as much information.

 Page Speed Waterfall

 

On Page

In Page Elements

Using the Waterfall from the page speed tool you may identify elements like images or broken links that can be easily compressed, removed or repaired. For example in the image below you can see that by comparison the .GIF file is loading much slower than the other elements on the page. This may be easy to resolve with a better GIF or a compressed version of the same one to speed it up on a page load.

Extraneous code

Extraneous codeSite’s are rarely static and over time they’ll inevitably evolve and develop into larger or more sophisticated versions or their original build. For the most part the evolution of a site is done on top of the current design as for logical, branding and usually budgeting reasons an entirely new site for each change isn’t feasible. With every new element added or plugin installed your sites code changes and sometimes if you use a CMS (and most sites do) it may inadvertently add large chunks of code onto the page when things are changed. This code and the code from non-functional plugins is just one more thing for a search engine or browser to read and this can slow a site down. All you need to do to remedy this is run through your sites code, identify any old code that is redundant or clearly some CMS hash code that serves no purpose and delete it. If you are worried about removing code and not being able to recover it if you remove the wrong bit you can try ‘commenting’ it out. This will allow you to test if the change works before removing it entirely.

More information can be found here .

Externalise CSS and Javascript 

A big part of a sites layout and functionality these days centres around CSS and Javascript. It tells a browser how to present the sites layout and how to run various elements of the site. Sometimes though you may have a lot of lines of code on a site to manage this and in much the same way as the last example it can slow a page loading time and overall site speed. The best way to resolve this is to externalise these pieces of code where possible and refer the browser to them by way of a link in the code. Basically you can then have the bulky page CSS theme code and code heavy Javasctipts on their own page and tell the browser where they can find them in order to make the site look or do something. This can have a big improvement on your page load times.

You can find more information here.

Serve Resources From A Single Source

Sometimes on a site you may have accidentally set few different ways to reach an external resource like a social media button in the header and footer of a page. They may be almost identical URLs that reach the same resource (i.e. http & https versions) but where the browser has to load more links than it needs to it can slow the site down (even very slightly). Very simple to fix but in terms of time versus speed improvement it may not have a big ROI for the site.

You can find more information here.

Image CompressionImage Compression

Most sites have images on them. It makes them look better and they are also used to help engage the user in the content on them. What you might not realise is that some images may slow your page load time. To speed image load times up all you’ll need to do is compress the images into smaller files. There are lots of tools and image editor suites that you will be able to do this with.

You can find more information here.

Latest Code Language

Perhaps not as easy to resolve as some of the other tips above as in some cases it could involve lots of small changes to your site’s code. The way a site is encoded evolves with time and technology developments. There are several different versions of each web page code language and having your site comply to the latest version will help to speed your site up when a browser comes to the page and decodes it into the visible/interactive format that you see on the screen. You can check your sites compliance to the different coding languages here and use the filter options.

Limit Redirects Where Possible 

During the life of a site pages will become obsolete or move to different versions and there are always internal as well as external links pointing to the old page.  The best way to make sure the user experience isn’t interrupted is to redirect the URL that is being requested to the new version or to the most relevant alternative. Redirects are good for the user in terms of getting them to the page they wanted however having too many redirects can slow a site down. To minimise redirects on a site you should ensure that the internal linking is as up to date as possible rather than redirect internally and if possible minimise the amount of external links that are redirected. Error handling is also an alternative option whereby you can set up rules at the higher levels of a site’s structure to point a page that generates a 404 error to the home page for example. This is a bit more technical and should be done with caution is if this isn’t done correctly it can create usability issues for a site.

You can find more information here.

 

Off Page

Server Located in the country closet or in the target audience location 

If you have the bulk of your audience in one country or continent in particular you should try where possible to have your site hosted there. This will reduce lag in page load time and will ultimately speed up your sites load time from the user perspective.

Pick a reputable Host with good speed, bandwidth and uptime 

Before you register with a host you should do your research into them. Make sure they have a good reputation in their field and that they offer good speeds as well bandwidth limits. Having a good, reliable and fast host will not only give your site a better uptime, it will also ensure that you are getting the best possible load time from them for the money you pay.

 You can find more hosting information here.

 

Fast websiteI hope that this post has given you some fairly simple ideas on how you can improve your site speed. If you have any questions, other ideas to add or would like more information on some of the points I have covered please feel free to add a comment at the bottom of the post or connect with me on the social media channels in my bio.

 

   
Nikhil Kumar
My findings on this, http://www.techwyse.com/blog/infographics/improve-your-websites-page-load-speed-for-better-seo/
Nikhil Kumar
My findings on this, http://www.techwyse.com/blog/infographics/improve-your-websites-page-load-speed-for-better-seo/
Nizam Khan
Awesome and useful tips to implement. Thanks Chris and tweeted :)
Nizam Khan
Awesome and useful tips to implement. Thanks Chris and tweeted :)
Kelvin Myles
Some good advice here Chris - thanks :)
Chris Simmance
Thanks Kelvin, I have written a review on the Microsoft SEO Toolkit this month that you might be interested in. It can help identify some of the areas I covered in this post much more easily. Let me know what you think - http://www.koozai.com/blog/search-marketing/microsoft-seo-toolkit-review/
Kelvin Myles
Some good advice here Chris - thanks :)
Chris Simmance
Thanks Kelvin, I have written a review on the Microsoft SEO Toolkit this month that you might be interested in. It can help identify some of the areas I covered in this post much more easily. Let me know what you think - http://www.koozai.com/blog/search-marketing/microsoft-seo-toolkit-review/
Helmuts Meskonis
I would suggest to use gtmetrix instead of pingdom tool.
Chris Simmance
I've just taken a look at the gtmetrix tool. LOVE IT! :-)
Nikhil Kumar
Agreed!.....Gtmetrix gives us suggestions which is very helpful in improving your website. It is very helpful if you are dealing with complex sites. Thanks, anyway!
Helmuts Meskonis
I would suggest to use gtmetrix instead of pingdom tool.
Chris Simmance
I've just taken a look at the gtmetrix tool. LOVE IT! :-)
Nikhil Kumar
Agreed!.....Gtmetrix gives us suggestions which is very helpful in improving your website. It is very helpful if you are dealing with complex sites. Thanks, anyway!
 
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