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Optimizing Site Speed and Load Times

How fast do your pages load? There is a high correlation between loading speed and reader engagement. In today’s time there are a lot of options available and with access to faster internet connections, people can easily move to other websites. People have a low tolerance for slow-loading pages and would sooner leave the page than wait for it to load.

So while you are aiming for an aesthetically attractive website, the speed by which the pages load should also be factored in. There are actually some things you can do towards making pages load faster.

Here are some ways:

–          Optimize images. You can easily transform cut the size and “weight” of an image without sacrificing the quality of the image. Streamline, compress and viciously cut down all possible kilobytes related to images before loading them to the website. Ideally, your image sizes will only be the minimum of what is required for the design of the page. This cuts down on the extra step of having the browser resize the picture file to suit a particular device. Another way to “lighten up” a page is to use thumbnails instead of the actual image. This especially works for product pages, where you give the reader the option to see a larger version simply by clicking on the thumbnail.

–          Simplify file and image retrieval. Place your image files in the same folder to minimize the time it takes for the browser to load the image. Instead of having to fetch the images on different file folders from the server, where sometimes the same picture is named differently, the browser can just reload the images from the cache.

–          Minimize files involved in HTTP requests. This does not only include images, but also Javascript library references, stylesheets, Flash and so on. The more elements you have, the more HTTP requests are needed to call these up from their respective locations. You can also use one style sheet instead of multiple style sheets. You can just simplify the design of each page, cutting down the number of elements you have. If a graphic or time display is really unnecessary to your website, remove them.

–          Streamline code. The technical term is to “minify” your HTML, Javascript or CSS codes. You use tabs, spaces, line or page breaks and other formatting to make the code more readable to the programmer. However, this can potentially slow down loading time without adding any value to the end-user. Eliminate unnecessary code, making your resources as lean as you can make them.

–          Compress, compress, compress. Zip and compress content so as to reduce the bandwidth on the server level.  Compression can decrease “file weight” by as much as 90%. This also serves to decrease data usage for the reader.

–          Use browser caching. This allows returning visitors with faster loading speeds. At the first visit, caching allows some of the main elements to be stored in the visitor’s hard drive using temporary storage. This way, when they return to the website, the server only needs to load fewer elements.

–          Prioritize yet optimize above-the-fold content. Design your pages so that the above-the-fold section loads faster than the rest of the page. You can compress above-the-fold content so that the visitors can start reading while the rest of the elements loads.

–          Minimize plugins and redirects. Plugins are useful but too much can cause technical issues and crashes. So do redirects, which result in additional HTTP requests, which add to the load time.

About Adaptivity Pro

For more tips and techniques to speed up websites and other areas related to Utah web design, Adaptivity Pro is your go-to company. Comprised of a crack team of talented experts in various areas, you get a holistic approach at solving problems and improving performance for your website.

 

Article Provided By:
Adaptivity Pro Web Design
Salt Lake City Utah
P.O. Box 951049
South Jordan, UT
o: 801-512-2006
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