How to Improve Your Website Performance

When it comes to website performance, speed matters. If your website isn’t loading as fast as possible, you could be losing a lot more than just revenue. According to research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, a slow loading website leads to:

All of this leads to a loss of revenue. However, the good news is that all of it can be avoided. In this article, we’ll show you how to improve your website performance so you can keep your visitors coming back to your site and keep your profits high.

Six Ways to Improve Your Website Performance

The most common advice online when it comes to improving website performance is to use a caching plugin. However, there are a few other ways to improve the performance of your site.

1. Optimize Your Images

The first tip on the list is to start with your images and optimize them. There are several ways that you can optimize your images to reduce their size and make sure they aren’t the main culprit for your site loading slowly.

ShortPixel

2. Minimize HTTP Requests

For every image, CSS, and JavaScript file on your site, a visitor’s browser has to make an HTTP or HTTPS request to your site’s server. Multiple requests like this add to the loading time of your site. Here are a few tips to help you minimize the number of HTTP requests:

3. Minify Stylesheets and JavaScript files

Minify

It’s not unusual for CSS and JavaScript files to contain page breaks, white spaces, and line breaks that make the code easier to read. But, the downside is that such formatting increases the size of those files which in turn negatively impacts your site’s performance as the browser has to read and parse a larger file. A tool such as Minify can remove those white spaces and line breaks, making CSS and JavaScript files significantly smaller.

4. Enable Gzip compression

Another way to improve your site’s performance is to enable Gzip compression on your server. This will compress HTML and CSS files used on your site before they get sent to the browser.

Usually, a browser will check if Gzip compression is enabled and if it is, the visitor’s browser will download the Gzip file rather than requesting and downloading original HTML and CSS files.

If you’re running an Apache server and are code-savvy, you can enable the Gzip compression by modifying the .htaccess file and adding the following code provided by GTMetrix:

# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent

Once you’ve added this to the .htaccess file, you can check if Gzip compression is working properly by visiting Check GZIP Compression site.

Alternatively, you can use a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP SuperCache if you don’t feel comfortable editing the .htaccess file manually.

5. Use a CDN

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network and refers to a distributed computer network that delivers static files such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well as images and video files to visitor’s based on their geographic location. In essence, when you’re using a CDN, files mentioned above will load from a server that’s closest to the visitor browsing your site.

6. Upgrade Your Hosting Plan

If your site has grown in size and you’re receiving a high volume of traffic and visitors, it’s time to consider upgrading your hosting plan. Switching to a VPS or managed hosting plan does mean your cost will go up but it also allows you to have more control over the server resources in case of VPS hosting or access to optimized server configuration as well as take website maintenance off your plate in case of managed hosting.

7. Test the Changes

Once you’ve implemented the changes you should test your website to see the improvement in page loading times. You can use a tool like Pingdom Tools which will show you which resources are causing your website to load slow as well as let you test your site from different locations.

Pingdom Tools

You can also use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool will show you the resources that are slowing down your site and let you download optimized resources which include images, JavaScript, and CSS files.

Google PageSpeed

Improve Your Website Performance

Your website performance makes a significant difference on user experience, pageviews, and your bottom line. Use the tools within your ManageWP dashboard to check the performance of your site and then use the tips in this article to improve areas that need optimizing.

Ana Amelio

Ana Amelio is a freelance web designer and writer that geeks out about anything WordPress, branding or social media marketing related. When she isn't busy running her design and copywriting business Ley Design, she can be found reading or practicing calligraphy.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!

Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 40,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!