When it comes to your website it is important that you keep up to date with the look and feel of your site so you aren’t left behind in your industry. No matter your business, this is important and whilst the current fashion in the design world is clean cut lines with a very fresh and open feel it is important that the functionality of your website doesn’t suffer. This means that you have to ensure that the loading speed does not slow down as a result of a design change. Fluidata have put together some top tips on what you can do to ensure your page content is loaded in a timely manner.
One of the first things you should remember to do is specify a character set. This is because browsers will use a default one until a time where you set one yourself. If your pages are going to be bigger than 1KB you should specify your character set as early as possible.
You should also consider reducing your HTTP requests. This is because the fewer requests that are made, the quicker the page will load. As well as this make sure that you have few DNS Lookups, this means keeping the amount of unique domain names that you point to at a minimum to increase the speed of your website.
Redirects slow down your website too and they are often a common mistake if pages have been moved or your entire website for that matter, so after a redesign ensure that there are no redirects. The most common mistake in causing redirects is leaving off the final slash of the URL which means a redirect is forced.
As you know images are classified as content and the more images there are to load the slower the page becomes, therefore it is important to optimise your content. The first way you can do this is through making images smaller in an image editor not in the HTML or CSS. You should also host the images you are using from the same URL especially if you are using the same image on other pages.
You should also consider the amount of cookies that you use too. Cookies are of course great for designers and developers but they are there to track information, the more information you want recorded, the slower your page loading time becomes. This means you should keep your cookies as small and few as you can. Get rid of any that aren’t necessary and the ones that remain need to be set at a suitable domain level.
These changes can easily be made yourself but if you really want to improve the speed of your website it is important to have your servers optimised too. If you have the know-how of course you can do this yourself but if you have a hosting company you need to ask them to do this for you.
First you can ask for a CDN. This is a content delivery network which means that your content is pushed to many servers all around the world. As a result when a customer wants to go on your site, the content is loaded quicker because it is coming from a server closer to them.
Overall if there are any changes that you want made to your website through the server it is best to go through your hosting company unless you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing.
Content supplied by Fluidata