If there is one aspect of your website which should not be underestimated then it has to be the speed at which pages load and/or other processes are completed. Like it or not, internet users have a fairly limited attention span and if your website does not load up straight way, they will get bored and simply click over to another website.
This is one of the reasons why Google now use speed as one of the many factors used to determine a website’s rank in their search engine results. This makes it more important than ever to address the speed issue. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can speed up your website’s overall performance.
Choosing Your Hosting Carefully
Believe it or not, your choice of web host an actually have a huge impact on the speed of your website. If your site will be dealing with high volumes of traffic, then it is important to have a hosting provider who is able to handle that. If you are using a shared server then you will be sharing your resources with others and this could have a negative impact on your website’s loading speed. With a dedicated hosting service you will have all of your resources at your disposal making the website much faster.
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Optimizing Your Images
Most of us know that it is important to include images in our websites to create interesting and engaging content, but they are a double edged sword in that they are one of the main causes of sluggish websites. However, there are a number of ways to optimize these images in order to speed up your website.
When using GIFs, the format can support 256 colors, but most of the time not all of these are required. It is always worthwhile to use an image editing package to save your images in a format that is better for the web by reducing the color palette size. Images which are in JPEG format can also be optimized by reducing the quality of the image which can be done in any photo editing package. Web images do not need to be as high quality as those intended for print. Finally, you can avoid using more bandwidth than necessary by resizing images before uploading them rather than scaling them using HTML attributes.
These are some of the most common causes of a slow loading website and the basics of resolving them. However, the first step in addressing any speed issues that your website might be encountering is to identify the problem. With that being said, if you address these issues from the outset at the design stage, you will be in a good position to minimize speed concerns. It is also possible to use one of the many analysis tools on the market to pinpoint issues in existing sites.
James Snowhill is a freelance writer who contributes to a number of tech and business focused blogs. James is currently interested in looking at ways in which dedicated hosting by Singlehop can benefit website owners.