April 18, 2016 by Diana Bocco

6 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Performance

Your website should function like a well-oiled machine. Prioritizing the purpose of your website over its construction and maintenance can lead to significant problems down the road.

6 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Performance

[guest post by Marleen Anderson]

By designing or reworking your website with longevity in mind, your audience will be able to enjoy its ease of use. If you’re looking for a higher conversion rate and you’re trying to draw a large profit, no one is going to bother if they have to work harder to get to your bottom line. The least you can do is provide your users with a smooth browsing experience.

Use cloud monitoring

A lot goes into proper monitoring. Have you considered offloading your monitoring process by using a Cloud monitoring service? Switching to the Cloud has distinct advantages. For example, you’ll have accurate and effective monitoring around the clock, freeing up more of your manpower and allowing you to devote it to other areas of your website. It’s cost effective to outsource, and the majority of the work is simply responding to the notifications.

Investigate hosting plans

There are two types of hosting: shared, and dedicated. Oftentimes, when a website isn’t performing as well as it could be, a shared server is the culprit. If your server is struggling because it has to stretch itself thin to keep up with a larger demand, you might find that switching to a dedicated server will solve the issue. There’s less competition, because the server’s only job will be to handle your website. Traffic will be able to move without obstructions.

Prioritize mobile viewing

The traditional way of approaching a website is to prioritize the website to first be accessed by computers. Now, more people are relying on their smartphones. Anything you add or change on your website should be optimized for mobile first. Mobile users who are attempting to view a traditional website on their browser will be faced with numerous issues, including incorrect display and broken scripts. Whatever you’re doing, get it ready for mobile viewing first.

Reduce the size of your files

When you need to send several large files via email or a shared drive, you’re probably in the habit of zipping them. It makes for a shorter upload and download time. You can do the same thing with your website through server-side compression. Some hosts already offer server-side compression, and you need to make sure you’re using it. If your host doesn’t offer it, there are programs you can install that will do it for you.

Combine Javascript and CSS

Every individual script requires its own HTTP request. Why would you allow ten if you only need to allow one? By using PHP, you can combine your CSS and Javascript into one file. If you aren’t looking to overhaul everything, you can even copy and paste the files into a single file. Bundled scripts will work in unison, reducing the overhead of your HTTP requests and creating significantly snappier response times. If you’re looking to take things one step further, you can also minify the script. This means removing any unnecessary characters to reduce the overall file size.

Eliminate burdens by caching

Using external script files is a must. They’ll cache directly into the browser of the user who views your page. They can come and go, bouncing around from page to page, and they’ll only ever need to request the script once. Cache as much as you can. Each user will only generate a single request for each file unless you’ve implemented changes.

You need to make money. You won’t see a dime if your page is taking forever to load and nobody can see the images of what you’re selling. Spending a little extra time optimizing your website will create a better environment where people are more inclined to become customers. Always check to see where you can stand to make improvements.

** About the author: Marleen Anderson is part of the team behind Saxons, an Australia-based company providing IT support services and IT training. She is a great technology addict with huge interest in entrepreneurship.

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