In today’s time-obsessed world, your customers aren’t going to wait around for your website to load. Many of us are running behind, so having an extra minute or two to spare, even for online browsing, is out of the question. And if your website is sluggish even on fast internet connections, then you risk losing out on a lot of potential business. So without further ado, here are six things you can do right now to decrease your website’s loading time:
Ditch the widgets.
Third party scripts and widgets may add some pretty elements to your website, but they can also slow down your website. Even if everything on your end of things is moving fast, a slow-to-load widget that is pulling data from a third party site can bring everything to a halt. And on that note, Flash is also not recommended for most websites, simply because it can take so long to render. Additionally, from an SEO perspective, Flash can’t be “crawled”, so it isn’t doing you any favors.
Limit server requests.
In addition to getting rid of unnecessary widgets, reduce the number of server requests your website is making. Any design element that loads from another website or even another server is going to drag down your site, so use as little as possible. And, make sure requests are only happening once, and not repeatedly.
Use image compression.
As tempting as it may be to upload high quality images, your website is going to pay for those pixels in the form of slower load times. One or two high quality images aren’t a big deal, but if you have a lot of images to display on your website, it’s recommended that you take the time to compress them not just by pixels, but also by quality. Switch from JPEG to GIF, and use medium quality instead of high quality.
Clean up your code.
Take the time to clean up your HTML and CSS code. Non-compliant code will not only trigger website errors and create design issues, but it can also slow down website loading time. Run your code through the official W3C code checkers to look for errors – and then fix them. Third party resources such as NetworkSolutions.com can also provide how-to articles for better coding practices.