Guidelines to speed up your website
Once you have tested the speed of your website, you can start optimizing it. There are a lot of different ways to make your website work faster and we created the list of the most effective ones.
1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network is a set of web servers distributed across various geographical locations that provide web content to end users with regard to their location. When you host the website on a single server, all users requests are sent to the same hardware. For this reason, the time needed to process each request increases. On top of that, the load time increases when users are physically far from the server. With CDN, user requests are redirected to the nearest server. As a result, the content is delivered to a user quicker and a website works faster. This is a rather expensive, but quite effective way to optimize the load time.
2. Move your website to a better host
There are three possible types of hosting:
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) hosting
The most popular type of hosting that is used all over the world is sharing hosting. That’s the cheapest way to get your site online in a short time and for a low fee. It’s essential to choose the fast web host to ensure better optimization. With shared hosting, you share CPU, disk space, and RAM with other sites that also use this server. This is the main reason why shared hosting isn’t as fast as VPS or a dedicated server.
Virtual Private Servers and dedicated servers are much faster. VPS uses multiple servers for content distribution. Having VPS you share the server with its other users and have your own part of the virtual server where your configurations don’t influence other clients. If your website has the average traffic or you have the eCommerce site with traffic spikes in some periods, VPS will be the optimal solution for you.
The most expensive hosting option is to use a dedicated server which can be your own physical server. In this case, you pay a server rent and hire a system administrator to maintain it.
Another approach is to rent dedicated cloud resource from AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, or other public cloud provider. Both approaches can also be combined into a hybrid cloud that we discussed recently. With dedicated servers, all resources belong only to you and you get the full control of it. Cloud infrastructures can also add unlimited and on-demand scalability under a number of packages.
Serverless architecture is yet another option that removes maintenance and server set up procedures altogether. Consider reading our separate article covering serverless architecture specifics and benefits.
3. Optimize the size of images on your website
Everyone loves eye-catching images. In the case of successful eCommerce sites, images are the vital part. A lot of photos, images, graphics on your product pages improve engagement. The negative side of the image use is that they are usually large files that slow down a website.
The best way to reduce the image size without compromising its quality is to compress images using such tools as ImageOptim, JPEGmini, or Kraken. The procedure may take a bit of time but it’s worth it. Another way to reduce the image size is to use the HTML responsive images and attributes that adjust image size based on user display properties.
4. Reduce the number of plugins
Plugins are common components of each website. They add specific features suggested by third parties. Unfortunately, the more plugins are installed, the more resources are needed to run them. As a result, the website works slower and also security issues can appear. As time passes, the number of plugins grows, while some of them may not be used anymore. We recommend checking out all the plugins you have installed and deleting unnecessary ones. First, run the performance tests on your page to find out which plugins are slowing down your website. Not only does the website speed depend on the number of installed plugins but also on their quality. Try to avoid plugins that load a lot of scripts and styles or generate a lot of database queries. The best solution is to keep only the necessary ones and ensure that they are kept up to date.
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