Website speed is one of the important factors in Search Engine Optimization . No one really want to visit a slow loading site . You will lose one out of four visitors if your site takes more than 4 seconds to load.
Google has recently announced that website speed is also included as a ranking factor. So you really need a fast loading website to get a high rank and more visitors.
Site visitors as well as search engines never like a slow loading site. So first we need to check the website speed, and then we find out the elements which slow down the site .
How to Find the Website Speed?
There are lots of professional tools to find your website speed. That will analyze your site and give an appropriate score .You will also get valuable suggestions to improve your website speed .
Here I want to share some of the free tools, which help you to figure out the slowdown factors.
Page Speed Online
PageSpeed Online is a Google tool to analyze performance of your web pages. Based on the analyses it will give suggestions for making your website faster.
Using Page Speed Online you can generate reports for a page as it appears in desktop browsers and on mobile devices.
Here you can see the suggestion from Google’s page speed online and also find your score out of 100.
You can see the suggestions on the left side .For my website, I have 2 medium priority item and 12 low priority item remaining for better optimization . You can also see a Critical Path Explorer who gives a graphical view of your pages’ load performance.
Take a Speed test today at Page Speed , Are you a Google Speed Champion ?
YSlow is a free tool from Yahoo! . You will get suggestions to improve your website speed.
WebPagetest gives a waterfall view of your sites load time and a detail checklist for optimizing your website .
How to Increase Your Website Speed?
Now you got your website score and suggestions. Start Optimizing your website based on the suggestions. In most cases you got high priority suggestions like leverage browser caching and enable compression.
Fixing these two will improve your website speed.
Leverage browser caching
We can reduce the load time of the static resources by setting an expiry date or maximum age in the HTTP headers. So this will instructs the browser to load the previously downloaded resources from the local disk . So this will cut the load time and increase your page speed.
Here we can set expires headers for our static resources like Favicon, Images, CSS and java script. Copy this code and add it your .htacess file.
[code type=HTML ]
# Enable expirations
# Default directive
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
Compressing resources helps to save band width and increase page speed. You can either use gzip or deflate to enable compression.
[code type=HTML ]
# Enable Compression
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
Other recommendations to Increase the Website speed
- Optimize images(properly formatted and compressed images).
- remove flash elements from your site.
- Use CSS instead of inline coding.
- Reduce the amount of java script parsed during the page load
- Eliminate uncacheable landing page redirects.
Deliver Your Content Through a CDN
Content Delivery Network helps you to load your site faster. CDN is a group of computers containing copies of your data across the globe. So the result is that your website loads twice as fast as for your visitors regardless of where they are located.
Most of the web host like HostGator , Bluehost offers free CDN setup for your site from their Control Panel . My site is hosted on HostGator and its very easy to set up a CloudFlare account from HostGator control panel .
After setting up the CDN , my site is loading faster , and I can see a slight improvement in my search engine traffic . My Google analytics data shows a huge decrease in bounce rate and increase in page views. So I would recommend using a CDN for your website.
So the bottom line is your well optimized website always get good traffic and ranking .