So you want to speed up your site hmm? Let us first start off by saying every website and every developer is different. As a result when you have your website made it is good to have a checklist of items to check off when it comes to speed. Zulu Shack Creative lists 3 ways to avoid slowwww web pages.
1. Compress Images
We find time and time again, this is the number one reason why a website lags. Although high quality images look great, it is imperative to find a good balance as a websites' response time is key. We live in a day and age where every fraction of a second counts and keeping the audiences attention often lies on a knife edge.
How to compress images?
We could dedicate a whole blog to this, and we probably will. There are a number ways, ranging from online services and software you can buy to compress your images. There are also some WordPress plugins that offer this service, sometimes free, sometimes for a pretty penny.
Our personal preference is Photoshop. Simply open your image in Photoshop, click File and then Save for Web. You will be presented with options for quality, don't worry about picking a low setting, the images still turn out great. Try get all of your images under 100kb, save out your image and re-upload it to your website.
Sounds like something to do with money, right? Not really... although time is money. Think of caching as a web browsers memory. In today's age our web browsers have come a long way making our online user experiences good, for the most part. Our browsers have the ability to remember front end code, scripts or images if told to do so. When this is true, these items are stored in the cache. When something is stored in the cache our browser can easily reference and load the second or nth time of asking. This reduces the download time from the server and allows for a quicker page load time.
How to add caching to a website
Remember we mentioned every website and developer is different. So depending on how your site is setup and what platform or framework it uses, the answer will be different each time. Content Management Systems like WordPress offer caching plugins you can leverage off, while custom solutions may require your developer to write a few lines of code to ensure caching is turned on.
3. Mini Me you complete me
Imagine trying to pick up or carry Dr Evil from Austin Powers somewhere, then doing the same thing with Mini Me. Although carrying Dr Evil would be hilarious, carrying Mini Me is way easier! Minification in a nutshell is compressing all your scripts, style sheets and front end code, basically removing all the line breaks and white space in your code. Believe it or not, that empty white space, takes up space!
Once again there are a number of plugins you can use if you are using WordPress, if you are using a custom solution ask your developer to make sure the code is clean and light weight.
Learn From Google Page Speed Insights
Getting tips on how to make sure your website performs well is all good, but how will you know what to fix?
Google makes this easy via their PageSpeed Insights developer tool.
It is as easy as entering in your website URL and hitting the "Analyze" button. Give Google a few minutes to look over your web page and write you a summary. In the summary it will give you a mobile score and desktop score. Green is good! Red and yellow... not so much, you have work to do.
Also inside your summary, Google will provide links on how you can fix the issues, Google also takes it a step further in ordering the issues by importance, the lower down the list you get the less it is affecting your speed score.
Zulu Shack Creative has improved countless website scores. And is more than happy to help you with speeding up your site or even guiding you along the way if you are more hands one. Feel free to contact us if you would like us to help with your website.