As a website developer one of the things you should be concerned about it how fast your website is loading. This is very important in order to both gain and retain users. There is certainly the SEO aspect of a fast page load time which is said to improve your rankings in Google but beyond that its creates a much better user experience. When a user comes to your website, if they have to wait for pages to load and your site is slow in general they are more likely to just close your site and never come back. The good news is there are several things you can do to improve your page load times. In this article we will describe a few of them.
One of the easiest things you can do for your website to improve load times is to make sure your images are optimized. When we say ‘optimize images’ what we really mean is make sure the file size is as small as possible without compromising image quality. There are 2 things that you can look at for this. The first is to make sure you are saving the image at the pixel size you want it to appear on the page. For example if you want a 200×200 image on your page, save your image as 200×200. Don’t save it as 400×400 and then use height and width tags to resize your image in the browser. The second is to make sure when you are saving an image from your image editing software, check to make sure you don’t select the highest quality for saving, for the web you don’t need it and this will decrease your file size a lot.
Height and Width Tags
Alongside optimizing your images you can also help the browser speed up the loading of your page by letting it know how big the images on your page are. You can do this in the HTML code for your page by adding height and width attributes to your image tags. For example if you have image tags on your page that read as follows
<img src=”/myimage.png” alt=”my image”>
You should add height and width attributes as follows
<img src=”/myimage.png” alt=”my image” height=”200″ width=”200″>
Clean up your HTML and CSS
If you have had your website for a while, or sometimes even if its new, you probably have some HTML code and CSS code in your files that isn’t being used. You might have comments in your html and css or just sections commented out for example. In your CSS files you might have code that just isn’t being used anymore on pages. You should strip out anything in your code that isn’t actually used including comments. The idea is to make your HTML and CSS files as small as possible so that they download faster in the web browser.
Change Your Web Host
A lot of the time speeding up your web page is out of your control because the web host you have is slow. If you are on a shared web host for example you might be crammed onto a box with hundreds of other websites all slowing down the server. Your web host might also have slow or overloaded pipes out to the internet making your website load slower. They might also not be taking advantage of server improvements that can speed up your website such as caching and gzipping. Often cheapest isn’t best when picking a web host. When choosing a web host make sure you ask questions about website speed and how they will make your website as fast as possible and do your research to get advice from other on which hosting companies are fast.