Slow loading website are most certainly a dying breed. If your website takes more than ten seconds to load, you might as well have a giant website under construction image up as well. Doing my analyses, I found the average home page load is usually between 2.5 and 7.5 seconds. If you want anybody looking at your website, it’s time to speed that load time up. This week I will be posting several tips on how to do just that, starting with some basics today.
Why Speed Matters Even More Now
The reason I say these slow loading websites are a dying breed is because of a few reasons. Hardware and bandwidth is faster, web users expect it, and now search engines are beginning to expect it. That last part is a big one, because you will always be able to build a super slow loading website with a thousand pictures on it if you wanted, and in the past, search engines would still try to index it for results. That scenario may soon become a thing of the past though, and your sites load time is more important than ever.
Over the past couple of weeks there have been several reports that Google has had it with slow loading websites. There are just too many websites out there to be stuck indexing sloppy (poor code), fat (too much on one page), and slow loading websites. If you want people who use Google to find your website, it’s time to start optimizing for speed. Side note here, this is an great extra benefit for users too.
Today’s Simple Tips for Speeding Up Your Website
Over the course of this week I will be writing about several ways that you can speed up your website. Some will benefit users, some will benefit robots scanning your content, and some will do both.
To speed up a website load time for you users you need to understand a basic concept. The users browser essentially reads your code, and then draws your website onto their computer based on their screen settings. Here are some ways to make the “drawing” finish quicker.
- Compact your code removing line spaces, and excessive remarks – This will make reduce the time to read the code.
- Compress images and other forms of media – The less time it takes to download the image, the faster it will be loaded onto the users PC.
- Use image attributes to specify width and height – When the browser reads a site without these attributes it is then forced to get this information from the file itself, and cannot even begin drawing the page correctly until the image and its information has been loaded.
- Simply limiting content per page
- Validating your code – Validating your code has several benefits, and in this particular case can benefit both search indexing, and users experience. When there are errors in code, browsers and bots will both try to self correct. This means more processing time, a.k.a. longer load time.
Tomorrow I will be going over some of the suggestions Google is making, and getting that site optimized for it.