How to Speed up Website Performance

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Developing a website is not a rocket science as my li’l brother developed one yesterday. The core of web development is keeping a fine balance between design, performance and utility of the website. Developing a good website needs serious creativity in multiple departments, that’s why Google and Facebook are right at the top.

Among all other factors, website performance primarily defines how your website runs across different network channels. A website must load quickly even with a 56kps connection and performance should be reliable and fast.

Here are certain tips for developing a good website with faster performance.

Features of a Good Website (from visitors perspective):

  1. Simple and Attractive Design – Website design must be eye-catchy as such sites draws more traffic than a monotonous website.
  2. Faster Performance of Webpages – Better website performance at slower speed increases the number of potential visitors to a site, and leaves a better impression on outgoing visitors.
  3. User Friendly:
    1. Easy to Navigate Menus- Visitors likes easy to use interface so a website must provide better navigation within webpages of a site.
    2. Suitable Colors- Use smooth colors, soothing to eyes. Avoid contrasting/sharp colors.color combination of good websites are good
    3. Suitable Fonts- Use basic fonts like Arial, Verdana, Microsoft Sans Serif that can be easily found on any visitor’s computer.
    4. No or Less Pop-ups- Avoid including pop up ads and features that may generate popups. Popups annoys the visitors.pop up is bad for webbsite performance
    5. Browser Compatibility- Website should run same in all the browsers. Incompatibility makes your website look bizarre. Limit the use of CSS3 and HTML5.
  4. Interactive approach:
    1. RSS Feeds Subscription – The best way to attach new users and remain in touch with reliable ones. Best source for permanent traffic to a website.
    2. Option for Comment – Best way getting hot and cold user response.
    3. Email Option – To keep in touch with visitors, share views and feedbacks.
    4. Chating Option- Another way of getting to the users, necessary for service based sites.
    5. Site Rating Option- To know what users like/dislike in your website design and appearance.
  5. Good SEOed Content for Visitors- The most vital point for a website to live on internet. It improves user experience, SERP and IS the only genuine way of getting backlinks from other sites.

Technical “do’s” to speed up website,

Below are some technical points that will help you improve your website performance.

  1. Limited External CSS and JavaScript files(if using)- External files reduces the size of HTML file and helps website to load faster. It’s better to combine these files into one. Limited number of external files helps in improving website performance a great deal.combine css files into one to speed up website performance
  2. No redundancy in Coding- Redundancy in coding makes the file size bigger, confuses interpreter and takes websites performance down.
  3. Minimize HTTP requests: Use CSS sprites to load images, jQuery in place of Flash, bundle external CSS files into a single file.
  4. Load CSS file(s) in head and JavaScript(if using) in the bottom section of the webpage- CSS is essential for webpage design that’s why it’s loaded first.
  5. Optimized coding- Gzip Compression of HTML code is among of the best ways to speed up website performance.
  6. Most web servers provide 1-2 simultaneous HTTP request connection. So it is better to upload some of your content to a different server(free), like images to Google images/Picasa/Flickr, or to any social networking sites. To include those images in your website just provide the file location. It distributes the load off your web server and helps website to load faster.reduce load  on server and speed up website performance
  7. Choose a fast server to host your site- It’s better to get a faster server nearby your working area.
  8. Prefer HTML, not Php,Asp,Cfm or any other language until required. HTML is slightly faster than others.
  9. Goto Google Pagespeed and check website performance and tips to make if faster. This is a new feature launched by Google in late July 2011.

Use of Ajax can also help a website perform faster but it’s a bit tricky thing. It has a great utility in Web 2.0 sites and almost all reputed sites uses Ajax to send and receive data. It’s better to avoid using Ajax until required as Ajax data doesn’t improve SEO of website at all. All data sent and received using Ajax is not indexed by the search engines, thus killing you website rankings. So use Ajax only for limited purposes and avoid till you need it.

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