Web site performance is a measure of the effectiveness and accomplishment of your online business. It is a balance of the intuitive nature of your site to enable visitors to find your compelling content combined with the design, layout, responsiveness and functionality.
Not everyone knows your website as well as you do.
Your online visitors will be using your web site to form a first impression about your entire business. They may be doing this without you ever knowing if they don’t like what they see or can’t find what they want.
From someone new to the Internet to an online expert; a slow website is always a slow web site!
Here are some of the most basic, yet often overlooked web site performance killers. Miss out on any one of these top tips and you will significantly slow down your entire web site and put off your online visitors.
1) Optimise all Images
Many web site images, graphics and photographs are unoptimised and are far larger in file size terms than they need to be.
Even with today’s broadband connections, too many large images are very noticeable to site speed. Every image on your web site must be optimised to ensure optimum web site performance
2) Create Short Pages
Long pages of seemingly endless text just bore the living soul out of online readers.
Often seen as helpful to search engines, long web pages can take longer to load and incur more traffic between the web server and a web browser.
3) Cascading Design
Use cascading style sheets to provide the design and presentation elements of a site. This will greatly reduce the download times of web pages and provide a consistent approach to your entire site.
4) Too many Tables
Tables should be used at a minimum and only really for laying out tabular data and not for site design layout.
Tables within tables give the appearance of nothing happening when a web page is loading and help to confuse visitors using screen readers.
5) Avoid Frames
Framed web sites use pages within pages to create the final site appearance. Each frame requires a trip to the web server which increases site download times and confuses many search engines.
Here are a few more subtle, yet lethal ways to slow your web site down and send visitors fleeing away:
Make sure that you reuse graphical elements within your web site. These will only be downloaded once and stored within the browser, making download times much faster and the site more efficient.
7) Professional Hosting
Hosting your web site on some free or cheap web server is always a false economy.
Purchase some professional web site hosting to make sure that every visitor to your site receives your web and you are not the weakest link in their chain.
Database connections that are not properly closed can eat system resources and will eventually lead to the entire server performing slowly or crashing.
Unoptimised database queries will slow down every page that uses them. Ensure each database query is only returning the data it needs and is optimised for lightning fast results.
9) Too Many Comments
Lengthy comments in the web site code which no one will ever see only serve to slow down a web site.
Software to monitor web site performance is widely available and can help pinpoint troublesome pages and alert you if your web site becomes unavailable.