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Website speed: how to check and improve website load times

Have you recently checked how long it takes to load your website or web pages?

Google is considering adding web page speed as a ranking factor in search engines. If your site doesn’t load fast enough, your ranking may drop.

Google is constantly trying to improve people’s search experience so that results are fast and specific. Computer users get very frustrated when they have to wait more than a few seconds for their website to appear.

What does this mean for you?

Google offers a tool called “page speed” that evaluates the performance of your web pages and suggests how to improve them. Ideally, your pages should load in 30 seconds on a 56K modem and in less than 2 seconds with a high-speed cable connection.

How to improve website speed

Use CSS navigation

Sites that use flash, javascript, or video to impress their visitors slow down web page load times. Search engines do not index these files. Instead, create a CSS menu so that search engines can crawl the links.

Use external files

Instead of having all your CSS or javascript code on your web page, put it in an external file. It will reduce code clutter and speed up your pages.

Validate html code

HTML errors prevent search engines from easily scratching your page. Google “W3C HTML Validation Service” to check and fix your html errors.

Optimize images

If you have too many images or some large images on your web page, it will drastically reduce the loading time. Use thumbnail images and optimize them with graphics software such as Photoshop or Fireworks to reduce the file size of your pages.

Use server-side includes (SSI) for easy maintenance

SSI allows you to update hundreds of pages just by editing one file rather than editing each one separately. These files need to be uploaded every time they are accessed from the server, so make sure your web host uses fast servers.

Fast servers

Most web hosting servers host multiple websites on the same server. If a site suddenly receives a surge of traffic, it can overwhelm the server and your site could be temporarily offline. This means you could lose sales. Beware of companies that offer unlimited space. Look for a trusted service that guarantees 99% uptime and performs daily backups.

Static sites vs. database-based sites

Static HTML websites tend to load faster than database-based websites because database sites contain hundreds or thousands of files. Most static sites are less than 100 pages long. Before designing or redesigning your website, check the page speed of database sites created with software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.).

Web hosting service

Most of the websites these days share the same server. If a website suddenly receives an increase in server resources, it affects all other sites on that server. So, beware of web hosting companies that offer unlimited space and / or bandwidth. Check the uptime of the server where your site is hosted.

advice

If you plan to design or redesign a website, check the page speed of the websites that use the hosting service and / or design software before you begin. Having a fast-loading website will help you rank well in search engines, thereby generating more traffic and sales.

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