How to Make Your Website Run Faster
Marketing Technology Web Development

How to Make Your Website Run Faster

By Syed Zainul Haque October 25, 2018 - 3,002 views

If your website does not load within a couple of seconds, visitors will not have the patience to linger around. A delay of each second results in a reduction of 11% in page views, customer satisfaction diminishes by 16%, and a decline of 7% in conversion rate. A website that loads quickly improves all these metrics almost instantaneously. However, it takes time and a lot of hard work to ensure that your website loads quickly. With a little effort, you can make sure that your website runs quickly even if you are not tech savvy.

In this article, we present a 5-step procedure to ensure that your website runs quickly always:

Step 1: Evaluate your website speed performance

There are many free tools available which help you to assess your website’s speed. Once you know what the speed of your website is, you will have a clearer picture of what you can do to make it load faster.

Google’s PageSpeed tools can be used to assess the speeds of both mobile and desktop browsers. You can use both PageSpeed Insights and PageSpeed Modules.

To use PageSpeed Insights, you need to enter your website’s URL and click on the Analyse button. The tool will fetch results for both mobile and desktop versions. The analysis provides optimization suggestions such as reducing server response time, eliminating render-blocking CSS and JavaScript, leverage browser caching, and optimizing images by compressing them. For most desktop versions, the tool also suggests minification of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

In addition, you can also use Pingdom and GTmetrix, both of which are free tools as well. An advantage of Pingdom is, it tracks performance history, making it a great tool to track your website’s performance.

Step 2: Optimize website SEO

A website’s page speed is directly linked to it being ranked highly by Google and other search engines. If you work on your website’s search engine optimization, it has an indirect effect of helping pages load quickly. Moz is one of the best tools out there to help you improve your SEO scores. Moz has a variety of tools that will help you to improve on-site SEO. It also helps you to fix title tags, meta description, and alt text. In addition, you can check if there is any duplicate content on your website, as that affects your site’s SEO. Moz’s Page Optimization is an on-page tool that helps you analyze pages for SEO and fix them quickly.

Other SEO tools include Yoast for WordPress, SEO Checklist for Drupal, and the toolkit provided by Jetpack. All websites can use Schema Creator to make search listings more data-driven. By using Schema Creator, you can include business information, contact details, and star ratings within search results.

Step 3: Assess technical issues within your website

While PageSpeed Insights provides data related to your website’s speed and performance, PerfTool is a great tool to assess what technical issues ail your website. PerfTool combines the data from PageInsights with devperf and W3CJS. It not only fetches web performance results but also provides actionable recommendations such as which images to optimize, compressing images, eliminating render-blocking CSS and JavaScript, etc.

You can also use YSlow, which is an open source project based on Yahoo!’s rules for websites that perform well. The tool crawls through the DOM to tell you which script or image is causing issues, and tells you the size of each problematic component. A few recommendations that the tool may provide based on your website’s technical issues include removing duplicate JavaScript and CSS, reducing DNS lookups, making AJAX cacheable, putting CSS at the top, etc.

Step 4: Enhance the security of your website

With more attacks taking place on websites, your next priority should be to make sure there are no security loopholes or vulnerabilities within your website.  W3af is an open source tool that can identify and protect your website against more than 200 vulnerabilities. W3af is a web application audit with a GUI that consists of advanced tools. The application uses authentication modules to scan and fix issues. Google Nogotofail is another tool that you can use to ensure the security of network traffic. It evaluates web applications for TLS and SSL vulnerabilities by scanning even encrypted connections. If there are any vulnerabilities, it warns you, so that you can take action. A few other tools include BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework), which detects vulnerabilities within browsers, and Iron Wasp, which is a Python and Ruby-based scanning tool that fetches RTF and HTML reports. Wapiti and ZED Attack Proxy (ZAP)can be used to scan your website for security vulnerabilities as well.

Step 5: Perform regular website maintenance activities

Once you fix technical errors and obstacles that were previously slowing down your website, it is time to maintain your website’s performance continuously. There are several tools available today to do just that.

Website maintenance helps to enhance browsing experience, creates backups of web data, and remains updated with the latest technology. Google Search Console is a great tool that helps you to track your site’s search performance over time. It also helps you find newer tools that may perform additional maintenance activities. Google Analytics is another important tool that provides detailed reports about how your website is performing, who your visitors are, what the bounce rates are, etc. you can use all this data to micro-manage your website’s performance.

In addition, it is also important to update to the latest versions of your CMS, plugins, or PHP, if you are using that. If this step is too technical for you, you can seek the help of an external partner who will be able to help you better.

Make website maintenance a regular activity

Making your website run faster cannot happen overnight. Start with checking how quickly pages load on your website and understand what is slowing them down. Use the tools we have listed above to additionally optimize your site’s SEO scores, and evaluate technical issues with your websites as well. Next, make sure that all the security issues are fixed by using tools such as W3af, Google Nogotofail, etc. Finally, keep your website updated with the latest technology, and perform regular maintenance checks to ensure smooth operations. These 5 steps will ensure that your website runs quickly always.

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