- Assorted Reviews
- Industry News
- Tech PR
When deciding upon which web host to use when building a website, budding webmasters often focus on bandwidth limits, storage space, and of course price. All of these factors are importance depending on the scale of one’s online endeavors and the size of their wallet. However, there is one very important factor that is often ignored: speed. With high-speed Internet access in developed countries, speed is something that is often taken for granted. This is a mistake made by many webmasters. The Internet is a global communications tool, and users from all over the world, viewing on a variety of different devices must be taken into consideration. Failure to do so will result in long loading times and pages that display incorrectly on different devices. This, in turn, will upset users and make them not want to return to these inefficient websites. In layman’s terms, slow sites lose clients. On today’s Web, users also love multimedia. A page filled with blocks of text in not enough to captivate an audience. Effective websites will need to have images and attractive themes. Video has become more and more important as well. If users love your site and it keeps their attention, then bounce rate can be reduced, which in turn is god for SEO. A site that does not load quickly just cannot be accepted these days. Luckily, we have some tips that can help you out.
One possible solution to this problem is to optimize images. Instead of uploading huge images, we should lower the quality a bit (it doesn’t hurt and a slight decrease in quality can lead to a dramatically smaller file size). We should also resize images to make them load more efficiently. Image format is also an issue. While .PNG files offer smooth edges (great for text) and transparency, they can cause long loading times wit their large filesizes. Animated .GIFs are fun, but they should be used sparingly as well. It is best to stick to .JPGs if special features such as animation or transparency are not needed. This is especially the case with large, complex images such as photographs.
Speed is something that often goes unconsidered by rookies to webmastering. Veterans in the business know about the importance of speed, and will choose a host that can deliver their pages to users quickly and efficiently. Choosing a faster web hosting provider, or a faster hosting plan can work wonders. Sure, it might cost more today, but it will work wonders in the future when you are dealing with several thousand page views every day.
Making sure that your files are uploaded to your own web host’s server will cut back on loading times. It takes time for a browser to journey across the Web in order to get that picture of a cute kitten that you linked to from some other site. Uploading those important media files locally can cut back on page loading times.
Sites that receive a lot of traffic are expected to face slowdowns. Web accelerators, such as Varnish Cache, reduce the effects of slowdowns and keep things running smoothly for all users. Web accelerators come in two flavors: client-side and server-side. As webmasters, server-side accelerators are going to be our focus. These can be installed on web servers and can be made compatible with content management systems such as WordPress or Drupal with a bit of tweaking. Varnish Cache is used by about ten percent of the top ten thousand sites on the Web, including Twitter, Wikipedia, and Tumblr. If it works for these giants, then surely it can work for us. Varnish Cache is free to install, but a commercially supported version is also available.
In the real world, cookies may be delicious, but on the Internet, cookies can slow down site loading times. We should keep in mind that many users do not clear their web caches, which can slow browsers down and increase loading times. To top this off, WordPress is a “cookie monster” that throws tons of cookies at users and reduces the effectiveness of Varnish Cache. By minimizing cookies, our sites (and WordPress sites in particular) can be made much more efficient. Website loading time is an incredibly important factor that we must not overlook. Faster sites can bring in more users, get better reviews, lower bounce rates, and more conversions. In this business, split seconds matter. Fractions of seconds may sound trivial to us, but according to Google studies, sites that take just slightly longer to load can lose clients in comparison to lightning-fast websites. Make sure that your website is optimized for loading time. A little bit of time invested now can mean profit later and a happy userbase.