Making your website as fast as possible will have a windfall of benefits for your business. Not only will your search engine rankings blast off to the top but your visitors’ user experience will improve significantly. What actions can you take to speed up your website?

Reduce HTTP Requests

With most of your site’s load time going towards downloading the components of your page, reducing these elements will speed things up. Stylesheets, scripts, and images all make HTTP requests so they can appear on your visitors’ browser.

To remedy this, don’t simply start cutting out parts of your website. Take the time to analyze the number of HTTP requests your page makes by using Developer Tools for Google Chrome.

By right-clicking on the page in question and clicking “Inspect.” then “Network,” you can find out how many requests the page makes. You can then figure out which elements you can remove, making your page a bit sleeker.

Prefer Adaptive Images

On average, almost two-thirds of a site’s weight as viewed on a desktop is images. Start using tools like Picturefill to make your images adaptive and save bandwidth. Furthermore, explore using new image formats such as JPeg XR.

Audit Your Plugins

If you’re using WordPress for your site, plugins are a way to achieve almost any functionality with the click of a button. On the other hand, it’s easy to go overboard and bog your site speed down with tons of plugins.

Reducing the number of plugins will cause your site to load more seamlessly. As your website evolves, some of the plugins you currently have will become obsolete. Regularly auditing your plugins will help you find any add-ons that are obsolete or redundant.

On top of removing plugins you don’t need, make sure to update your plugins when current versions become available. Plugin creators often solve issues in their software, potentially making your plugins function more efficiently.

Take Advantage of Content Compression

Content compression is another method of improving on-site speed. You can find compressor services that remove unnecessary characters in your code, including spaces. Besides code, compression can also apply to your website’s images.

Minify CSS and JavaScript

In the same spirit as content compression, minifying your CSS and JavaScript will speed things up for your website. Needless spaces, line breaks, and other characters will make parsing and downloading faster. It may seem like overkill to minify your code but every bit of optimization contributes to improvements to your website’s speed.

Switch to Managed WordPress Hosting

The action you can take today that will immediately speed up your website is to improve its web hosting. Moving your files to managed WordPress hosting will translate to a faster and more scalable site.

Managed web hosting ensures that experts are constantly monitoring the health of the web server your files are on. Choosing the right managed WordPress hosting can come with a variety of smart monitoring tools that will help keep your site fast. Solutions like Nexcess can help you create a fast e-commerce site from design to implementation.

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