Improve Website Speed. Introduction

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The loading time of a website is important, especially due to the following:

 

– It’s one of the factors that search engines take into account in their algorithm results presentation. An excessive load time will adversely affect our position.

– The speed of a website is one of the most important elements to consider usability. A website that loads slowly will cause an increase in visitors who leave immediately. This will quickly result in fewer sales and conversions.

 

Guidelines

Improve the loading time of a website is not an easy task, as there are many potential factors that could affect this variable. We will concentrate on the most common issues that negatively affect the speed of our website. In most cases, the tools and procedures that we propose significantly increase speed, but as every website is different, it may happen that even following the advice you do not achieve the goal. In these particular cases, you should go to a qualified technician to see the specific issues on your site that are causing problems with loading time. In any case, we recommend the following guidelines before applying the advice that will be discussed in this area.

– It is always a good practice, and especially in this case, to make a backup of all your files and database before making any substantial changes to your website. This will prevent further problems.

– Some of the tips that will be discussed below, require minimal skills so that they can be implemented. If this is not your case, we suggest delegating these changes to your webmaster, or a specialized company.

– There are problems with loading time that might not be related to your website, but with the server where the website is hosted. As we will later see, a CDN can help in this case, but if it does not improve load time, maybe a solution would be to change the hosting company.

– We recommend performing the tasks outlined in this area annually. While it is true that the first time you perform actions to improve the speed of our website, it can be improved considerably, the evolution of most website (installation of new plugins, new content, change of servers …) requires you to annually revise the loading time of your website.

 

Instructions

It is important to see how you can improve the results in each of the tasks that we suggest, which is why before starting to implement any improvements you should first use the (free) tools we suggest to evaluate the current situation. This way you can compare your results with your starting point.

In order to explain the recommended tools we suggest you a configuration, which has given us results. That does not necessarily indicate that it is ideal for you, because depending on your server, the CMS you use, the plugins you have installed … your particular situation can influence the results. We will try to give advice that serve most configurations, but in case you have any questions or problems, we suggest consulting your webmaster or a specialized company.

Loading time 0 does not exist, and neither should you seek absolute perfection, as this may have important counterparts (less functionality, poor visual aspect …). In one of the tasks that we will see later, where we recommend you to measure the speed using Google Page Speed Test, which among other things gives you a score from 0 to 100, any score above 85 (or even 80 ) is more than acceptable.

– We often use unnecessary plugins on our website. As a general advice, we invite you to reflect on the usefulness of each of them. As a rule, more plugins and “addons” reduce the speed of the website.

In each of the tasks that we propose, the following fields are specified:

Title: The name of the task that is the subject of explanation.

URL: The address where we can find the resource used.

Theory: In this field we provide theoretical aspects of the subject we are dealing with. This way you will know the basics of the instructions and guidelines that we propose.

Description: A brief explanation of the nature of the task.

Guidelines: Rules and considerations that must be taken into account when performing each task.

Instructions: Step by step, detailed instructions on how to perform a given task. Remember that these instructions may vary depending on the specific configuration of your website and server.

Additional Resources: In some cases, we will mention other websites, if you want more information about the resource.

Setup time: This includes the following:

– Time to read the instructions and guidelines we have prepared for you in each of the pages describing the resource.
– Time necessary for conducting the task. This is a totally general figure, and it will vary depending on the specific characteristics of your website and server.

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