Our Blog

15 May 2013

How To Improve Your Website Speed

Q & A Video
An important part of search engine optimization is how fast your website loads and functions. It’s not just important for the ease of use of your website visitor, but it is actually used as a signal for search engine rankings. Watch this video to find a few quick tips that you can start to implement now to speed up your website and make sure it has the best chance of ranking well.

Transcription

Hi. I’m Ben Holland, and I’m an Account Manager here at Vertical Measures. Today we’re going to answer a question that we get a lot around here: “How do you improve your website’s speed?”

There are lots of things that go into how long it takes for your website to load in the browser. A few things that you should take into consideration are the file size, both of your HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and your images, how many HTTP requests that your website makes back to the server, and if you’re using a slow server.

Some things that you can do to improve your website’s speed is having your website on a content delivery network like Amazon’s. This will allow it to hit a server that’s closer and a very, very fast server, so it will
eliminate the slow server issue.

You always want to compress your files using gzip compression. That’s going to make the file size very small, so it will load quicker.

You want to optimize your images, so they’re a very small file size. You want to keep them all under 50 kilobytes, if you can.

You also want to leverage CSS. Don’t use Flash. CSS3 has animations and transitions that Flash was used for, so you don’t have the need to use Flash anymore. It’ll also help you cutting back on JavaScript, which often takes longer to load.

You can use image sprites, so you can have all of your images on a single file, and then you can just dictate where it goes with the CSS.

And then you can leverage icon fonts, instead of using images for certain shapes.

After that, you don’t want to put your CSS inside your actual HTML or your JavaScript. You want to put these in external style sheets and files, so they can just hit the sever once, pull them, and instead of loading it every time your page loads, they just reference it once and cache it.

After you do that, you want to make sure your website doesn’t have any tables, unless you’re going to have data involved. You only need to use tables for data. They’re very code heavy, and they’re going to bog up your site speed.

And finally, if you’re hosting a video on your site, host it on YouTube or Vimeo or a service like that, because they have much faster servers than the ones that you’ll be using.

I’m Ben Holland, and thank you for watching.