- Feb 14, 2013
- by Brad Litwin
According to recent estimates, over 570 new websites are created every minute. Even the most unique sites have competitors. That’s why your website’s performance is more important than ever. Remember, your website visitors are not patient. You can have an enormous advertising budget to drive traffic to your site, but if your site is slow, your visitors are just going to hit their back button to find a competing site.
There are a ton of articles about what you can do to speed up your site. I’ve read a lot of these articles. Unfortunately they can get pretty complicated and I just don’t have the skill set to do what they suggest. This is not one of those articles. One of the reasons we launched our SSD Hosting service in January was because it provided an easy way for everyone to boost your site’s performance. After all, our performance tests have shown that pages load up to 300% faster on our solid state drives compared to standard hard drives. Even fully optimized sites will see a significant speed boost by hosting on an SSD. Aside from the obvious decision to switch to hosting on a solid state drive (submit a ticket if you’re ready to switch), here are 5 tips anyone can use to speed up a site.
1.) Resize Your Images
Resizing your images is one of the easiest ways to optimize the speed of your site. Yes, most website software will let you scale down a larger version of an image into a smaller one when you upload it. The problem is that it’s the large image, not the small one you see on your site, getting downloaded every time your page is loaded. Make sure to scale down your images to the size you want them to appear on your site before uploading them.
2.) Fix Your Broken Links
Don’t you hate it when you go to a website, click on a link and instead of getting the information you want, you get one of those annoying 404 error pages? Yes it’s annoying. So don’t put your visitors through it! Fixing your broken links won’t necessarily speed up your site, but it will get your visitors from point A to point B on your site as fast as possible. I recommend Xenu Link Sleuth for finding those broken links.
3.) Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
I highly suggest using CloudFlare. It’s free for A2 Hosting customers. You can even automatically set it up for your site within cPanel. A CDN like CloudFlare will place copies of your site’s images and other large files on servers located around the world. When a user from Hong Kong visits your site, those large files are downloaded to your visitor’s computer from a server located right in Hong Kong. A CDN puts your content closer to your visitors.
4.) Mind Your Plugins
If you have plugins setup for your site that you’re not using, remove them. You’re needlessly slowing your site down. For the plugins you do need, keep them updated. In most cases this well optimize the speed of your site and even keep it more secure. While you’re updating your plugins, make sure to update your software as well. Softaculous makes it easy to update to the latest version of your application.
5.) Delete Those Spam Comments
Whether you’re using WordPress blogging software or another application, make sure to delete comments that are old, spam or unneeded. This will help clean up unwanted data from your database.