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3 Simple Steps to Speed Up Your Website

Speed Up Your Website

When you first started your website, you were probably eager to learn and try everything you could to squeeze a little bit more from it. Like most of us, I’ll bet you scoured the popular forums and blogs to learn the newest SEO tactics, tested different design features and headlines to improve your conversions, and even tweaked your code to speed up your website.

That may have been just a few months ago, or even a few years ago. But after working as hard as you have, it’s easy to get trapped in a rut. It’s easy to say “What I’m doing is enough.”

And it might be. You could be perfectly satisfied with how your website is performing. I doubt it though, otherwise you’d be doing something else instead of reading this.

Why is it Important for Your Website to Load Quickly?

Common sense, along with numerous experiments tell us that visitors are more likely to view more pages on a website that loads quickly. If that wasn’t enough motivation, Google recently announced that they have included load speed into their ranking algorithm, so we know the speed of your website is important. But aside from stripping the images from our website, what can we do about it?

What if you could make a few simple changes to your website that would help it load faster, rank better and keep visitors around longer? Would that be worth at least the time it takes you to read this article?

If so, keep reading, because I’m going to show you 3 simple steps anyone can take that will do exactly that. And the best part is it should take less time than watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy!

Step 1: Use Sprites

Let me set the record straight – I have nothing against Mountain Dew. What I’m talking about here is using a single image positioned with CSS to reduce your http requests. This can dramatically improve the speed of your website, especially if you have a lot of images.

Sprites aren’t some new “bleeding-edge” technology, in fact, they’ve been around for decades and are used by some of the Internet giants, like Google, Yahoo and AOL to name just a few.. Read up on how to implement sprites.

Step 2: Compress and Combine Your CSS files

This step will take literally 60 seconds or less, and is well worth the effort.

Depending how efficient or sloppy your CSS is coded, a CSS compressor can reduce the file size by anywhere from 10-35% or more. This may not seem like much when you consider that the average uncompressed size is about 47kb, but remember – your CSS file is loaded on every single page so the savings add up! Plus, you’ll see an even greater improvement if you combine multiple CSS files into one.

Step 3: Compress and Combine Your JavaScript files

Most of us have anywhere from a few to a half dozen or so JavaScript files on our websites. Some are for mundane tasks like validating forms, while others, do something special to make our site stand out from our competitors, but like images, each one requires a separate http request which slows down our site. We can solve that problem by simply combining all of our JavaScript files into a single file and compressing it.

What other ways you follow to speed up your site?

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