How to Speed up Website Without Changing Web Host

How to Speed up Website Without Changing Web Host

As a website owner, the impact of your website speed on traffic, conversions, and revenue should not be underestimated. Speed is also very important when browsing the web via mobile devices. For example, Google research shows that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.

Many other studies have been published on the impact of website speed. For example, a one-second delay in site loading can reduce page views by 11%, decreases customer satisfaction by 16%, and eats away 7% of the coveted conversion rate.

It’s also important to note that Google now uses website speed as a ranking factor.

In a nutshell, having a slow website will negatively impact the following:

  • Traffic and page views
  • Conversions
  • Sales
  • Brand image and perception in the mind of your visitors

Since it’s our goal to make hostingfacts.com the premier resource on building successful websites, We’ve decided to prepare a guide on how to boost your website speed. Below are 21 ways to increase your website speed:

1. Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Add-ons

Unnecessary plugins and add-ons can reduce your website speed by A LOT, and it’s especially important to pay attention to them if you use blogging CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

A good case study about the impact plugins can have on a website’s speed reveals how it was able to take the website’s speed from 4.23 seconds to 1.33 seconds. While analyzing the website, it was found that plugins contributed to a whopping 86% of  website load time

It’s very important to note that it’s not just about the number of plugins you have installed on your website but about the quality as well. A website with 50 plugins can load much faster than a website with 10 plugins if the website with fewer plugins has crappy plugins. Generally, you want to avoid plugins that load a lot of scripts and styles, plugins that perform lots of remote requests, and that add extra database queries to every page on your website.

Indeed, plugins help enhance your website’s functionality but it is also important to only use a plugin if you’re convinced that it is absolutely necessary.

2. Significantly Limit, or Remove, Social Sharing Buttons on Your Website

If you believe that you need to have 100 social sharing buttons on your website, think again; it’s hard to pinpoint research that establishes a massive boost in website traffic due to having social sharing buttons (if anything, too many social sharing buttons will confuse your readers), but research shows that a slow website does reduce traffic.

Most social sharing buttons use JavaScript, and this can be very troublesome when it comes to performance; there have been cases for some social media sites, an outage that significantly impacts the website speed of people who installed their share buttons.

The solution to this is to either limit/remove social sharing buttons, or to configure them to load asynchronously so that an outage of a particular social media site won’t slow down your website.

3. Load Analytics and Ad Networks Code Asynchronously

Analytics tracking codes and ad networks’ codes can also significantly impede your website speed, especially if the remote server is slow or down; you can easily prevent this problem by configuring all of your tracking codes to use asynchronous delivery; this way, a server outage or delay with your Ad network or analytics service won’t slow down your website.

4. Enable Expires Headers

There are several factors that influence how fast a website is, but the server response time contributes a great deal to site speed; the more requests are being made to your server, the slower it’ll take your website to load.

Expires Headers tell your visitor’s browser when to request certain files from your server vs. from their browser cache; if an Expires Headers is configured so that your visitor’s browser only request a file once in a month, and that file has been stored in their cache from a recent visit, then their browser won’t request that file again until a month is over. This is like a double-edged sword for boosting site speed because it limits the number of HTTP requests on your server and at the same time reduces the load on your server since the same file won’t be requested repeatedly.

5. Enable Caching

Caching ensures a much faster experience for your website users by storing a version of your website on their browser and serving them that version until your website is updated or until you instruct it to refresh the version of your website they are served.

6. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Most sites are hosted on servers in the US, and while these websites will generally be faster for people in the US or people visiting with a US VPN service, your website will be slower for people from other parts of the world. A CDN solves this problem by distributing your website files across a network of servers in different locations of the world so that someone trying to visit from India will get served from a server in Asia instead of from a server in Europe. This will lead to a significant increase in your website speed.

7. Get a Better Web Host

If everything you’re doing to make your website faster isn’t working, or you’re only noticing little, insignificant difference in site speed from following best practices, perhaps it’s time to change your web host.

8. Your Website Theme

Exactly how much of an impact does your website theme have an on-site speed? A lot!

By just switching a theme that is bloated with unnecessary features (animations, complex layouts, etc.) to a much simpler theme, you can reduce your page load time multiple times.

Even the best server configuration won’t save your site if you use a crappy theme with bloated code. Make sure you also consider performance when looking for a website theme, not just aesthetics.

9. Install Google PageSpeed on Your Server

The PageSpeed module is an open-source server module from Google that automatically optimizes your website speed; it makes modifications to your server and files, following website performance best practices, without requiring you to do anything else.

10. Optimize and Reduce Image Size

Un-optimized images can be very heavy, and as a result, use a lot of server resources and take longer to load; if the average image size on your website is 1mb or 2mb+, you’ve got serious work to do. 

11. Enable Gzip Compression

You’ve probably tried compressing a file on your computer and you’ve seen what a massive reduction in size this can result in; a 60mb file can be compressed to just 5mb. Gzip compression works in the same way, but for websites. Gzip automatically compresses your website files into zip files, drastically reducing the size of your files and increasing your site speed as a result.

12. Regularly Optimize Your Database

This is an often ignored but very powerful way to boost your website speed; it is especially effective if you use WordPress or any CMS that rely heavily on database usage.

Some CMSs and the plugins you install rely a lot on your database to save data; this increases data stored in your database as you use the CMS/plugin, making your website gradually slower. This especially applies to plugins that save logs, statistics, and user data. It also applies if you use WordPress and enable post revisions, pingbacks, and trackbacks.

13. Minify Javascript and CSS Files

If your website uses a lot of JavaScript and CSS files, there’s a high likelihood that your site is telling your visitor’s browser to treat these files individually; this leads to a lot of requests that eventually impacts your site speed negatively. Minifying JavaScript and CSS files reduce the number of individual JavaScript and CSS files, by having them in one place, thus significantly improving your website speed.

14. Combine Your Background Images into Image Sprites

The more requests a user’s browser has to make to your server, the slower your website will be for that user; most website templates are made up of multiple background images, and this ends up creating several different requests whenever a visitor tries to load the website. The solution to this is to combine those images into one so that a visitor’s browser only has to request one image when trying to load your website; this can be achieved with image Sprites.

By combining background images into image sprites, you’ll be able to reduce request overhead, the number of bytes your visitor’s browser downloads, and delay caused by roundtrips made when your server is downloading other resources. This will lead to a much faster website.

15. Enable HTTP Keep-Alive

Usually, when a visitor’s web browser tries to request a file from your web server, it will grab each file individually; in other words, a connection closes when a file has been grabbed and then reopens to request a new file. This uses more processor, network, and memory and eventually leads to a slower website if there’s a lot of load on your server. Enabling HTTP keep-alive ensures that all file requests to your server will be made via a single open connection, leading to a much faster website for your users by limiting the number of connections to your server.

You can enable keep-alive by copying and pasting the code below into your .htaccess file:

Header set Connection keep-alive

16. Fix All Broken Links on Your Website

While broken links inside your content won’t affect your website speed, although they can make for bad user experience, broken links in your JavaScript, CSS and Image URLs can make your website irritatingly slower; be sure to scan these aspects of your website for broken links and fix them before they send your users away.

17. Avoid Image Hotlinking

Image hotlinking, also known as “inline linking” is the act of linking to an image on another person’s website, instead of loading the image on your own server. On the surface, this seems like an act that will save you a lot of bandwidth, especially if you have a high-traffic site, but it can actually make your website really slow if the website that hosts the image you hotlinked is experiencing a downtime or is slow.

Whether it is images inside your content or banner images for your ads, be sure to first host your images on your website before linking to them.

18. Limit the Number of External Requests

To ensure a fully functional website, you have to rely on files and resources from other websites; as a result, you have to embed videos, presentations, and other multimedia files. While this isn’t necessarily bad, if it’s too much or if you’re requesting external files from slow websites, it can have an impact on your site load time.

Try to limit the number of external requests your website will make; if possible, host as many files as you can on your server. For other files, only let your website request them from very reliable websites.

19. Use a Reliable CMS

Your CMS is the framework of your website; if you use simple HTML or popular and reliable CMSs like WordPress or Drupal you should be fine. If, however, you’re using a less popular CMS or something you built for yourself, you risk having a slow website; make sure you run appropriate tests and do the right research to ensure that a CMS is fast and reliable before using it.

20. Use a PHP Accelerator

PHP reduces the need to keep entering the same information on your website all the time but it can add to your website loading time. You can either try replacing PHP files with static HTML files when possible, or you can use a PHP accelerator to make your website much faster if it relies a lot on PHP.

21. Prevent Others from Hotlinking Your Images

Just as it is important to avoid hotlinking other people’s images, you should also prevent others from hotlinking your own images.

When people hotlink your images, they are basically stealing your bandwidth since a request will be made to your server every time their readers try to view the images on their website. You can prevent this by disabling hotlinking of images hosted on your server.

Your Turn – Test Your Website Speed

After implementing the above suggestions, you should go ahead and test your website speed to see if there’s a difference (leave a comment below if you see a difference).

After implementing the above suggestions, you should go ahead and test your website speed to see if there’s a difference (leave a comment below if you see a difference).

Digital Solutions – For further enquiries on any of our expertise or services, whether it is for website design & development, mobile application development, or digital media marketing, please feel free to contact or WhatsApp +6012-2428878, email [email protected] or visit digitalsolutions.com.my. Thank you.

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