Faster page load is very important for a better user experience. If a page takes a lot of time to load, higher probability is that the user will look for another page, going away from your website. Optimizing Page Load Time can be done quick using various free tools available online. Things that affect the page load time and free online tools to find a solution are listed as below.
Optimizing Page Load Time Tips
- Large size graphic images: Sometimes we forget to optimize images and this causes website take time to load images before it gets loaded completely. Using Smushit tool online by Yahoo, you can compress images and get them loading faster in your website.
- CSS Sprites: Instead of having many small iconic size images, you can have one single image with all the icons and use CSS sprite to show the images on the page. This reduces number of requests to the server thereby enhancing page load time. Using CSS Sprite Generator you can create css sprites for free.
- Lot of server HTTP requests: Placing the images, css, flash objects, etc on the same server results in a lot of server requests. Putting the load on other servers helps. You can use Content Delivery Network for providing the content to your site thereby reducing/minimizing the requests to your server and enhancing the page load time.
- Placement of CSS and JS on page: Put stylesheets at the top while JS at the bottom. Putting stylesheets in the HEAD allows the page to render progressively. JS block parallel downloads, hence keeping them at the bottom is a key to optimizing page load time. Keep the JS and CSS files external than inline.
- Avoid CSS Expressions:The problem with expressions is that they are evaluated more frequently than most people expect. Not only are they evaluated when the page is rendered and resized, but also when the page is scrolled and even when the user moves the mouse over the page.
- Lot of plugins: Lot of plugins like Social media generate a lot of requests (mostly to the social media server) but affects the load time to an extent. Remove unnecessary plugins.
- Lot of comments: The size of the page sometimes increases due to comments. Sometimes the content size of comments is much more than the actual page content. Loading a lot of comments on a page can impact the load time. You can load the comments after the page is loaded possibly through AJAX on page load.
- Code behind: The server side code also plays a vital role in page load time. Caching may help but not always. Read more about caching and decide whether to enable it.
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