8 Tips on Website Load Speed Optimization. Part 2.
In the previous article, we started looking at the best tips on optimizing the site load speed. We will now continue seeing what methods work the best if you need to significantly speed up your site and optimize its performance.
Content Delivery Network is a network of distributed servers that speeds up the content delivery time. CDN locates the user and finds the closest server, thus, routing your request to it. Because the server is nearby the user, it significantly cuts down the response time and optimizes content delivery.
In addition to faster content delivery, many CDNs come with several built-in features that are aimed at optimizing the website performance:
- Minify CSS, HTML
- Code restructuring
- Image optimization
Even though the usage of CDN can be quite expensive, the benefits that come with its integration overlay the cost and make a difference in terms of the website performance.
This is one of the most obvious yet overlooked reasons for slow website performance.
Heavy images can eat up the load speed so it’s best to compress them to reduce the size. For the WordPress site owners, there is a WP Smush plugin that automatically compresses the images right after you upload them to the media library. There are also plenty of other compression tools that will help you get the image size right.
Use CSS sprites
CSS sprites are basically the method of combining several images into one big image for the sake of faster loading. So, instead of loading multiple images, the browser will have to load only one.
Some may say: but the summarized weight of the several images is still smaller than the weight of a single big file, so what’s the point in using CSS strings? Here is the trick. Every single image requires a separate HTTP request and this eats up bandwidth while one big image generates only one HTTP request. In the outcome, the big image loads faster than several small images.
Use lazy loading
Lazy loading is a pattern that loads the images as they enter the user’s viewpoint. That means, the page and its content will not load at once – but the content will load as the user scrolls down.
Such an approach helps speed up the page load and improves the performance of the site. In addition, lazy loading brings a few more benefits:
- Reduces memory usage
- Prioritizes the content to be loaded
- Eliminates unnecessary code execution
- Improves user experience
It is important to note that the use of lazy loading means adding some extra code to your existing one so the code will become slightly more complicated. However, this is not a pitfall to worry about, especially if you consider the benefits that the technique brings.
Eliminate the ballast
Another simple yet effective way to deal with slow website performance is to get rid of all the dead weight on your site.
You may not even be aware of it but your site may contain lots of unused scripts, outdated extensions and unnecessary plugins. All this ballast drags the performance down while bringing absolutely zero benefits.
To detect the unused elements, perform a code audit and look through all your extensions. If you don’t recognize some of them, it most probably means that you can easily eliminate it.
Fine-tune the database
Just how much data does your database process on a daily basis? Probably, a lot. In order for the database to manage the data in an efficient manner without causing any delays in the load time, you need to fine-tune the database to improve its performance.
Optimize MySQL queries
One of the most common problems is the poor performance of SQL queries. When you start optimizing the issue, you’ll soon find yourself facing many choices, like using IN or EXISTS.
To make it easier for you, there are several query optimizers that are available, with EverSQL Query Optimizer being one of the most popular. What makes this tool so good is that it not only fixes the issue but also explains them and gives useful recommendations so you know what’s going on and why certain things happen.
Indexing is an incredibly efficient method of optimizing database performance. An index is a data structure that works by a similar method as a book index in the library: the database index facilitates the data retrieval process by providing easy access to the ordered records. With index, you can select/sort the rows much faster and easier.
Note: if there are too many INSERT, DELETE, AND UPDATE statements in your tables, this may actually lead to the productivity dropdown because the indexes should be modified after these operations.
Expand the memory
Lack of memory is another common reason for poor database performance. To check whether you have this problem, see the number of page faults that your system has – a high number of faults indicates that you need more memory.
Another way to fix the database performance problem is to actually get a more powerful hosting solution. As websites grow and get more traffic, this problem will become critical and will demand to switch to a better hosting provider.
Optimization of website performance is a multi-faceted approach that depends on the site and its contents heavily. The methods listed above are the most common ways to fix the slow website issue. However, it is highly recommended to perform a website performance audit to identify the bottlenecks first and come up with an actionable optimization plan. In this way, you will eliminate the guesswork and will ensure that all problem areas are addressed.
SoftTeco team will gladly assist you with the performance audit and further corrective actions to achieve the seamless performance of your website.