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How to Speed Up Your Website: Learn What Can Be Done
Do you put your customers on wait ?
A well-done website responds and downloads fast.
People don’t like to wait around when they’re on a website, and speed is especially critical if you’re trying to interest completely new visitors. If they don’t see something interesting fast, they go somewhere else.
After the visitor’s own internet connection, the thing that influences how fast your website downloads is how fast the computer it runs on can spit it out. And this largely depends on
how many websites are sharing the programs that make it work
and how many things the website is asking the CPU ( central processing unit ) to do.
All things being equal, the distance that the computer that hosts the website is from the visitors is also an influence. But it’s far less an influence than these next things …
Virtual private servers
Most guys who set up their websites generally go for the cheapest hosting, which is shared hosting. But imagine, for example, if you were sharing the one word processor on one computer with 100 other guys. It would take AGES to get the document written and printed.
It’s the same with shared website hosting. The websites share all the apps that make it work and download to peoples computers. So it’s slow.
A VPS ( virtual private server ) gives you your own copy of all the apps and the cost of a VPS has come down a lot the last couple of years.
If you’re thinking of changing hosts, most companies will have an option to move your website over from it’s current hosting. So make sure you ask them.
About 80 of the larger, better known hosting companies are now owned by EIG or Endurance International Group, who generally spread server resources pretty thin for a LOT of websites. Here’s the list of hosts on Wikipedia. We had a Bluehost VPS for about a decade until they were bought by EIG and the service became terrible.
Number of Processes
The majority of website these days are built with generic content management systems ( CMSes ) and using the PHP programming language. These make it stacks easier to manage and update a website, but they create their pages by assembling each page from data in a database. This takes a bit longer than firing out a pre-existing, text-file page.
Also they can all be extended with extra cool functions – called plugins for WordPress or extensions for Joomla etc. As each one of these also needs computer time to run this can also slow things down a lot.
So if you have a WordPress site or one that’s database driven, it’s important to keep the number of extensions down as much as possible.
Cashing is where a pre-assembled, plain-text version of a page is held ready for instant download. Where you have a database-driven site, this is considerably faster than assembling the page each time a surfer clicks a link to get it.
How to speed up your website depends largely on what you’ve built it with and the points just covered. But start off by looking at ways to implement the fixes Google suggests. For WordPress users here’s a plan …
Especially for WordPress users
Install the P3 ( Plugin Performance Profiler ) plugin and see which plugins are slowing down your website. Work out how to do without them.
Reduce the total number of plugins to the minimum you can get away with.
Install the W3 Total Cash plugin and play with all the options checking your website’s response and load times as you go.