How to do Stuff: Website Design

How Big Should Website Images Be?

Oh no - more things to consider when building a website ! I've noticed fuzzy-looking images on websites lately since replacing…

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Building a Website ?

How do you get an idea of the look & style of website that will work best for you clients…

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Website Builders & Tradeoffs

WiX, Squarespace, Weebly - drag-and-drop website building services are advertising everywhere Website builders are great If you need to set up a…

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9 Steps to Balancing Web Development Costs

If you want to effectively market your business online, then you need to get things done WITHOUT wasting time and…

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Why Change Your Website to "HTTPS" ?

There are now 2 very good reasons to change over from running your website with http:// at the beginning of the…

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6-Step website tune-up for speed

Did you know that browsers read though your website pages top-down from the left ? (the same as you do)…

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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.

How fast is your site ? Check it with Google’s PageSpeed Insights …
https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
It gives you a score out of 100% for the desktop website and the mobile one, with fixes listed underneath.

I checked a website recently for someone who was after an opinion. It loaded really poorly & is guaranteed to be turning prospects away and losing a heap of business.

I visited the site 4 times and 2 of those it failed to load and gave a “not available” message ! It also has terrible scores per Google PageSpeed Insights.

As well as PageSpeed Insights, there are now a lot of free online resources that provide actionable details about a website’s performance.

In-depth performance research

  1. https://gtmetrix.com
  2. https://tools.pingdom.com
  3. https://www.webpagetest.org
  4. https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com

How to speed up your website ?

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.

    We use a VPS running on Bluehost who are in Utah, USA which costs $30 US per month  … http://www.bluehost.com/vps

    Over the last year Australian companies have starting to provide reasonable prices for VPS hosting too. We’ve had shared hosting with UberGlobal for aobut 10 years and they now offer a VPS for $40 AU per month … https://www.uber.com.au/products/web-hosting/vps/

    Most companies will have an option to move your website over from it’s current hosting. So make sure you ask them.

  • 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

    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.
    • Upgrade to a VPS.
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