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5 Great Tips to Improve Your Website Download Speed

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 141

You may be wondering why you should be concerned about your website's download speed. There are a number of reasons, but the two most critical items are search engine ranking and lost revenue. Most people understand the importance of both items, but there are some who may not be aware of the impact a slow website can have. It will reduce your ranking on search engines like Google because they consider how fast or slow a site is as part of the ranking process. In addition, studies have proven that increasing download speeds for a website can have a dramatic effect on revenue even when the improvement is only minor. There are many ways to improve your website's download speed. Here are 5 tips that will get your started.

The first step does not require any work to your website. In fact, before you do anything to your website, you should look at your hosting company. If your hosting company is bogged down with too many sites on their server or old equipment that is not reliable, any improvements to your website will not matter. You would need to start the process by switching to a better hosting company and that will improve your websites download speed.

The second thing to consider is clean code. It is very easy for unwanted code to sneak into your website, when you rely on programs that do not require much HTML or XHTML knowledge. This extra code may not affect your websites functionality, but it can really slow things down. Also, using XHTML is preferred over HTML which is slower. This is one scenario when it may be worth it to get an expert to help out, if you do not feel comfortable removing unnecessary code on your own.

Large image sizes or using the wrong image format is one of the biggest causes of slow download speeds. Not only will the large images take forever to load on your site, but they could make it impossible for individuals using mobile devices or tablets to view your site. Therefore, reducing image sizes and using the right image format for the requirement is the third part of the equation.

Another way to improve your site is by using compression software. There are several options available, but for this scenario we will focus on programs that work at the server to remove unwanted white space within the code. White space is a critical part of making your website's code easy to read and change, but all that extra space takes more time to load. You could remove all of the white space, but that is a big job which could make changes or updates in the future confusing. Rather than physically removing the white space, compression software will remove it before sending it to the Internet while leaving the original file untouched. This gives you the best of both worlds.

The last tip that will help you increase your website's download speed is taking advantage of cache. Cache is a storage area that is located on the computers of every visitor to your website. By instructing the visitor's computer to store information about your site in cache, you will reduce the time it takes for future downloads. The cache should be set to look for new versions, so that visitors are not seeing old information.

These tips can make a big difference in your website's ability to download. Most of these steps can be tackled by individuals with intermediate skills. However, the process may be too complicated for many users. It is a good idea to get the help of a professional if you have any concerns. You can do the steps that you feel comfortable with and have someone else do the other items. The results will be worth it.

If you would like a Website quote for improving your website please click here.

Source: EzineArticles
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