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25 + Advanced Tools and Tips to Speed Up Your Website

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25 + Advanced Tools and Tips to Speed Up Your Website
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We’ve compiled a list of over 25 resources and tools to make your website super-fast. Why so many? So that we can be sure you’ll find at least one you’ve never heard of before.

The price of a second

Time is money and a LOT of it when it comes to website speed. In terms of revenues from sales and ad clicks – every second can cost you bundles of money.

According to a research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, a single second delay in the loading of your site, costs you up to 7% in conversion rates. In addition, every second a user stares at a blank screen on average lowers pageviews by 11% and user satisfaction by 16%.

How do you know your website is slow?

There are plenty of tools out there that measure your website speed. I am not a fan of using a single source of information. I like to measure and compare. It’s important to note that you can use these tools for competitive research. Not just benchmarking your own server. Isn’t it nice to know how fast your competitors are, compared to you?

Here are the five tools I use (in order of personal preference):

PageSpeed Insights
– This Google tool is a good place to start. It’ll give you perspective on how the big G sees your site. The report you get also includes some useful insights on what the causes for the delay are.
google Page Speed Insights

Google Analytics
– While we’re on the subject of Google, Analytics provides good information over time rather than at the time of the test.
Google Analytics Site Speed

– This popular service is very helpful in identifying the slower pages, components and plug-ins on an otherwise fast server. Go over the report to see where your server lags and why.

– Exactly what the name says. The advantage of this tool is that it lets you run tests with different platforms, browsers and geographic user locations. This is pretty neat when you have a global audience.

– Unlike the services previously listed, Yslow is an open-source browser plug-in. It analyzes page speeds and provides insight on the possible causes for delay in loading.

Quick wins to improving your website load speed

Before I get down to recommendations that involve the dirty work of optimizing code for page load time, there are a few things we can do without messing up our hair. Some may seem obvious, but we have some unique strategies for those too.

Test alternative hosts
I tried to compile a list of recommended hosting services, but it’s pretty impossible. The reason is simple. For each website, platform, audience and geographic location, the result is different. The same hosting company can be perfect for a Canadian Linux-based in-house CMS and awful for a British WordPress based blog. The optimal host for you very much depends on your publishing platform requirements, so do your research and compare results. Remember that you can always use some of the measuring tools above on the service websites themselves. Should give you a pretty good clue of what to expect response-wise.

Clean up old clutter
Look at your content administration console. Take a deep breath, and get rid of anything you don’t need. Old images, old themes on WordPress, post revisions, unused plugins, widgets, and out-dated landing pages. Back them all up (just in case) then trash them. It’s a new 2016 so good riddance! If you’re using WordPress, you might want to check out WP-Optimize that automates the removal of spam and trash in the database. This makes it easier to clean up on a regular basis. Another good plug-in is Image Cleanup for finding and removing unused images. Which brings us to the next tip:

Shrink images
One of the easiest strategies of reducing the “weight” of a website in bandwidth demand is shrinking images. You may think this will hurt image quality, but the truth is that most graphic applications (like Photoshop and Paint.NET) are wasteful in image compression. In addition, many website designs use CSS to resize gigantic images that still load fully (and slowly). You can use optimized image compression tools to reduce the file size. Here are a few I like:

– PNG files have a major advantage over JPEGs in terms of quality and alpha transparency. This useful service can reduce PNG size by 25 to 80 percent without hurting viewable quality.

– For JPEG files there’s JPEGmini that does a similar job with large JPEG files as TinyPNG does with PNGs.
– A helpful tool to scan your whole website and find the images that need compressing. And then it sends you the whole thing in a comfy zip file.

EWWW Image Optimizer
– This free WordPress plugin is not as gross as the name sounds. It’s actually very helpful in shrinking images without leaving the WordPress admin console.

– Another WordPress plugin that is WP Smush Pro. It’s better at image compression than EWWW and offers more options, but isn’t free.

Another thing you can try is adopting more effective image formats (20 to 50 smaller files with no quality loss), like WebP and JPeg XR. This may not help with past content, but will make your future content lighter.

Enjoy the full length post:

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