Speed is an essential component in engaging users who open your website. Your website pages should load in only a couple of seconds. If your pages don’t load this quickly, you’re probably losing traffic. Here are five ways you can speed up your website pages to improve bounce rate.
Cache Static Pages
Some of your pages don’t change content very often. For instance, a “Contact Us” or “About Us” page won’t change content often. These pages can be cached. Cached pages are stored in server memory, which means the server doesn’t need to search the hard drive for the information. Pages stored in memory display much quicker than pages that need to look up information from a database. Cached pages also reduce the amount of server resources used to render the pages.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDNs are becoming more popular, because they speed up content delivery based on the user’s location. This benefit helps companies better serve global visitors. CDNs identify the reader’s location and send the data from the closest geographical data center. Even though data transfers at light speed, the data is rendered more quickly when it doesn’t need to travel across the globe.
Compress Files and Limit Image Sizes
Compressed files are sent to the reader in the file’s compressed state, and the browser decompresses the files after they have been transferred. Compressed files are useful when you have large pages or images that you want to display.
With images such as those displayed in a shopping cart, minimize the size of images by using thumbnails. When displaying a list of products, use thumbnails, which are far smaller than full-size images. For the product description pages, use high-resolution images. Description pages are what you use to display the product details, so high-resolution images help sell the product.
Tune Database Queries
You can have the fastest database server, but poorly tuned queries slow a website’s performance. Queries should be tuned either by a database administrator or checked for speed manually. For instance, MySQL has a tuning application that helps you identify performance issues for stored procedures.
Each table in your database should have a primary key, and queries should be tuned to query on primary keys and indexes. If you don’t know how to tune queries, a professional database administrator or database programmer can help you identify any potential problems.
Move to a Managed Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Dedicated Server
Shared web hosting means you share a server with potentially hundreds of other website owners. If any one of these owners uses up most of the server’s resources, it affects your own website’s performance.
A managed Cloud VPS remedies this situation. You get more bandwidth, your own virtual server resources, and you can host as many sites as you need. You control the VPS, so you have more control over your websites and the websites’ resources. You can tune the server for better resource management. A managed VPS is especially useful for websites that have an increasing amount of visitors and popularity.
Each of these tips greatly improves your website speed. Speed not only improves user experience, but it also affects search engine visibility. Use these tips to fix any performance issues and improve website architecture.