1. Minimize HTTP Requests
According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces-parts of the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc.
An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.
That being the case, the quickest way to improve site speed is to simplify your design.
2. Reduce server response time
Your target is a server response time of less than 200ms (milliseconds). And if you follow the tips in this article, you’re well on your way to achieving this. Google recommends using a web application monitoring solution and checking for bottlenecks in performance. Tap into these resources:
Yslow – to evaluate your site’s speed and get tips on how to improve performance.
Google’s PageSpeed Tools – to learn more about performance best-practice and automate the process.
3. Enable compression
Large pages (which is what you could have if you’re creating high-quality content) are often 100kb and more. As a result, they’re bulky and slow to download. The best way to speed their load time is to zip them—a technique called compression. Compression reduces the bandwidth of your pages, thereby reducing HTTP response. You do this with a tool called Gzip. Most web servers can compress files in Gzip format before sending them for download, either by calling a third-party module or using built-in routines. According to Yahoo, this can reduce download time by about 70%. And since 90% of today’s Internet traffic travels through browsers that support Gzip, it’s a great option for speeding up your site.
4. Enable browser caching
5. Optimize images
With images, you need to focus on three things: size and format.
Image size: Oversized images take longer to load, so it’s important that you keep your images as small as possible. Use image editing tools to crop your images to the correct size, reduce color depth to the lowest acceptable level or remove image comments.
Image format: JPEG is your best option. PNG is also good, though older browsers may not fully support it. GIFs should only be used for small or simple graphics (less than 10×10 pixels, or a color palette of 3 or fewer colors) and for animated images. Do not use BMPs or TIFFs.