Methods to Optimize Speed for a Faster Website

Stephen Yagielowicz

All website owners want increased revenues, and one easy way to get them is to boost the speed of their website — because a faster website makes more sales.

The following are three easy steps to help make it happen.

Users want instant access, super-fast video and audio streaming, and large file downloads in seconds — not minutes or hours — and a 10Gbps network is at the core of optimal performance. -Steven Daris

“Given the importance of speed to ecommerce, it’s imperative to optimize your websites to facilitate fast response to user requests, minimal buffering and lag time for media content, and fast page loading speed,” Red Apple Media CEO and co-founder Steven Daris told XBIZ. “Keep in mind that there will always be factors beyond the control of website owners and administrators, especially on a network as complex and interconnected as the global Internet, but there are many things you can control to ensure that your sites are as fast and responsive as possible.”

The first step is to choose a web hosting provider that offers excellent connectivity, data throughput and redundancy.

For example, Daris told XBIZ that Red Apple Media recently completed a comprehensive server upgrade, adding 10Gbps switches for optimal speed and server load balancing, to assure that client websites run fast 24/7, with no network slowdowns.

“These new leading-edge switches allow each server to push out an incredible amount of rich media while maintaining superior site performance both behind the scenes and for the end consumer,” Daris notes. “Users want instant access, super-fast video and audio streaming, and large file downloads in seconds — not minutes or hours — and a 10Gbps network is at the core of optimal performance.”

Daris notes that although internal network management is important, so is the quality of the bandwidth provider, explaining that while there are differences between Cogent, ATT, Level(3), XO and others, there is also value in having multi-homed or speed based routing, stating, “The faster the backbone, the faster your site.”

The next step is to avoid unnecessary or redundant scripting.

“Some web pages use complex coding to do jobs that could be handled with far simpler scripting, or wind up with redundant code over time,” Daris told XBIZ, advising webmasters to regularly audit the code of their site — especially any that executes as a function of the initial loading of the site. “Avoid requiring the user’s browser to process any code that simply isn’t necessary to the core function of your site or shopping cart.”

Daris explains that some sites have dozens of external calls to services as Google Analytics, Java based code, tracking systems and other connections that can bring your site down to a crawl — as it is at the mercy of those third-party scripts hosted outside of your own server — advising webmasters to reduce any third-party links or calls.

The third step is to optimize images and other webpage content, with Daris stating that there’s no need to use images with file sizes large enough to slow down page loads.

“It’s possible to compress an image considerably without reducing its visual quality, so make sure it’s a high priority,” Daris concludes. “Save all images in JPEG format if you can, and remove any unnecessary comments or colors.”

These three simple steps should increase the speed of your site, boosting its customer appeal, and result in increased revenues. Try these improvements to see if they help your bottom line.