Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site

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Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site

Site speed is one of the most important things about creating web content, and web applications.

Here’s a list from easy to not-so-easy, of ways you can get things running faster on your website:

  • Server
    • Leverage browser caching
    • Enable Keep-Alive
    • Enable gzip compression
    • Make landing page redirects cacheable
    • Use a Content Delivery Network
  • Content Elements
    • Minimize redirects
    • Remove query strings from static resources
    • Specify a character set
    • Add an Expires or a Cache-Control Header
    • Split Components Across Domains
    • Minimize the Number of iframes
    • Minify your codes
    • Serve resources from a consistent URL
    • Reduce DNS lookups
    • Avoid bad requests
  • CSS, JS and Images
    • Specify image dimensions
    • Optimize images
    • Put CSS at the top and JS at the bottom
    • Avoid CSS Expressions
    • Make JavaScript and CSS External
    • Minify JavaScript and CSS
    • Remove Duplicate Scripts
    • Remove Duplicate Script
    • Don’t Scale Images in HTML
    • Make favicon.ico Small and Cacheable
    • Keep Components under 25K
    • Avoid Empty Image src

The list goes on to sped up your website. A site is never ‘fast enough’. What’s important is to make your site faster.

Tools to Measure Your Site’s Speed

Pingdom

Pingdom is a site that tests page load time and breaks down how long it takes for every script, CSS file and media asset to load. You can use the resulting chart to make decisions about things like whether to consolidate your CSS files or whether a content delivery network (CDN) might help deliver images faster.

YSlow

Yahoo’s YSlow has been around for a few years but it’s no less useful today, even with the arrival of several new competitors on the market. YSlow, which is available as a browser plugin for Firefox and Chrome, clocks page load time and then provides a detailed report card, complete with letter-based grades.

Google Page Speed

Google has been incresingly fixated on speed as of lately, both in its own products (see Chrome and Google Instant) and the Web at large, having announced last year that site speed now plays a role in organic search rankings. It’s available as a browser extension and also a Web-based test.

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