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Website Performance Optimization

We hope our previous post regarding the ins and outs of Website Performance Optimization have really helped you understand its importance in the mainstream industry of todays.

We also planned to cover tips and tricks for website performance optimization in that post, however our research and analysis on website performance optimization stretched a whole lot of the topic.

Hence, as part two of the Website performance optimization, Cloudreviews takes great pleasure in telling users the standard procedures for Optimizing web performance and supercharging your website.

If the idea of having a fast and responsive website sounds attractive, then read on below as we tell you what causes the hold up and how to avoid it.

Sluggish Web Performance – What’s Causing The Hold-Up?

The performance of a website is measured by the functionality of its frontend and backend. However, backend load delays that are sometimes caused by the HTML requests and other resources do not take that long. It’s literally the frontend of a website that generates major delays and causes your website to load slowly for web visitors.

So what are the bottlenecks in your website’s frontend that might be making it sluggish? Well, Blaz, Optimization Specialists, suggest that there are four factors that cause up to 90 percent of the total wait time to your visitors. These are:

  • Website Content: Since the inception of Web presences in 1995, the average page size and objects residing on it have grown to 35x and 28x respectively. This is the foremost thing causing the holdups in your website.
  • Third Party Content: The induction of social media and various share buttons in the website is also one of the factors. This trend has also seen a phenomenal growth for the past six years.
  • Heavier Code: In the past, websites were written in simple HTML code with few graphics, However, now things have changed and newer website are with heavier codes such as Java, HTML 5, and AJAX etc.
  • Mobile Web Browsers: Mobile web traditionally contains lesser connections and weaker processing power. Furthermore, they are predicted to be the forerunners among the choices of internet usage in 2014, they might also make frontend optimization critical.

Website Performance Optimization

Some Effective Website Performance Optimization Techniques

The performance team of Yahoo developer’s network identifies that the best practices of website performance optimization can be divided into seven categories. The following tips can come really handy for users that want to have a lightning fast web experience.

Website Performance Optimization

1- Optimizing Content

  • Less HTTP requests: You can reduce the components of your page by simplifying your website’s design and graphics. You may want to use techniques such as CSS Sprites, combining files and image maps.
  • Prevent Redirects:  You can use Alias and mod-rewrite to prevent your user experience form degrading. For domain name changes you can also create and new name.
  • Reduce DNS lookups: For reducing the number of DNS lookups and parallel downloading, users need to limit the amount of unique host names. 
  • Decrease DOM elements:  Users need to utilize markup methods in order to prevent high downloading speeds of complex pages. 
  • Cacheable AJAX: Users can optimize the performance of AJAX by making AJAX responses cacheable. 
  • Prevent 404s: Here again, users need to limit the number of HTTP requests especially useless responses. 
  • Decrease i-Frames:  This can be achieved by putting HTML documents in the parent document. 
  • Post-load components: Users need to post- load content and components in order to improve their rendering speed. 
  • Pre-load Components: Users can request components required for later use by taking advantage of the browser idle time.

2- Optimizing Cookies

  • Decrease Cookie Size:  This is the foremost thing to be done for optimizing cookies. Users need to eliminate unnecessary cookies and also set expiry dates on them to reduce their size.
  • Cookie Free Domains:  Users can host static components of a website on sub domains to reduce unnecessary network traffic loads.

3- Optimizing Images

  • Resize: Users need to check whether the pallet size for their images is optimal or not and convert them to PNG format.
  • CSS Sprites: Users can rearrange the images and combine similar colors to have a smaller file size. 
  • Keep Favicon(dot)ico small and cacheable:  This process will also help in rendering optimized speed. Users also need to keep the size under 1kb and set expiry header. 
  • Use only what you need: Users need not to scale the images in HTML and use any bigger images than the ones required.

4- Optimizing CSS

  • Style sheets to be at the top: By placing style sheets at the top within the head document, users can let the pages to render in a progressive manner.
  • Avoid choosing @import: it’s important to choose <link> over @import, because @import causes CSS to go at the bottom of the pages in internet explorer.
  • Limit CSS expressions: Use a one-time expression which prevents them from being evaluated repeatedly.
  • Avoid filters: To avoid browser freezes and rendering blocks, users need to utilize the degrading PNG8.

5- Optimizing JavaScript

  • Place scripts at the bottom: By using the defer attribute, users can force JavaScript to be placed at the bottom of the page.
  • Remove duplicate scripts: To avoid multiple HTTP requests users can also integrate the script management in the templating system.
  • Compress JavaScript and CSS: Users need to remove unnecessary code and characters from the script and reduce its size.
  • Make CSS and JavaScript external: Users need to employ external files except home pages for browsers caching. For home pages in-lining could be used.
  • Develop smart end handlers: To avoid the problems of excessive event handlers, users can use the event delegation methods.
  • Reduce Dom Access: In order to boost page response metrics, users need to avoid DOM access with JavaScript.

6- Optimizing Server

  • Use Content delivery network: Using a content delivery network has been acclaimed to be one of the best ways for improving the performance and speed of your website to end users.
  • Use Gzip compression: With Gzip compression users can reduce the HTTP requests and improve the response time of their website.
  • Early flush buffer: Using this way, users can save the browser idle time by flushing within the head.
  • Prevent empty image Sr:  This is also one of the steps for avoiding server requests from the browser.
  • Use expires and cache control: Users can use the never expire method for static components of the website and for dynamic content, use cache control header.
  • Cloud methodology: Cloud computing has been acclaimed to be the pioneers for excelling web performance of a website. Abundant resources of the Cloud can be a treat for resource hungry websites. On the other hand “managed” segment from many Cloud providers can be an added assistance when it comes to website performance optimization.

7- Optimizing Mobile Accessibility 

  • Reduce component size under 25kb: Certain smart phones such as iPhone do not cache components that are larger than 25kb, so it’s of high importance that you keep things under this figure.
  • Merge content into a multipart document:  To improve the accessibility of your web presence from mobile phone, you need to merge your on site components which will then be fetched with a single HTTP request.

Conclusion

Website performance optimization is a very crucial factor for success on the web and the aforementioned tips would surely let you harness it with your web functionality.

However, it’s just one of the larger pieces of the puzzle albeit another significant pieces – which includes many other forms of input as well including off-site optimization and digital marketing. Anyways, feel free to add whatever you think we might have missed in the topic and we will surely add it to the list.

Muhammad Ammar Naeem [Striver]

Ammar is a tech-enthusiast who just loves to explore the latest advancements in the technological world. His core interest is more towards various computing models including cloud computing. With his immense knowledge in this field, he shares information and latest updates with others through blogs.

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