Improve homepage speed

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@andreea-macoveiciuc-content-expert


Business Benefits

Improve user experience and get more page views, lower bounce rates, and more conversions.


Use a content delivery network (CDN) like StackPath, CacheFly, or Cloudflare and host static content on a cloud that uses a CDN to improve site load speeds.

A CDN stores a cached version of your website on servers in strategic locations across the globe, enabling users to connect to their closest server allowing for faster load speeds.

Ask your web host or system admin to install the Google PageSpeed Module and Memcached on your web server.

The Google PageSpeed Module automatically optimizes resources on your web page to improve performance without you having to modify any existing content or workflows. Memcached alleviates database load to speed up dynamic web applications but needs to be configured by your system admin or web host before your site can use it.

Use image optimizers like EWWW Image Optimizer or Kraken to compress website images without compromising their quality.

EWWW Image Optimizer is available as a WordPress plugin and Kraken can be used on all website platforms.

Use your own servers or a fast, dedicated web host like LiquidWeb or WP Engine.

Shared hosting is only suitable for websites with low traffic. Avoid budget shared hosting like Hostgator or GoDaddy if you have high web traffic.

Minimize requests by combining all your JavaScript files into one, combining images with CSS sprites, minimizing DNS lookups, minimizing redirects, and avoiding using CSS @import.

  • Use a tool like Google Closure Compiler to combine all your Javascript files into one if you’re technically inclined.
  • Use a tool like Compass to create CSS sprites or ask your front-end web developer to do this for you.
  • Ask your front-end developer to avoid using @import to import style rules from other sheets and use a tag for each stylesheet instead to boost page load times.
  • Avoid using multiple domains for your site to minimize DNS lookups and keep redirects to a minimum. If necessary, always use HTTP redirects instead of Javascript redirects.

Use caching tools like W3 Total Cache for WordPress to minimize round trip times.

Ask your web developer to implement caching on your site if you’re not sure how, or use a different platform.

Ask your web developer to compress your site using Gzip to reduce response times by up to 70%.

Add Expires headers to tell browsers whether to serve a live or cached version of the page to decrease page load times.

This helps reduce the size and number of HTTPs and helps web pages load faster. Most caching systems automatically take care of headers, but it’s always worth checking. Your web developer can check that Expires headers are properly set and implement a Never Expire policy for static components and a Cache-Control header for dynamic content if they’re not.

Disable all the plugins or extras you don’t use to avoid loading unnecessary CSS and JavaScript files.

A couple of other suggestions I would throw in here are:

  • Limit the number of web fonts you use. These get big fast!
  • Avoid using third-party JS as this requires calls to a different server. Social media buttons seem particularly bad in my experience.
  • Use a service like sirv.com to handle product image management. It will take the load off your server and is lightning fast.
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