Website Optimization – More Important Than You Might Think
Your website’s slow and the search engines know it. So do your visitors but unless you do something about the speed you won’t have to worry about them much longer.
The busier the Internet gets and the faster connections to it become the more importance search engines will place on this aspect of your website. Now is the time to optimize it.
Let’s run through a quick checklist of the different scenarios and their possible solutions.
Your website/blog is slow…
Do you use a lot of widgets in the side bar pulling in everything possible? This could be a live twitter feed or other piece from your life stream. Comments from your visitors, polls, image gallery, random quotes, etc. You get the idea. Every time your website makes a query to the database you are using slowing load times. To optimize this aspect of your website you can reduce the number of widgets and plugins you use.
Excessive use of images can be a major performance killer. It can also have an adverse effect on your rankings in the SERPs due to the inflated size of the page.
Here are some good rules to follow. If you can achieve the same results with CSS you stand a good chance of reducing some of the overhead, and thus improving your website optimization. There are many other ways to do this, some of them include: placing as many images as you can together in a CSS sprite. This reduces the number of images that need to load and thus an excellent way to tackle website optimization.
Another method is by Compressing them, this can be done in most photo manipulation programs, where web options exist. Placing them on a cookie less domain. This allows the image files to be cached. Be warned though, this is a more advanced method of website optimization which may be over your head if you’re just starting out.
Are you using a free theme? If so was it well built or simply taped together, with a lot of performance and security leaks?
While I think that themes are one of the best things to happen to a lot of new webmasters, they can also be a curse. If the theme you’ve picked turns out to be a lemon then you’re likely to suffer from things like slow load times.
Don’t be turned off of using themes, there are plenty of good free ones out there. There are also plenty of affordable commercial themes that have been tested and optimized for speed.
And lastly, your web hosting. This can be the biggest bottle neck on your website, and the part that need to be optimized the most.
Website optimization can only do so much. Sometimes you need to switch web hosts to get the best performance. This isn’t as much work as you might suspect, some web hosts will even migrate your website for free.
Here are some things to look for to see if website optimization actually means web host upgrade.
Does your website run slow after you’ve checked and tried everything? This can often turn into a snipe hunt, unless you want to run a static website for 1999 there isn’t much you’ll be able to do accept trade up. This can actually save you money since web hosting cost might have gone down since you last looked.
Does your page time out, refusing to load? This can often be a sign of an overloaded server. If you’ve noticed it getting worse over time even though you haven’t changed your website this can be a sign resources are getting short. Again website optimization will only do so much, look for a host that doesn’t over fill their share hosting servers.
Have you noticed an excessive amount of server downtime? This isn’t necessarily part of website optimization but it does play a role in how search engines will treat your site. Too much, down time can be detrimental to your rankings. The only way to solve this is switching web hosts.
Is it time to start looking for a new web host? Sometimes that is the only way to really get the most from your website optimization efforts. Click here to read more about improving your website and finding the web hosting that can meet your needs.
Not enough? Are you ready to your website optimization a step further and get more traffic? Click here to find out how keyword research will improve your chances.
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