How to speed up your website in 2019

There are tons of factors that influence how long each page on your site takes to load, so there are many different steps you can take to increase your speed and improve user experience.

In this post, we�ll go over 20 tips and best practices you can use to decrease your load times and improve your site�s performance.

and if that number sounds overwhelming � don�t worry.

While all of these tips can help you improve your site speed, you don�t need to do all of them today.

In fact, if you�ve worked on your site speed in the past, your site may already be in line with some of these best practices.

With that in mind, let�s get started.

1. Minimize HTTP requests

According to Yahoo, 80% of a Web page�s load time�is spent downloading the different parts of the page, like images, stylesheets, and scripts.

An HTTP request is made for each one of these elements, so the more on-page components, the longer it takes for the page to render.

The first step to minimizing your requests is to figure out how many your site currently makes, to use as a benchmark.

If you use Google Chrome, you can use the

browser�s Developer Tools to see how many HTTP requests your site makes.

Right-click on the page you want to analyze, and click �Inspect,� then click the �Network� tab. (If you don�t see the �Network� tab, you may need to expand the Developer Tools sidebar by dragging the left border to the left.)

The �Name� column shows all of the files on the page, the �Size� column shows the size of each file, and the �Time� column shows how long it takes to load each file.

In the bottom left corner, you�ll also see the number of total requests the site makes.

Reducing this number of requests will speed up your site, look through your files and see if any are unnecessary.

You may not notice anything immediately, but some of them are likely prime candidates for combining � which we�ll get to in the next steps.

2. Minify and combine files

Now that you know how many requests your site makes, you can get to work on reducing that number. The best place to get started is with your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

These are extremely important files, as they determine your site�s appearance.

They also add to the number of requests your site makes every time a user visits it.

You can reduce this number by �minifying� and combining your files. This reduces the size of each file, as well as the total number of files.

This is especially important if you use a templated website builder. These make it easy to build a website, but they sometimes create messy code that can slow your site considerably.

Minifying a file involves removing unnecessary formatting, whitespace, and code.

Since every unnecessary piece of code adds to the size of your page, it�s important that you eliminate extra spaces, line breaks, and indentation. This ensures that your pages are as lean as possible.

Combining files is exactly what it sounds like. If your site runs multiple CSS and JavaScript files, you can combine them into one.

There are several ways to minify and combine files, and if your site runs on WordPress, plugins like WP Rocket�make the process fairly simple.

If you have this plugin installed, go the �Static Files� tab and check the files you want to minify and combine.

This can include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, as well as Google Fonts.

Then, hit �Save Changes� to complete the process. You can reload your page and look at Developer Tools again to see the impact that your changes made.

When it comes to your website, leaner is better. The fewer elements on a page, the fewer HTTP requests a browser will need to make the page render � and the faster it will load.

3. Use asynchronous loading for CSS and JavaScript files

Once you�ve minified and combined some of your files, you can also optimize the way that they load on your pages.

Scripts like CSS and JavaScript can be loaded in two different ways: Synchronously or Asynchronously.

If your scripts load synchronously, they load one at a time, in the order they appear on the page. If your scripts load asynchronously, on the other hand, some of them will load simultaneously.

Loading

files asynchronously can

speed up your pages because when a browser loads a page, it moves from top to bottom.

If it gets to a CSS or JavaScript file that is not asynchronous, it will stop loading until it has fully loaded that particular file. If that same file were asynchronous, the browser could continue loading other elements on the page at the same time.

Using the same �Static Files� tab of the WP Rocket plugin, check the options next to �Render-blocking CSS/JS.�

Click �Save Changes,� then test

your site to make sure that everything loads correctly.

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