As a society today users consume as much data as possible, as fast as possible, meaning that if your website loads slower then 4 seconds you may miss out on business. Today on The Tech Check Blog we will explore the benefits of analyst websites to help improve the speed of your website.
The analyst site the we use here at Tech Check is GTmetrix where we can enter in the desired website to test and it will show us our Google’s Page Speed and Yahoo’s YSlow rating, along with a detailed report of the corresponding problems with the site. Enter you website address into the search bar and hit go. For this guide i will make the Tech Check site slow and use a few fixes to greatly improve the ratings.
As you can see the rating for Tech Check is a E and a D rating which could cause some issues for users connecting to the site and slow down the website. Lets have a look at our detailed report and find some easy fixes to help improve our rating and speed. One common issue on website is not setting an expiration time for data (images, css, js, ico, etc.) meaning every time your users visit your site they will re download all your website data to store into their browsers cache for any items with no expiration time set. Open the YSlow tab and look at the Add Expiration Header information.
To remedy this issue all we need to do is define the expiration header on our data. To do this we need to edit our .htaccess file located in the root directory of the website, usually the public_html folder. To access your website files FTP into your website’s file directory or use you control panel interface (ie CPanel) and browse the files there.
Once you have located your .htaccess file then we can ad in the following code to the bottom of the file.
NOTE: Always make a backup of any files you edit on your live website before making any changes.
# Enable expirations
# Default directive
ExpiresDefault “access plus 1 month”
# My favicon
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
This code will Define our Expiration Headers and compress our website code. We set a time of 1 month for all our images and code (logos, banners etc.) because this information doesn’t usually change very often. Lets save the changes and retest our website on GTmetrix.
As you can see we increased the load time slightly and increased our rating substantially. You can view more information on each item in the detailed report to help increase the website speed even more but this easy solution can make massive improvements.
I hope this guide helped optimize your website speed and perfromance. If this guide did help you please click the like button and share this article with your friends on Facebook. If you have any further questions please leave a comment below and we will answer it as soon as we can.
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