There is a lot of buzz at the moment about the speed of your website being a factor that affects your search engine rankings. Matt Cutts the unofficial public face of Google seems to be dropping little hints to this fact whenever he speaks, most recently when he addressed the Dublin chamber of commerce you can read more about Matt’s visit in the Irish Times
You know you need to speed up your site but how do you do it
Now that you know the benefits of having a higher page loading speed, how do you actually go about it? Well, most SEO experts will usually proceed by performing the following SEO methodologies considered to be the best in order to achieve higher web page speed:
- Reduce initial display time of webpage
- Resize and optimize images
- Upgrade CSS style sheets to the latest standards
- Optimize Java scripts
- Optimize multimedia content
What did you just say?
All this sounds great but if your a small business owner with limited experience with the web its a tall order in anyone’s book. what you need is a step by step guide on how to do all the above tasks.
Reduce initial display time of webpage
Well yes, that’s what were trying to do! ignore this one as it’s the out come of the methods we are going to put in place.
Resize and optimize images
One we can work with. Often images on a web page are unoptimised. What this means is they are larger in file size then they need to be (larger the file the longer it takes to download) this can be because the image is using more detail then it needs, or the actual image dimensions are lager then is being displayed
these are both exactly the same image except one has been resized in the page mark-up
You can do optimise and resize your images online with www.webresizer.com
Upgrade CSS style sheets to the latest standards
This is a bit misleading as its not upgrading your CSS as such, it’s just re-writing it into a shorthand version. We use CSS tidy there was a hosted version at http://csstidy.sourceforge.net/ but it’s no longer there, we have our own copy hosted on our servers http://webmojo.co.uk/csstool/
Optimize Java scripts
What this simply means is place all your Java scripts into one external file
Optimizing Multimedia Content
Audio: First ask yourself whether your site really needs sounds or music! Having a midi file playing in the background is an annoyance (my opinion); visitors come to your page because of its contents and not to listen to music. However, if it’s imperative to include background sounds or music try to use a midi file or a small .wav file that loops seamlessly.
Video: Since video files can be quite large, it’s best to provide a link to the file mentioning the file size and leave the choice of viewing it to the visitor rather than forcing it to load in the page.
Flash: Flash is a vector based program. To keep Flash files at a minimal size try to use fewer fonts, reuse symbols, compress the included sounds, convert bitmaps to vector graphics etc. To judiciously decide whether Flash intros are required for your site.