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Ways You Can Speed Up Your Site Without Any Coding Experience

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If you’re a new webmaster or one who just doesn’t understand technology, then finding out that your site is slow puts you in a bad position. You know it needs fixing, but you don’t know how to fix it. Developers are expensive, so you’re left to your own devices to figure out how you can improve performance.

The most natural change you can make is to ask your host provider to upgrade your server. If you’re on shared hosting, you can move to VPS or a dedicated server, but this is also expensive. Your bill can go up hundreds of dollars a month if you move to a dedicated server. Your site should be fast, but once you acquire new users, performance will suffer again if the code is poorly structured.

Luckily, there are ways to speed up your site without costing you any money, and you don’t need to know coding inside and out. Some of these changes do require tweaks to your code, but they are minor and don’t require much experience.

Run Your Site Through Google PageSpeed Insights

if_20_google_my_business_shop_store_suit_service_marketplace_2109191The worst part of tweaking a site for performance is knowing where to start, but Google has a cool tool that can help you. PageSpeed Insights not only gives you a rating on your site’s speed, but it also gives you suggestionsю These tips provide you with a good plan. PageSpeed Insights will crawl your mobile site as well, so you get a rating and suggestions for desktop and mobile versions. For any webmaster who doesn’t know what makes a good performance plan, start with Google’s tool and go through its suggestions first. It might be all you need to speed up your site.

Move External Code Files to a CDN

if_File_Types_and_Folders_53_2961975A content delivery network (CDN) transfers files based on the user’s geographic location. For instance, if a user in Arizona opens your site, the server that handles the data transfer is probably in the western United States. If another user in London opens the same page, the server that manages the data transfer is probably in Europe somewhere. Data on the internet travels at the speed of light, but distance still makes a difference. The data must travel thousands of miles if the server isn’t in proximity to your readers. So you might ask what this has to do with your external coding files. Most websites host JavaScript and CSS code in external files. When linked at the top of your web page, these files load first, after which the browser will load the body of the page. By moving them to a CDN, these files load much faster, and your pages render in the browser quicker.

You can find free CDN hosts or pay for ones that have multiple data centers across the globe. Google is one good example of a free CDN. They allow you to work with jQuery and CSS files on their cloud servers.

Minify JavaScript, HTML and CSS

if_Vigor_minify-css-js-html-code-script_2102813This tweak takes a bit of coding knowledge, but not much. If you understand the way basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript work, then you should be able to pick out parts of your code and remove any extras that aren’t necessary. If you don’t know how to code in these languages, there are tools such as Minifier, JSCompress, and CSS Compressor that will do it for you. You can minify HTML using HTML Minifier. For a list of Google-approved minify tools, visit the following page: developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/MinifyResources

Check Your Scripts for Any Unnecessary Duplicates

if_010_trash_409123When a developer needs a JavaScript library, they go to the developer site, download the file and insert it into your HTML pages. If you already have the library included in your pages, then this creates duplicate scripts. It also adds extra load times to your performance. You might think that you can just delete duplicate scripts, but it depends on the developers code. If you delete anything on your site (including duplicate scripts), you should always test the page before you deploy it to your web server. This problem usually occurs with versions of jQuery. Because jQuery developers frequently release new library versions, they keep adding scripts to your site without removing the old ones. The duplicates can also create bugs, so you should always keep your library references clean from extraneous additions.

Compress Images

if_shrink_4_2731251Quality images can take an enormous amount of bandwidth an storage space. It’s one of the main issues for a slow website. Therefore, to maintain a visually appealing site without slowing performance, you should compress your images. When you compress images on your web server, the file transfers in a compressed state. The user downloads the pictures, which the browser then expands and renders in their fully extracted state. This method allows you to have high-resolution images on your site without slowing its speed.

Don’t Disable Cached Version of Your Pages

if_191_278688Developers can control the way users cache their pages. With pages that change frequently, it makes sense that you force the user to download the new version every time they browse your site. However, pages such as your footer and header rarely change. User browsers should cache these pages, and your developers shouldn’t override the default settings. When pages are cached, a user’s browser doesn’t download the code every time they visit your site. Because of the lower volume of data transferred, your site uses less bandwidth and loads faster for the reader. It’s a great way to speed up your site and even reduce the amount of bandwidth you use on your server. If you have cloud hosting, it can reduce your hosting costs.

Monitor Your Site for Uptime

if_Hosting_15_1566582After you make these changes, it’s time to monitor your site. There are several tools available to monitor uptime. Pingdom and YSlow are two tools that will ensure that your site is available from different geolocations. For instance, Pingdom will ping your site from the US, Europe, Asia, and South America just to ensure that it’s available from various areas of the globe. While this isn’t a code tweak, it’s a good change for your peace of mind. You need to know immediately when your site crashes so that you can get developers and even your site host involved. It’s especially important after you make performance changes because you don’t know if any of your changes have bugs until you test them.

Performance is a huge hassle for site owners especially when they don’t understand the way web pages work. These changes are simple and don’t require much coding knowledge. Use PageSpeed to find out all the areas of your site that could use improvement.

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