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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    95

    Basic ways to speed up your website

    Speed is certainly one of the most important factors when it comes to making a successful web site. These days’ people have high expectations, they expect a web site to load as fast as an application on their operating system, and therefore even a few seconds of waiting can frustrate them or leave altogether.

    A good website should take about 8-12 seconds (for a 56K) to load. The website owner is going to have to decide how fast its pages are going to be, for example for a multimedia or a flash site they can afford to be a bit slower than others provided that the users know the nature of the site.

    If you're curious as to how fast you're website is here are two websites that checks your speed:

    http://www.vertain.com/?sst
    http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/

    Ways to speed up your website

    HTML issues:

    - Use CSS where possible: Because pages with stylesheets load faster than those web sites designed with font tags and tables, and also it's much faster and easier to make changes. (Some resources on CSS – http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly resources/css/, http://www.websitetips.com/css/, and http://www.glish.com/css/)

    - Stay clear of nested tables: Nested tables are basically tables within tables, but too many of theses can really slow down the browser. When a page loads the browser starts from the top and goes down in a consecutive manner, with nested tables it has to find the end of the table before it can display the entire thing.

    - Specifying height and width: For tables and images it's a good idea to specify their height and width, as it helps out the browser and therefore speeds up the process.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    the css stylesheet caches
    images and db take a lot of time, too
    consider reducing these if it's just too slow
    With more success comes more expense!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    53
    The first CSS link you provided leads to a 404 page. Other than that, I think this tutorial is great. Thanks for posting it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    95
    Sorry about the dud link, I guess another good place is w3schools some material there: http://www.w3schools.com/css/default.asp

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    95
    Page size:

    • Reduce the number of images where possible: Most common causes of slow web pages are images, but they are also the easiest to fix. Try to eliminate repeat and unnecessary images, so they are not downloaded the second time. And also try not to use images for words, unless it's absolutely necessary reason being the download time and also they can't be searched.
    • Reduce the size of images: Everybody uses different techniques (e.g.
      converting to JPEG), but as long as the images are compressed it's
      beneficial for everyone.
    • Remove unnecessary multimedia: This includes video, audio, flash and
      animation, if it isn't important then it shouldn't be on the page.
    • Remove unnecessary scripts: Some codes can slow down the site, consider evaluating the codes and making them better if possible.
    • Remove unnecessary META tags and META content: META tags don't achieve very much anymore, people used them for search engine optimization but due to misuse they don't hold much importance in SEO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    95
    Web host:

    - Bandwidth: Make sure you have enough bandwidth allocated, it's a good idea to attain more bandwidth then needed just in case of a sudden rise in traffic. If you're website is nearing its limit the website speed can decline significantly.

    - Capacity of severs: There's a limit as to how many people can access your website so once again if your web site is growing in traffic, you should consider upgrading your service.

    These are just some of the basics to speed up your website, there are many other ways you can reduce download time for your website. If you have any other tips please feel free to post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    42
    Very useful tips. This topic is even better because of the helpful posts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Canada
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    Nice links!
    My website averages 5.21sec. so I guess this is great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
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    10,574
    - Bandwidth: Make sure you have enough bandwidth allocated, it's a good idea to attain more bandwidth then needed just in case of a sudden rise in traffic. If you're website is nearing its limit the website speed can decline significantly.
    Umm...what???
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by elix
    Umm...what???
    Sorry, what I said in the article is wrong I changed it. I got confused with server limits, I was meant to say people should look for a webhost who manage their servers well for example by not overcrowding their servers which would result in slow pages.

  11. #11
    That's a good tip. One of my shared servers had a problem because another customer was over their limits. It hung for two days in a row, and then they had to reboot it after suspending the offenders account. No fun I tell you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,441
    I'll add another tip: As lucrative as frames seem as far as speed is concerned, avoid them! They're outdated, bad for usability, and require loading multiple pages. I recently had someone comment on how they liked that my entire page didn't refresh every time they clicked a link, but really it was just loading so fast that their eye couldn't tell.

    Good code [CSS] > Mediocre code [Frames] > Bad code [Tables]

  13. #13
    with dynamic pages and a lot of queries >>>cache pages.

    I really like the idea of caching but I haven't got it myself, still learning the best way and I have two queries at most. But this might be usefull.

    Really depends on your website too.

  14. #14
    This is a very helpful tip .. Can u also tell whether cookies also slow down the site or not

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by bberlia
    This is a very helpful tip .. Can u also tell whether cookies also slow down the site or not
    I don't think so, cookies are usually about 1 kb

  16. #16
    if using backgrounds with repeating patterns, make the pattern into as small of an image as possible.
    Safe images as ready for web, 64bit gif dithered is usually high enough quality.
    Less animation frames, as little white space on images as possible.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Suburban Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Rifat
    If you're curious as to how fast you're website is here are two websites that checks your speed:

    http://www.vertain.com/?sst
    http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/
    If I understand correctly, the first Website measures how long it actually takes to load your site. The second one just analyzes how long it should take on the assumption that you have a typical Web host. So the second site can't tell you if your Web host is slow. Is that right?
    Adam Thompson
    Private Account Management
    www.ThompsonAccountManagement.com

  18. #18
    i am going to try these on my personal web page. Thanks anyway

  19. #19
    Site loading speed depends roughly on these factors:

    1. Hosting server
    a) speed (DNS timing test from http://www.dnsstuff.com/ )
    - server hardware: processor, RAM(?)
    - server connection to internet (can somone say what is considered as fast xxMB/s ? )
    b) location (IP information from http://www.dnsstuff.com/ )
    Site will open slower for a visitor from China then for US visitor if the hosting server is located in US. Check for any site how fast it opens from Europe, China, US : http://alertra.com . You can ask some friends from various parts of the world (via MSN...) to open your site and tell you secunds until opening.
    c) crowdness
    Check how many domains are already hosted on your nameserver: http://www.domaintools.com/ns-spy/ You don't even not need to know your nameserver url, just input your domain and it will tell you nameserver's name. Then input nameserver. (You can check any domain you want, not only one you own).

    (Some) hosting servers arranged by speed/continent/country:
    http://HOSTINGSPEEDS.com

    2. Your connection type and current speed: http://speedtest.net You can set up results as Mb (megabits) or MB (megabytes).

    3. Your site's Home page size/speed websiteoptimization test from the first post. Optimal Home page size does not exceed 100Kb.
    Last edited by bear; 04-04-2007 at 04:47 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    95
    A solid way to make your website faster is have your site coded to W3C standards.
    AppLogic Grid Hosting
    Virtual Datacenters For Scalable Web Applications
    Tier 4 Datacenter | 365 Main | Internap

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pearl of the Orient Sea
    Posts
    15
    - Specifying height and width: For tables and images it's a good idea to specify their height and width, as it helps out the browser and therefore speeds up the process.

    I didn't know this.. Thanks for sharing your knowledge rifat.

  22. #22
    helpful tips , thx rifat

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Norman, OK
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the tips.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    1,766
    Very good tips.

    I am VERY impatient when it comes to website loading speeds.

    I will give it 3 seconds at the most before i click back (maybe thats why i love WHT so much. its pretty much instant)

    I think i've read before on WHT that we waste about 1-2 years of our life waiting for pages to load
    -- Adam

  25. #25
    There are lots of tools out there at tell you how to optimize your pages. Response time is function of several factors, namely C, N and S. Client, Network and Server Time.

    The client time includes the think time on the users PC. When a machine renders an image of executes code it uses some CPU and memory resources. Depending on available resources and what needs to be executed or displayed, the Client workstation may offer some tuning opportunity e.g. additional memory, or CPU upgrades. Browsers on the client could be tuned to improve performance. HTTP is an asynchronous protocol and the both the HTTP 1.0 and 1.1 standards have attempted to take advantage of this by allow for multiple socket connections to the server. In HTTP 1.0 4 socket connections could be opened, allowing for HTTP commands to be executed simultaneously. This parallelism allows for data to be transferred quickly and should the server set the keep alive, the connections will remain persistent throughout the page load. For larger hi quality images, TCP windowing adjustments on the client workstation may also be made to insure that there is no window exhaustion that throttles the transfer.

    The network, as was mentioned above, includes bandwidth and latency. The later being the physical propagation delay of the wire from the workstation to the server. This as was indicated above is a function of distance. Most web traffic is not sensitive to latency persay. Because it executes parallel commands it is actually quite efficient over longer distances. What causes the delay is what is know as TCP slow start. When a TCP connection is made it begins transferring data slowly because it is "feeling out" the connection. This usually starts with only a few packets to ascertain how fast the connection is so that it can optimize the throughput. You can actually calculate that by hand using RTT/Window Size. This is called the bandwidth delay product. You can get around this stuff by using acceleration appliances or WAN optimizers that spoof the connection setup and then ramp up the throughput on the land and pass it directly to the client.
    As far as bandwidth is concerned, you only need to worry about one thing; your slowest link. You can never transfer anything faster than that. If you have 56 kbps at the desktop, then that is max throughput. Compression can help but only nominally if you have a bandwidth problem.

    This leave us with S, the server. The optimization here is similar to the client; more memory more CPU. But the real issues are really application oriented. You need to reduce image sizes, make sure back end database calls are efficient and optimize your web layouts. Sure server scalability is important but more often than not, the problems lie with the way the users have constructed the web application.

    Anyway, food for thought.

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