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As a business, you should have a strategy to maximize website performance which, in turn, can help maximize business performance. A highly performing website can deliver measurable business results by ranking higher in search, keeping visitors on the website longer and converting more visitors to leads or buyers.
When it comes to performance, there are a number of considerations. Ongoing performance optimization should be built-in to your business operational plan…whether you maintain the website yourself or outsource to professional management. Here are 7 key strategies to employ in your ongoing website performance optimization operations:
According to analysis of data at HTTP Archive, images comprised 51% of the weight of WordPress websites. Image optimization is an important tactic to maximize website performance. Images used on your website should be optimized to balance the way they look with their file size. Larger image file sizes will slow down the load time of a page and impact your overall website speed. In addition, your web developer should employ image compression techniques such as lossless or lossy and convert images to the newer WebP format for serving to modern browsers.
A content delivery network (CDN) helps reduce latency which means it helps get the content from your web server to a user’s browser faster. A CDN replicates your website data onto a network of servers around the world and serves your web assets from the server that is closest to the user.
Caching temporarily stores your web pages, images and other files so subsequent requests for these files can be fulfilled by the cache instead of requesting them from your web server which allows them to be accessed more quickly. Browser caching refers to the temporary storage of web server content locally on a user’s computer. You should have a high quality caching plugin running on your WordPress website.
As mentioned above, there are often multiple CSS and JS files employed to drive the functionality and user experience on a website. In most cases, from a computing perspective, the files don’t need to be separate and can be combined. This may improve loading speed as the web server only has to read a single file of a given type once. There are risks to this practice so you should consult with your web developer about whether this strategy makes sense for your website. Always have a current backup of your site prior to implementing CSS and JS file combination.
As time goes by and updates are made on your website, databases can become large with multiple versions of content, blog post drafts, and other data. Regular clean-up of databases should be employed as part of your optimization strategy.
When it comes to the internet, change is constant. To maximize website performance, you must regularly monitor and adjust. You can use tools like GTMetrix to periodically test your website performance on a variety of factors and get recommendations on issues that may be having a negative impact on performance. The monitoring frequency required depends on a variety of factors such as traffic and frequency of updates.
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