Mar16

Clear Out Your Clutter

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

According to a news report at Search Engine Land Google is now testing a red label in search engine results to indicate slow loading sites. That means it’s time for us all to give our sites a good spring cleaning and here’s how….

Page speed has long been a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm but most of us have been able to swerve it by a small dip in SEO. However, if Google decides to keep its new ‘SLOW’ tags your upload speed will be much more of an issue than it was. Users will be much less likely to view your page if Google warns them before they click your link, so this means it is time to get out the mops and brooms and give your website a spring clean.

If you’re not sure what speed your page loads at, test it out here: Pingdom or YSlow

Web users, especially online shoppers, are impatient. A study by Statistia showed that 25 per cent of shoppers will leave a site because of a bad user experience, which includes your site loading as quickly as possible. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you are taking advantage of every click as well as avoiding a bright red slow label.

For the best clean-up practices visit:  Make The Web Faster

  1. Educate yourself.

Knowing your site’s habits and patterns will let you know when something is up. Just because a site worked really well at a specific time doesn’t mean that it will continue to do so. Websites evolve just as the rest of the world does so if you don’t continue to learn about sites and their potential vulnerabilities, you could leave a back door open for hackers or spammers. Or worse still just run a bad site in general.

  1. Evaluate your plugins.

Plugins are great when used correctly. They can bring new functionality and features to your site, but if you are forcing your page to make too many trips back and forth to the server, they might be more trouble than they are worth. Plugin problems are easy to fix. Just remove the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary with a good ol’ pros and cons list.

Note: Be sure that your plugins are up to date to avoid frustration.

  1. Optimize your images.

Reduce the size of your images by using a GIF, PNG-8 or JPEG file formats. If you are simply scaling down the size of large images you might be taking up less space on the screen, but the file size is the same. Consider using CSS sprites for ultimate image domination.

  1. Clean up your code.

If you are not using a drag and drop website creator like our easy website builder, you may need to sort through your code to eliminate duplicates and minimize the white space and code. If you’re not sure about the best way to tackle the clean up of a large page, check out CleanCSS.com for some pointers.

  1. Consider a Content Delivery Network.

Location is very important when sending and retrieving information. Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can spread your content across different servers and speed up the load time. By implementing a CDN you will be able to send files faster and shrink file size by avoiding files bloated with cookies. For more information check out this blog and see if a CDN might work for you.  

So, while Google’s Slow Labels aren’t yet being implemented, it is always best practice to run a fast-loading, well-protected site. Even if your customers don’t notice, your web host will!

We know that Midphase definitely loves a well-maintained site.

If you have any questions about how to maintain or spring clean your site, visit our knowledge base or contact our 24×7 support staff.

 

This article was brought to you by Midphase, for shared hosting, cloud servers and 24/7 support visit our site here www.midphase.com

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