Speed Matters

It has been said many times by many people, but I have to reiterate again how important it is to have a website that loads quickly.  Researches have shown that visitors to a page has the patience to wait only four seconds before hitting the Back or Esc button and off they go.  However, I have encountered so many content rich sights that take well over that before the page is loaded with content I am interested in.  Some sites just do not have anything showing before the page is up, others will have random images appearing and pushed into place as more are loaded, but the content is no where to be seen.

So what can you speed up the load time for your site.  For one thing, if you are using more advanced technology than static HTML files, which most site are in this category these days, you need to make sure the server hosting the site is fast enough.  A lot of sites are running on the cheapest shared web hosting services and as we all know, the cheapest is not always the best.  These services do give you a lot on paper, but with their bogged down servers you will never be able to utilize half the resources they allow for your account.

Now, if your hosting service or your own server is plenty fast with enough bandwidth, then it is time to look closer at the details.  Like I mentioned before, if you are running a static HTML site, these tips will not help you.  But you do have many other problems of how on earth will you update your content or design across the entire website.  That is another post.  But for the majority of us using databases to generate dynamic content, the database is a big culprit in site latency.  Databases need to be optimized for the hardware and the application it is running.  Optimizing a database starts from the design of the schema to the implementation of regular maintenance processes.  Again, there can be books written on how to optimize a database and maybe I will write one someday.

Anyhow, if you are running a site that is slow, don’t just ignore it.  Spend some time to figure out why it is slow and solve the issue.  It would be a shame to lose all those potential visitors to slow load time.

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