4 Ways to Optimize Hosting Performance
Whether internet users are browsing a news site, reading a travel blog, or purchasing a new pair of shoes, there is an expectation of immediacy. Any form of interruption or delay is completely unexpected and seen as a poor reflection on the particular site experiencing the issue. The rapid growth of technology and its impressive consistency has left online users with a continued desire for uninterrupted access to sites. It is no longer enough for sites to be up and running with relative consistency. Speed, accuracy, and reliability have become the standards. In order to stand out amongst the crowd, sites have to optimize all of these factors.
For site owners, this means having reliable hosting that can deliver fast speeds on a consistent basis. Once you’ve found and tested different hosting providers, you may realize that there is some room for improvement. When running a growing website, there will always be ways to improve your site’s performance. As mentioned before, hosting is the factor that needs to be tweaked in order to achieve these results. Here are four ways to optimize your hosting performance in order to create a more reliable website for online users.
Optimize All of Your Files (Especially Images)
If you’re not well-versed in coding, it’s helpful to imagine a site as a bunch of different files. In order for a site to be loaded and browsed by a user, all of these files have to be unpacked and utilized. The certain files that have to be opened will depend on which site is being accessed. While the specifics of this process aren’t critical knowledge, you should know that having too many large files can decrease the loading and processing speeds of your site. Although your site will be comprised of many files, images tend to take up the most space and require the most time to load. You can greatly optimize your hosting performance by controlling the amount and size of these files.
First and foremost, you should remove any images and files that aren’t essential for the functioning of your site. If you have icons that aren’t being used or small images that don’t add any functionality to your site, consider removing these files first. Once you’ve done away with the fluff, it’s time to reanalyze the images which you’re already using. You can check the file size and dimensions of each image to determine how much stress it’s placing on your hosting provider. In general, your images shouldn’t exceed 1920px in width or 150kb in size.
In a report by Aussie Hosting, they found that reducing the size of images correlated to lower strain on your hosting server resources and faster performance overall. Keep in mind if all of this seems to technical you can use a multitude of WordPress plugins that will reduce the image load.
Take Advantage of Browser Caching
Browser caching refers to the ability of a user’s browser to maintain some information about your website in order to ensure a faster loading time. This “saved” information greatly reduces the stress placed on your host every time that a user visits your site, resulting in optimized performance.
When a user accesses your site, their browser has to upload every file required to run your webpage. More files translate to a slower loading and processing time. You can optimize this performance by requesting users’ browsers to only update certain aspects of your site once a week or once a month.
For example, your site’s icon is unlikely to change on a consistent basis. As a result, there is no reason for your hosting provider to waste time and energy transferring this information to a browser. Browser caching can ensure that the processing of this unchanging information doesn’t happen too consistently.
Reduce Your Site’s HTTP Requests
Every time that a user’s browser attempts to retrieve a file, picture, or page from your site via your hosting provider, an HTTP request is made. Hypertext Transfer Protocol requests, more commonly known as HTTP requests, can be seen as a discussion between a user’s browser and your host. Limiting the number of these requests is an effective way to optimize the performance of your host.
Yahoo reports that these HTTP requests take up roughly 80-percent of a site’s loading time. On average, browsers limit these requests to 4-8 connections for each domain. In other words, it isn’t possible to load 30 or more assets at once isn’t possible. There is a direct correlation between the number of HTTP requests your site requires and its overall performance and loading time. Check out this guide by WPUdev about how to reduce your HTTP requests.
Upgrade Your Current Hosting Plan
After implementing all of these strategies, there are some sites that won’t experience much of a change in performance. This could point to a mismatch between your website and its current hosting provider. If you’re still stuck and struggling with bad performance, maybe it’s time to find a better host. There is only so much you can tweak your settings if your server resources are low. In other words, you won’t be able to outperform the limits of the host’s capabilities. For example, if your current provider’s servers are limited to a certain capacity, your site won’t be able to exceed this limit.
If you remain stuck within these limitations, your site will never be able to grow. The site’s performance will constantly be thwarted by the abilities of the hosting provider. This is a frustrating situation in which find yourself, especially when your site has the potential for growth. There will be natural stages during which your site outgrows the capacities of the current hosting plan. Instead of limiting your site, you should upgrade to a new hosting plan. This could be as easy as upgrading to an advanced offer with your current provider or moving to another platform altogether. It all depends on the requirements of your website. Take all of these factors into account before making a final decision on a new hosting plan.
You don’t have to settle for sub-prime or mediocre hosting performance. Your site’s success depends on smooth processing and quick loading times. With these four steps, you’ll be well on the way to improved operation overall. These enhancements can have a major impact on your business overall.