• http://www.hortonwebdesign.com Chris Horton

    Thanks for the post. I’ve heard from both camps on the externally hosted images, however. If there is something wrong with one of those sites, then your site load time ends up suffering. And from what I heard spoken about previously in an old session, you also don’t get the full benefit of the ALT tags. The entry is still in the code, but the relevance gets attributed to the hosting server. Until we’re privy to how Google handles those within their algorithm in relation to relevancy, I think ‘d play it old fashioned. What has anyone else heard on this issue? That could be old news.

  • http://TannerChristensen.com Tanner C

    All such insightful and valuable tips. Really I think the best trick to increasing load times is to simply write good code. You’d be amazed how much faster a style sheet loads when there aren’t a ton of spaces or hard returns.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Great post, Ian. Speed is the killer app. One more tip re: database stuff: make sure you have indexes built out comprehensively and appropriately. Both straight data pulls and especially joins will run ever so much faster if the right indexes are built. It is surprising how often that one critical detail is missed.

  • Ian Williams

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for writing – very timely.

    Has anyone noticed a change in the WMT ‘site performance’ report, or am I just going crazy?

  • Ian Lurie

    George good point on the indexing. Dunno how I left that out.

  • Ian Lurie

    Chris I’ve found that using a CDN works fine from an indexing standpoint, especially if you create an XML imagemap. But you do want to be careful about which service you use. You want your CDN to SPEED UP your site, not slow it DOWN.

  • http://www.pagerank-seo.com Robert Visser

    A great start Ian. Thx for posting. I’ve found that if I’m able to tweak the code to be 90+% compliant with the guidelines on the W3C MobileOK Validation service, http://validator.w3.org/mobile/ , that page load speed increases. Have also found tweaking .htaccess cache-control to be useful.

  • http://blog.marketingxd.com/ MXD

    No mention of monitoring!!? If you don’t monitor performance, you won’t spot when some change or patch breaks your optimization.

  • http://snomanali.wordpress.com/ Syed Noman Ali

    Its great techniques to speed up thanks.

  • http://www.cnizz.com Chris

    Some really great stuff in here, but you did miss using css image sprites.

  • http://docsheldon.com Doc Sheldon

    Great post, Ian! There’s a couple of things there that are Greek to me. But you can bet I’ll heed your advice and add them to my knowledge base.
    @Chris – Sprites? Really? People still using those? ;)

  • http://www.architechsw.com david pavlicko

    Handy tips – especially like the idea of compressing your files manually instead of letting the server do it on the fly. Interested in more info on XML imagemaps, though. Never heard of that – is it like a sitemap, and where would I add that?

  • http://www.planetmike.com Michael Clark

    I thought that Flickr did not allow their images to be used on web sites without attribution and a link. From their Community guidelines:

    “Do link back to Flickr when you post your Flickr content elsewhere.
    Flickr makes it possible to post content hosted on Flickr to other web sites. However, pages on other web sites that display content hosted on flickr.com must provide a link from each photo or video back to its page on Flickr. This provides a way to get more information about the content and the photographer.”

  • Ranch

    Firstly, I’m stunned to see that using a CDN doesn’t even make your list of 29 tips. Using a good content delivery network is probably *the* #1 way to speed up a web site. The difference is drastic. As Ian said, you need to be careful which service you choose. Amazon CloudFront is easy, but it sure ain’t fast. If you’re using Google libraries, I know Google will let you load them directly from Google’s CDN, and they’re fast. But that’s only a small part of your site obviously.

    Using one of the big guys like Akamai, EdgeCast, Limelight, etc. may not be in the budget of smaller site owners, but there are many web hosts reselling CDN service now (MediaTemple, GoGrid, RackSpace) so the days of worrying about contracts, bandwidth commits, etc. are behind us.

    You have some excellent on-site optimization tips here, kudos. But excluding CDN from an article on how to speed up a web site is a glaring omission.

  • http://www.inkcover.com U.P.

    Awesome post Ian.
    I always minify and gzip compress my css and js and then upload them to cdn, but if you change your site a lot that could become an annoying task. I know it saves a lot in file size and site loading speed but thats really annoying if you do it manually, recently i found this online tool that will minify merge and gzip compress css and js and it will provide a free cdn link to compressed files : zbugs.com , hope this tip will help cause i personally was really lazy to do the whole merge, minify, compress,upload thing.


  • http://virtuallymarj.com Marj

    I love this article, and I want to thank you for writing it.

    Not only do I need to speed up one or two of my own sites, and some of your tips will surely help, you also got a LOL from me on items #8 and #12. I’ve helped a lot of people come online and, while they don’t always listen, your remarks are exactly the same as the advice that I give.

    You provided a bunch of awesome times, some of which I have used and others of which I intend to use. Thank you again!

  • http://www.techdesighn.com/ Ahsanul Karim

    Good points on speed up a website. I’ll try to apply these on my site