How to speed up your website

joomla support cheshire manchester merseyside north west ukIf you want to improve website performance and at the same time boost performance in search engine results, focus on speed.

Do so when you choose a hosting provider and when you perform your duties as website administrator.

What do we mean by speed?

Data Access Speed is a measure of how long it takes to read and access data on the server's drive.

Data Access Speed is crucially important for dynamic data-driven websites like Joomla!

Reason: when a visitor clicks on a link in a Joomla! website they trigger hundreds of database queries.

Data Access Speed is a function of your web server's configuration.

Read more: Making sense of the web hosting environment.

Page Load Speed is how long it takes for a web page to load in  the visitor's browser when they click on a link.

Slow loading web pages result in frustrated visitors abandoning your website and not coming back!

Faster loading pages means more interaction, more page views, and more sales enquiries if you are a business.

Page Load Speed is a function of both your web server's configuration and the decisions you take as website administrator.

How to check Page Load Speed

There are some great free tools you can use to check how fast your pages load when visitors browse your website. 

We like the following applications:

  • GTmetrix Performance Reports,
  • Lighthouse (requires subscription).

Read more: Useful links to help check Page Load Speed.

How you can improve website performance

Focus on SPEED to improve website PERFORMANCE when you:

Things to think about when choosing a hosting provider.

Server Configuration

Our experience tells us that:

  • SSD drive + PHP 7

offers better performance than

  • HDD drive + PHP 5.6.

Server application

A recently new server application is called Litespeed Web Server.

Hosting companies which offer this application state they do so because it increases server performance, stability and security.

Read more: About Litespeed Web Server.

Solid State Drive

SSD or Solid State Drives offer better core performance, faster data retrieval and faster page caching than traditional spinning disk drives.

Read more: Joomla! websites perform better on SSD drives.

Litespeed or Varnish Caching

The difference in page load speed is noticeable.

Read more: Choosing a hosting provider.

Things to focus on when administering your website.

Enable Page Caching

Enable the Page Cache Plugin and adjust Global Configuration settings.

Read more: Page Cache Plugin

Enable Gzip Compression

Adjust Global Configuration settings to enable Gzip compression, if supported by your hosting provider.

We recommend that you install and configure Akeeba Admin Tools.

Admin Tools will when appropriately configured will add the necessary lines of code to the HTACCESS file for you.

Read more: Global Configuration.

Customise the HTACCESS file

You should take care when adding code to the HTACCESS file as the result could be to break your website.

There are some significant lines of code that can be added to improve performance in web browsers.

Admin Tools Pro will when appropriately configured will add the necessary lines of code to the HTACCESS file for you.

Ask for help with customising the HTACCESS file.

Install Akeeba Admin Tools Pro

Subscribe to the Pro version for optimum impact on performance as well as website security.

Admin Tools Pro facilitates customisation of the HTACCESS file from within your website's control panel.

Ask for help with Admin Tools Pro.

Housekeeping

Focus constantly on improving website layout to improve the experience of visitors, humans and search bots alike.

Use the Redirects Component to fix broken links.

This will improve SEO but will also improve page load speed.

Read more: How to fix broken links with Redirects Component.

Geographic Location

If your website serves a target audience in one country, it makes sense to host the website close to where the audience is.

Doing so will minimise latency (time taken for content to travel from server to visitor's web browser).

The alternative is to use a CDN or Content Delivery Network.

You may prefer for practical business reasons instead to host with a provider in your own country.

In which case consider using the service of a CDN like Cloudflare.

You may also wish to check that your intended hosting provider offers CDN integration.

 

PERSONAL Joomla! CMS Help & Support

We coach, help and support managers with responsibility for Joomla! websites in organisations across Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside, North West England & the UK.

Read more: WYNCHCO Joomla! CMS Help & Support.