Website performance is key to your survival. Search engines are becoming obsessed with it and it will affect your SEO. This is because slow websites mean fewer users and less happy users and thus lost revenue and reputation and a bad reflection on the search engine. Here are 7 steps you can deploy to improve website performance the right way...
1. Using htaccess files to cache your content
This is especially a problem with using a CMS (Content management system), since you don't design the site and rather just deploy most of the files. Joomla is my favourite CMS. When using components from the community you end up with content of all kinds. I like to control content at a folder level and not from the root. By this I mean creating htaccess files to help the performance of such content. Static website content that does not change often should be cached!
Look at the code below... By adding these lines to a htaccess file and saving it in the folder you are telling the visitors browser that these items don't change for the specified time.
Header set Cache-Control "public"
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=2592000"
2. htaccess files to compress content.
Again you can add a few lines to your htaccess files which will compress the content being delivered. Add the lines below after the code from step 1.
# MOD_DEFLATE COMPRESSION
You might find that this does not work on your server as each server is configured to use different methods of compressing website content. Just search google for "htaccess to gzip content"
4. Combine CSS and JS into one file.
5. Place your CSS at the top.
6. Reduce http requests by using sprites.
Decreasing the number of components on a page reduces the number of HTTP requests required to render the page, resulting in faster page loads. For this reason CSS sprites are becoming more and more important. Trouble is this ones not easy to do always.
A CSS sprite is your images combined into one or 2. Using CSS to display the right image from the combined collection.