Oct 13, 2008
One of the most important factors in having a website is to have it load very quickly. There are multiple reasons for this. One is for the user side as people do not have the patience to sit around and wait for a website to pull up as there are millions of other places they could go.
The other part is for the search engines who like to rank websites that load faster. The slower the load time the more it will affect the rankings and good graces with search engines.
There are a lot of factors that can make a website not load fast and the first culprit a lot of times is images. Large image files can dramatically increase the load time. So you will want to look at your image file sizes and compress what you can.
Another is any type of flash pieces that are on the website. The more flash pieces you have the more it will slow down the load time. All flash sites are not search engine friendly because the spiders cannot see the code. If you do have html sites with some flash then you will want to make them load as fast as possible.
If you run a WordPress website and have some plugins then there are some that will slow the load time so it is imperative to make sure that you only use ones that you feel are the most important to your website.
There are several tools that you can use to see how fast a website is loading. You can go to any search engine and type in website speed tools.
I like to use YSlow which is a Firefox addon. This addon will show you how long it took for that webpage to load and give it a grade like your webpage is in school. It will grade on different factors that it determines the best practices for search engine friendly pages.
This addon goes with another addon called Firebug which is web developer addon in Firefox. You must first download firebug first and then download YSlow. You can set different parameters on YSlow to have it run when you want it to manually or you can set it to autorun which will run everytime you pull up a webpage.
It installs in the status bar along with firebug. When you pull it up it will show you different things you can do to increase your load time. Here is where you can download YSlow.