Understanding what factors impact your sites’ speed and performance is crucial to any optimization efforts. If any of these components are not optimal they can definitely impede performance. Here is a broad overview.
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Read on for some more in depth explanations about site speed and website performance.
Media – Every image on your site is a request from the server to load. This includes tracking beacons (1×1 pixels used for tracking campaigns). The more requests, the longer it takes to load. Some basic things to consider are using sprites and using a CDN (Content Delivery Network). The use of sprites will lower the number of requests to the server and the use of a CDN will distribute the requests for media to others media servers in closer proximity to your customers. This will reduce the number of request and the time it takes for the images to load.
Database load – if you have a very large catalog, or processing a large volume of orders consider getting a separate server to handle those tasks. Having a distributed server architecture will ensure that you have proper resources allocated to your customers when they perform various tasks like browsing your product catalog, searching your product catalog, consuming media, placing orders. Getting another server may cost you another $500+ a month but how much more are you losing every time a customer leaves your site? Or worse, when your site crashes?
Full Page Caching and Gzip – using FPC greatly reduces the load on the server. The basic concept of FPC is that most of your site uses the same elements page after page, the header, footer, navigation, and other elements really don’t vary that much. Full Page Caching caches a copy of those elements on your customers’ computer so that every time they make a request they only get the delta of information that is not already cached. Gzip compresses information that is sent from the server to the client which means faster load times.
Hosting – I can’t stress this enough, a good hosting company means less money spent on Rolaids. Look for 24/7 support and a guaranty of response time. Not an automated response but a real person. You should be able to call your hosting company whenever you need to and reach a person immediately. All the hosting companies we work with go the extra mile for their customers and can and will do basic System Admin work for you. We work closely with ZeroLag, iNetU and Peer 1. We also work with LiquidWeb. We have had great experiences with all of them.
Hopefully this information gave you a better idea of what needs to be done and where to focus your attention. If you have any questions feel free to contact 121eCommerce.com and we will be happy to help you.