As was stated in Part 1 of this guide, one of the simplest and less technical ways to optimise your site is to improve the page speed.
In Part 1, two page speed optimisation strategies have been introduced, namely: Caching and Image Optimisation.
In this article, two more will be discussed.
When you are using WordPress, there are also minification settings in the W3 Total Cache Plugin.
Then again, if you use Google’s PageSpeed Insights, it will also provide you with minified versions of your files that you may easily download. This is the easiest way to achieve minification of your files.
After your files are free of unnecessary code by performing minification, the next step is to compress these files, which is analogous to putting your files in a .zip folder. The smaller the files the browser has to load, the faster the page will load. Your web server will send the compressed file to the web browser to decrease page speed load time.
- IIS: You can configure compression with the IIS manager.
- Apache: This gets a little more complicated. You can use gzip encoding by the addition of a few lines to your .htaccess file. Any mistake in modifying your .htaccess file can have catastrophic effects to your site. Make sure to always save a backup copy just in case.
Add the following lines of code to the file:
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*
The browser will inform the server if it accepts compressed data (excluding images), then the above code will tell the server to encode its resources in a compressed format gzip so the server sends the browser smaller sized files.
- WordPress: There is a not-so-fancy way of compressing your files and this is done by accessing the WP .htaccess Control Plugin and enabling mod_gzip in the settings. This will add the necessary code to your .htaccess file.
These are some of the simple tactics a beginner in SEO might implement to increase page ranking. No need for complicated code and deep technical know-how. Increasing the speed of the page is one SEO strategy that isn’t going away anytime soon. The direction of technology has always been to increase speed. It is one of the most preferred qualities of technology. You are preferred over other choices if you are fast and this also applies to web pages.
For a useful report on your page speed, try using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.