December 15 2009 7 Steps To Make Your Website FastThe speed of your website is important because people's time is important. Nobody wants to sit around and wait for your website to load! In fact, page speed and page abandonment have a direct relationship. The 7 step program below is a set of guiding principles that outline a course of action to make your website load faster.
1. Admit it, your website is slower than your competition's website! What, you need proof? Go to WebPageTest and make a visual comparison video to assess your page speed against your competitor's page speed. Here is a classic example of Facebook vs. MySpace, who do you think wins?
2. Yeah, you have a problem. No worries, it can be fixed. Exactly what you need to do to make your website faster has already been documented. Check out Google's Web Performance Best Practices or Yahoo's Performance Rules and believe.
3. Now you must decide that making your website load faster will improve your business! It will improve your traffic, retain your visitors and boost your clicks. The evidence speaks for itself. Do your homework and check out some of the presenter presentations from Velocity 2009. Speed matters and its not just lip service.
4. You're in, time to get started. First step, you must take fearless inventory of your website's performance issues. If you use Firefox as a browser, you can install Firebug and then use YSlow or Page Speed to grade the performance of your website and generate a list of things that you can fix. Use WebPageTest to view a performance waterfall generated by Internet Explorer.
5. You are now completely aware of the exact nature your performance wrongs. Now you need to come up with a plan to methodically fix each defect. Fortunately, most performance improvement tasks are small and lend themselves nicely to being tracked via a ticketing system like Jira or project management software like Basecamp.
6. Dole out the work. If you are a web designer, time to roll up your sleeves. If you have a team of designers and developers, make sure you clearly prioritize the optimization work in relation to new development. Sow the seeds of speed and reap the benefits!
7. Finally, now that you've had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, it is your duty to carry this message onward. You must instill the Web Performance Best Practices into all of your future website development projects. As you'll learn, its faster and more efficient to have your development team code it right the first time. Good luck!
I'm Lou Mintzer, an entrepreneur, programmer, speaker, blogger, designer and product builder.Tweets by @LouMintzer