Google recently announced that speed will become an important factor for ranking your website in 2010. While it was obvious that Google bots can’t index content if you have a slow loading site, but this was never a major ranking factor.
However at the latest Pubcon conference in Las Vegas Matt talked about the importance of speed and how Google is making the web a faster place with the launch of SPDY research project
Matt also mentioned that speed will be a vital factor in 2010, your page loads will have a direct impact on how your site ranks in Google.
But why wait till 2010, you can start working on increasing the speed of your web pages right now, this proactive approach will give your site a head start and have a positive impact your search results.
Making your site faster will also improve your readers experience and have a positive impact on your sales.
If you are serious about reducing your sites load time, you can start to work on the below mentioned factors.
– Optimizing image sizes:
Bigger the images, bigger the image size. Image size is one of the top factors in increasing site load times. Keep your images sizes small less than 30 k and use .png extension. Define your image width and size wherever possible. I generally use 250 x 300 as an image size depending on the post.
– Reduce Http requests :
Take a look at your sites http request and reduce the unnecessary codes and scripts or combine them. Every piece of code or image on your webpage increases the number of http requests. You may also simplify your blog design and reduce excess code that adds to increasing the web loading time.
This blog runs on the Thesis Theme, Thesis theme has less code resulting in increasing the blog speed and reduces site load time
– Reduce the number of plugins :
Reduce the number of plugins that you have on your blog. More the plugins, more the load time. If you are not using any plugins deactivate them in your wordpress admin panel.
– Minimize website errors:
Every 404 error page increases server and load time. Ensure that your pages have appropriate 302 redirects and regularly check broken links on the site.
– Use Google Webmaster tools:
Google Webmaster Tool is an amazing tool that helps you check indexing of your site, ensure that you utilize the webmaster tools effectively to optimize your website
– Check your Hosting :
Web hosting is an important factor that will impact the speed and loading of your blog or website.
Most blogs have shared hosting, which means that your blog will be shared with other 1000’s of websites on the same server. Shared hosting reduces speed, if you can afford then I recommend using a dedicated web host for your blog.
– Using a Content Delivery Network :
If you have a large scale website or blog you may want to check out options about deploying your content across multiple geographically dispersed servers. These servers will make your pages load faster.
Pingomatic recently published a report on internet users expectations of faster load times , the survey was commissioned by Akamai.
The above are some of the factors that will impact your website speed, you can also check out Yahoo’s best practices for speeding up your website