You could have designed a very nice website with a great user experience and interface but end up with your users not experiencing these great things you have created because your hosting space is not optimised. You web hosting space is the amount of memory storage that has been allocated to the server that hosts your site. Slow page loading, poor mobile views and performance and heavy bandwidth usage will cause an unpleasant user experience for the visitors to your site.
This could result in losing them as the experience will drive them away and will not encourage them to make repeat visits. How do you ensure this does not happen? How do you provide your visitors with the information they seek in the shortest time possible? Asides losing visitors because of their not so pleasant experience on your site, your search engine rankings will also be affected as page load times is one of the things the Google algorithm takes into account, you can read more about that here. Either way, you are losing visitors who could become paying customers.
Before we go on with optimisation tips, you must ensure that the hosting space you have purchased is one that matches your needs. You cannot purchase the hosting that meets the requirements for a basic, information website which needs just two web pages for an e-commerce site or for a heavy registration portal. The e-commerce or registration site will perform very poorly on that size of hosting. This why top hosting platforms like Freeparking’s website builder offer a variety of possible options.
We will assume that you have purchased the right hosting for your needs and will go ahead to give you seven optimisation tips that will help you make the most of your hosting.
1. The first thing we will advise you to do is to make use of Gzip compression. Gzip compression is a technique that simply makes your files smaller so that they can be transferred across network at a faster rate. This will help with making your pages load faster. You can read this article to learn more about this compression method. If Gzip is not enabled on your website, then make sure it is.
2. Clean up your graphics and images: Do you really need those large images and graphics? Clean up your files by eliminating unnecessary graphics, using CSS effects to replace some images and compressing image sizes for the ones that you must have on the website, there are a lot of tools out there that will help you with reducing the size of your images e.g Tiny PNG.
3. Do not host your own videos: Hosting your videos on your own space will take up file space and will affect the page’s loading speed. Instead of hosting the videos on your website, simply embed them in your webpage instead. All you need to do is upload your video to third party video hosting services such as YouTube and Vimeo, get the link for what you uploaded and insert the link into the destination webpage or post on your site. You will need to do your research to be sure of how this affects your content ownership and the accompanying rights. When it comes to optimising hosting space however, that is the best approach when it comes to your videos.
4. Watch your emails: If you think your website is the only thing taking up your web hosting space, you need to think again. Your emails also use up disk space on your web hosting. You should watch your emails to ensure that they are not taking up too much of your disk space. We advise that you delete unnecessary emails on a regular basis. As much as you can, avoid sending out mails with large media files through your hosted email. If you must, delete them after you have sent them. Before deleting if they are important files, you can forward them to your email account on 3rd party email service providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc, that way you do not lose them.
5. Enable caching: caching is simply the process of storing data in a cache (in computing, a cache is a place that temporarily stores something). When caching is enable on your website, this is what happens. Once a user visits your website, their browser downloads all the page assets once and these assets are stored in a cache until your website instructs their browser to get an update. Now because all the assets are already downloaded and stored in their cache, when the page is being loaded a subsequent time, it is faster as the assets are not having to be sent again from your website but will just be pulled from their browser’s cache.
6. Restructure and trim your code: All those tools and widgets that you add to your site which provide fancy options add code to your webpages. It is not just tools and widgets that are guilty of this, plugins, templates and themes among other elements do the same thing. To optimise your hosting space, look for alternatives to these elements, for example instead of a social widget, you could insert a link. Also, you could look for and use their lighter weight versions if available. Finally, you can just totally ditch them if they are not essential to the performance of your website. Craig Buckler of Site Point says you might be able to remove up half the code from most websites without it making much difference.
7. Analyse your site performance: Asides applying all these tips, it is important to use a good tool to analyse your site performance. Doing will help you identify the actual optimisation culprits instead of just shooting in the dark. You can sue tools like Google PageSpeed Insights which not only analyse the performance of your websites but also gives you optimisation advice. These tools analyse your website in relation with the loading of your page.
These seven tips are surely not exhaustive as there are still a few more ways you can optimise your hosting space. However, if you implement these seven tips, you should find your hosting space will be considerably optimised and your website will perform better.