One of the most common questions the web master of today has is: "How do I improve my website's performance?". Indeed, even if your servers have the fastest data connection in the world with the lowest ping, a website may still appear to load slower than it should from the visitor's perspective. This is because the page's markup is not optimized, so it takes longer for the visitor's browser to render the page. Optimizing a website is much easier than most think, and can be done with very little coding experience.
Perhaps one of the easiest things as a web master to do, is to have visitor's browsers cache content, so that it does not need to be requested each time the page loads. Many content applications have this functionality built in (or it can be configured at the server level in some environments, such as cPanel), but for custom platforms it may be be possible to create your own .htaccess file and cache content by adding expiration headers and by using the Apache DEFLATE module:
Image optimization can play a huge role in decreasing image sizes, thus reducing transfer times. Most of the time, it's possible to save the same optimized image without losing any image quality. Using the correct image formats for different types of images also helps quite a bit. Dynamc drive offers a great image optimizer here: http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer/.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012