9 Ideas How to Improve HTML Performance
In this era of digital transformation, there are millions of websites on the internet which are accessed every minute for various reasons. However, not all the websites are optimized properly, which results in poor user experience. Visitors leave such sites without paying a heed.
If a visitor has abandoned your site because it loaded slow, then there is no use of the content and product/services that you have on your site. That’s why it is very crucial for you to improve the website speed.
While there are several ways to optimize website speed, this article is focused on doing it by improving the HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) performance. HTML is the foundation of most of the websites and enables you to set the format of webpages using headings, sub-headings, graphics, as well as other text and features.
Having said that, following are the best ways to optimize HTML performance of a website:
1. Use right image format and compress image size
Webpages are supposed to have beautiful and attractive images to grab the attention of visitors. But if you use heavy images and wrong format, then it will impact the loading speed of the page.
After building a website and setting up the webpages, you need to compress every image before uploading them to the site. This will reduce the image size and accelerate site speed.
Talking about the image formats, mostly JPEG, GIF, and PNG images are used on webpages. Consider use of JPEG images for realistic photos that contain soft gradients and colors. If you want to use images with solid colors, then go for PNG or GIF image formats.
2. Profile the webpages
You must regularly scan and profile the webpages on your site to know if everything is running smoothly or if there are any anomalies affecting the performance. There are several free tools available on the internet which you can use to check website performance and scan the site.
For this, you can use tools like Firebug, IBM Page Detailer, Httperf, and Pylot.
3. Reduce the number of HTTP server requests
For all the assets on a webpage, the website generates HTTP requests for interaction with the browsers of visitors. More the number of these requests, the slower your website will load.
The assets on a webpage can include text, images, video embeds, CSS and JS files, and Gravatar images of the people who have commented. For the browser to fetch each file on the website, a separate HTTP request is sent.
To minimize these requests, you should merge the CSS and JS files on your page. This can be done by copy-paste method or you can look for alternate methods on the internet.
This is one of the most ignored steps to improve HTML performance. By minifying the CSS, JS, and HTML files on a webpage, you can reduce the time taken by a browser to load your page.
In programming, minification is a process of getting rid of unwanted characters from the source code. There are several unwanted characters in the code, like whitespace, line breaks, spaces, block delimiters, comments, etc. Your code will work fine without these characters. Hence, it will be better to apply minification and accelerate the page speed.
There are a number of free tools available for minification, which you can use to avoid manually doing it and save time. Further, these tools allow you to reverse your actions.
5. Install HTML compression application
Server-side compression is another good technique for HTML improvement. Many web hosting providers do it for you, depending on the web hosting options you have chosen. Generally, shared hosting plans don’t come with automatic HTML compression.
Hence, what you need to do is reduce the file sizes on the server by installing an application for this purpose. This will compress the large files and speed up webpage loading time.
6. Leverage browser caching
Whenever a user visits your website for the first time, the browser saves some of the site resources, like logo, CSS file, etc. Hence, whenever the user visits your site again, it doesn’t take time to load.
However, if you keep on adding new files and other things every now and then, rather than planning things and then adding them together, the browser will need to load things every time. You should reduce the number of times you make changes to the website, plus avoid use of high number of CSS and JS files.
7. Use third-party web services to store some of your assets
There are some assets on your website that can be saved on third-party web services. This can help you to take some load off your web server. For example, you can use Feedburner to handle the RSS feeds, and store images of Flickr.
This way, the server will just need to fetch CSS, image backgrounds, and other functions, rather than fetching everything on the website.
8. Optimize the structure of webpages
Optimization of webpage structure can also enhance the performance of HTML. For this, you can use a tool like Cuzillion, which can help you in setting the just right structure for your pages. You can then edit or make changes accordingly and take things forward.
9. Regularly monitor the performance of web server
Sometimes, everything is perfect on your site but still it loads slow because of the performance of web server. What you need to do is conduct the monitoring of web server performance on a regular basis so that your visitors won’t get affected.
These are some of the best techniques that you should follow in order to boost the HTML performance of your website.
If you have any query, let us know via the comments below.