There’s a long list of best practices for making your website load quickly. If you’re a design/interactive marketing agency, this is especially important. Often times you don’t have maybe have your actual website loading quickly, but other things are preventing it from being quick and snappy.
A lot of these things have to do with your website and include cleaning up your code, making sure you don’t create any wasted database queries, and creating web friendly images and content. As important as these things are, they’ll only take you so far. You’ll fight half of this immensely important battle on the back-end of your server. Here are some important back-end solutions to having a quick load-time.
Like the vast majority of people, you’re on a shared hosting server, you may not have a server that’s been updated recently. The main reason is that these updates create down time and take up workers’ time at your hosting company. This process also can potentially lead to unpredictable errors, and thus, more down time and more workers’ hours. Check with your hosting group to be certain that you’re up to date. If you’re not, either request a move to an up to date server or ask for an update to your own. Whether it’s your hosting, PHP databases, or hosted exchange services, having the most up to date server software will help speed up your processes.
This doesn’t necessarily mean switching hosting companies. After all, your relationship with that company is generally a long term relationship, and switching hosts can be an entirely painful process. However, many hosts will take care of a lot of the details for you, if you choose to upgrade to one of their better servers. This can simply mean a faster server at the same cost–changing from a shared to a virtual dedicated server or a fully dedicated server. This can have a dramatic impact on your load times. Dedicated servers load ridiculously fast, so long as you’re willing to pay for it.
Public cloud servers run in a more efficient and effective way that’s perfect for anyone who’s going to be using on-server software, large databases, or other more expansive web based applications. Since they function on a “pay as you go” pricing model, the cost is frequently much lower than the price of a dedicated server, while giving you the speed that you need.
If you have a virtual dedicated server or a fully dedicated server, having the right configurations and up to date server software and databases will generally be your responsibility. Having a manager in charge of these aspects of your server can dramatically increase the overall performance. Management teams and groups are often available for hire from hosting companies. While not exactly cheap, this approach is generally much less expensive than having someone in house do this job for you.
While all of these back-end strategies are important, don’t ignore your front end. After all, statistics show that 80 percent of your site load time comes from the front end content.
Image Credit: Server Room Powerstrips