The overall performance of any website will make a profound impact on success. Not only is this important for visitors, but it will weigh heavily in search engine optimization. After all, engines like Google rank sites lower that have poor performance.
When owners set up their sites with Joomla hosting, they have access to a powerful content management system. Joomla is one of many CMS applications that make setting up a site simple. However, much can be done to make the site more appealing to visitors and search engines alike.
Below are five ways that help any user get more out of his or her Joomla website. Because guests are more likely to abandon a site if it does not load quickly, these methods have potential to increase traffic.
1. Optimize Images on the Website
Image optimization is always a concern for any website. This is especially true considering how pictures can be taken in such high resolution. These hi-res images may look nice, but they also take up a great deal of space. If there are several huge images on the website, it can hurt the performance of Joomla as well as SEO ranking.
Use an image-editing tool to size images accordingly. Although coding can be useful when shrinking an image to fit the site, the graphic will still render in its full size. This means that the background saved at 3200 pixels wide will still render the entire image even if the code reduces its visual size to 1200.
Keep images to a minimum of possible. The less work the visitor’s browser has to do to render the webpage, the better the site will perform.
2. Enabling Cache in Joomla
Page caching is a great way to boost site performance for those who are return visitors. In essence, the guests computer stores information locally regarding the website. Instead of the same information being loaded with every visit, the guest’s computer quickly renders the stored information.
Caching in Joomla can be set up in a couple of ways. Operators can go to the “Global Configuration” and click on the “System” tab. From there, the cache settings can be enabled or disabled based on preferences. Depending on the version of Joomla, there may be two options: conservative and progressive.
- Conservative Caching: Every visitor gets his or her own unique cache.
- Progressive Caching: The same cache is delivered to all visitors regardless of who or where they are.
Another way to enable caching in Joomla is through plugins. For example, Speed Cache offers an excellent method to create caching as well as optimize areas such as expiring headers and PHP version check.
3. Optimizing the Site for Mobile Devices
As of 2015, more smartphones and tablets are accessing the Internet more often than computer systems. This means site owners have to optimize for mobile technology to remain competitive. Because this technology is so prevalent in society, there are many ways that owners can build an efficient and responsive site.
Free online apps such as Google’s PageSpeed tool offer profound information regarding the overall performance of the site. These applications will scan through the content and provide suggestions about how to fix issues. PageSpeed will also show the difference in performance between mobile and desktop versions of the site.
4. Use a Content Deliver Network
Joomla isn’t the only type of site that can benefit from a content delivery network. These platforms will vastly improve site performance across the globe. In some instances, sites experience an increase of 10-times to speed and overall performance. Of course, this will differ depending on the CDN and the site’s initial capacity.
The primary objective of a CDN is to distribute the website to various servers around the globe. This essentially creates copies of the site for those who are closer to those servers. For example, a visitor from Colorado would access the site from a Wyoming sever before New York because the geographic distances is shorter. Since distance form a server has a huge impact on performance, the CDN cuts out a lot of the wait.
Secondly, a CDN helps when the website adjust to a large amount of traffic. Instead of a single server being bombarded by visitors, the guests are distributed across the many servers in the network. As a result, fewer visitors are using server resources all at once.
5. Choosing the Right Template
Not all templates in Joomla will be optimized for today’s SEO and performance practices. There are a lot of people that simply don’t want to give up a good-looking layout regardless of how old it is. Without cleaning up the code and using current techniques, the site will surely suffer.
One common element is the difference between HTML5 and Flash video. Many have moved from the Flash platform simply because HTML5 is safer and much faster than its competitor. This change was so profound that even YouTube had moved from the outdated system. Templates that center around Flash video are often slower than those using HTML5.
Coding can also be a problem, even if the template was designed yesterday. Not everyone has the same skill when it comes to developing a Joomla layout, and the coding in the framework may be affecting performance. Luckily, the Internet is full of speed testing tools that will identify many of these weak points on a coding level.
Enhance the Experience for All…
Although Joomla hosting is a great way to get a website up and running quickly, it’s not fully optimized by default. There are multitudes of ways that virtually anyone can improve site performance. Take a closer look at how guests are using the website. In the end, it’s all about giving visitors and search engines a better experience.