Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Faster Website Tips #1: Less HTTP

Having a fast performance website is key to getting yourself loyal customers. But it is a pretty picky subject. Studies have shown that if there is so much as 2 seconds of load time a majority of potential customers will leave the website. This number increases dramatically if you only add 450 milliseconds. So how can you make sure your website is fast? Well, each site is different, so these tips may vary but they are in general what can help every website.

Start by making less HTTP requests. Too many of these and your website will slow down. What is a HTTP request? Think of it like your Web browser is talking to the Web server. Your browser asks for the posted file or URL and the web server responds by sending that requested data to your browser. There are a few ways you can accomplish this, so lucky you. The first will be to load all your JavaScript files with a program called LABjs. It is free and is able to load the JavaScript files together instead of one at a time. This helps kill load time on your site. Next, get yourself larger cascading style sheets. Having larger ones will wipe out the need for a lot of small ones, and a lot of small ones help slow down the website. Lastly, use yourself some image sprites. What this is, is a image that is compound and happens to contain all the site graphics. For example, ever go to a website where you mouse over a tab or menu and then a drop down menu appears with a lot more info on what you scrolled over? That would be a sprite. If all those options were all on the home page then that would be a lot to load.

Danny Wong manages a great custom dress shirt startup that allows its customers to customize their dress shirts at an affordable price. He is also starting a second dress shirt startup that you should be part of!