By Mohit Maheshwari

The modern day webpage visitor is already accustomed to incredibly high internet speeds. That’s why professional website development has to deliver optimal page load speeds. Below are practical ideas you can employ to optimize website speed so that you don’t keep your visitors waiting for long.

Optimize Responsive Websites
Many websites today are developed for proper viewing across multiple platforms, devices and displays by means of responsive design. The flip side to responsive web design has everything to do with slower loading speeds following incorporation of larger file sizes. However, you can enhance loading speeds of a responsive website via conditional loading where, components such as widgets and media load only when needed. It’s important to stress that images meant for web use should be no more than 72dpi for optimal website speeds. Also, if you’re having problems with JPEG, you may find PNG formats very practical for all types of websites.

Optimizing Text
Optimizing text can reduce loading speeds for sites intended for different types of displays. A useful tool for this purpose is FitText, which detects a display type and loads text in matching font size. This is a jQuery plug-in meant for display of headlines on site loading on mobile devices.

Compress Content
Quite obviously, larger content means longer loading time for your web pages. That’s why you can optimize your site’s speed by compressing its content with Gzip or deflate techniques. The techniques reduce the sizes of HTML, PHP or other formats send to the browser for faster loading. The browser then unpacks the content for viewing. Compressing files this way also minimizes bandwidth use.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)   
A CDN provides users of your site faster loading speeds, regardless of the location of your main server. With the technology, you deploy static content on servers strategically located near your site’s potential visitors. This is a perfect website speed optimization technique for businesses that target a global reach.

Use Minimal External JavaScript
To enhance the overall user experience, many feature-rich websites can’t do without deploying JavaScript. However, the use of widgets such as Google Buzz and AddThis among others on your site is a sure to slow down page loading speeds. This is specifically because such function relies on JavaScript that’s hosted by external sources. As such, it makes sense to use only external JavaScript that’s critical for optimal functionality of your website.

Minimize the Number of HTTP Requests
Diminishing the number of http requests is a sure way to enhance loading speeds for any website. Thus, you may compress Cascading Style Sheets (CCS) using tools such as Compass and JavaScript using Uglifyjs. The techniques aim at combining images, CCS and JavaScript files, which would otherwise be called separately for your html file and take longer to load.

Use sprite techniques to put together several small images into one larger one and employ CCS to determine which parts of the image loads on a targeted device. This technique can optimize a website speed significantly if used on images for navigational buttons. You may also use Adaptive Images and Fluid Image techniques to minimize image size for optimal viewing on specific types of displays.

For static JavaScript, you can combine several scripts into one by just copying and pasting and then compressing. You then use appropriate charset to invoke the script.

Blocking Robots
Robots play a role in indexing pages for search engine visibility, but they also form an appreciable size of web traffic. You can provide instructions in the robots.txt file to block certain robots or all robots from crawling your site or certain pages or files in your site. Disallowing spammers and rogue crawlers from interacting with your site will reduce traffic and enhance load speeds.

There you have it! You can use techniques such as compression, conditional loading, CDNs, and minimal external JavaScript in website development to optimize loading speeds.

Mohit Maheshwari (pictured) is Chief Strategist at New Media Guru, a full service digital agency offering SEO, PPC, and Website Development services. He’s been in search since 2000 and focuses on long term strategies, intuitive user experience and successful customer acquisition. Follow Mohit on Twitter and G+.