7 Tools to Optimize and Speed up Your Website

Data bar chartWhether you're using a specialized content management system or creating a site with static web pages, speed is always one of the important metrics to assess the usability of any website. Google also use site speed as one of the ranking factors for organic search traffic. Webmasters who're vigilant about the performance of their websites often use various techniques to speed up the overall load times of web pages. One simple methodology used by CMS powered sites is using a popular caching plugin or extension. What about websites having static pages build from scratch? Today, we're going to discuss some generic tools that can be applied to any website to optimize the code as well as to boost load times for better visitors' experience. If you're familiar with web technologies and general coding, you can fully leverage these tools to get the maximum performance benefits.

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Closure Compiler - It's a powerful tool to optimize and refine JavaScript code used on your website. It analyzes the code and removes redundant or dead code to give you the most optimum and minimal version to get things done in an efficient way. This helps in speeding up your website.

Sometimes a small piece of poorly written JavaScript code makes the entire website crawl like a snail. If you're using a lot of JavaScript code on your website, you must use this compiler to get a better and optimized version for kick-ass performance. This compiler also optimizes the code for better resource consumption making it lighter and faster.

WebP - It's a new image format developed specially for images used on websites and blogs. Generally, we use various image optimization techniques for compressing our PNG and JPEG images for quick load times. This new image format further reduces these images by up to 25% and that too without any loss of quality.

This gives you much fast load times for web pages containing large number of images. This image format is supported by all modern browsers including major mobile browsers. This compression tool is available for all major operating systems. After using this tool, you can speed up load times of images significantly.

PageSpeed - Nowadays, large number of websites are using content delivery network services to quickly deliver web pages to their visitors. PageSpeed is a different kind of service from Google that first fetches pages from your site and then applies various optimizing techniques on it generating a more optimized version and then delivering that new page to the visitor.

This increases the speed of your website by leaps and bounds. This service is completely different from traditional content delivery networks which simply caches the most visited pages of your website and serve them from local servers. You simply have to change the DNS CNAME entry to use this service.

Firebug - This is perhaps the most powerful and popular website code optimization tool available for web developers. It seamlessly integrates with the web browser and provides you with tons of options to inspect analyze and optimize your website's code.

You can easily analyze each and every element of the web page to thoroughly analyze the performance, speed and resource consumption. Large numbers of webmasters are using this tool to develop better and optimized websites for their companies and clients. It also has a powerful debugger to generate optimized script code so that your web pages become lightning fast without any kind of latency.

CGI-SpeedUp - If you're using lots of CGI scripts for your website, then this application is made just for you. It comprehensively optimizes and speeds up your CGI scripts enhancing the overall speed and usability of your website.

There's no complex set up involved and everything is handled automatically by the application to deliver optimized script output for better performance. Make sure, you always test your CGI scripts on a development server before transferring them to a production site. This optimization tool works well both on a live server as well as on a local test server.

CSS Sprite Generator - It is one of the popular ways to reduce the number of HTTP requests made by a web browser while fetching images from your web server. After using this technique, you can significantly improve the image load times. If you’re using a lot of small images or icons on a single web page, this methodology can reduce the load times of the entire page rendering it much faster than ever before.

This helpful tool lets you configure optimal CSS sprite implementation for images on your website. You can provide all the important parameters and image to get the best possible CSS sprite solution. Advanced users can provide various CSS options to speed up the implementation that matches with their existing code base.

YUI Compressor - This is a powerful tool for JavaScript and CSS minification. Compressing style sheets and scripts results in performance enhancement that in turn creates faster websites. This popular compression tool has a large user base and is known to provide the highest compression ratio for JavaScript code.

It has numerous command line options to customize the output best suited for your project. If you're not providing any JavaScript file while running this tool, it will assume you're providing the code through standard input.