This is a short list of fairly easy activities that can be accomplished by any competent web developer which will have a major impact on your site experience.
- Measure Your Site Performance – before you do anything, install YSlow and measure your site’s performance. This will give you a baseline and you can re-run the test with each iteration to confirm that performance is improving.
- Enable Compression – make sure that your web server supports gripping text content (HTML, JS, and CSS). This is even more important than minification because it can enormously reduce your payload size.
- Optimize Images – most images produced by Photoshop or other graphics programs can be optimized further by specialized software like ImageOptim on the Mac or Smush.it online.
- Minify and Concatenate CSS – minifying your CSS and concatenating it into a single file reduces the size and number of HTTP requests the browser needs to make. This should be a standard part of your development or content delivery process.
- Reduce 3rd Party Integrations – every 3rd party integration you include (Twitter, Facebook, Analytics, etc) takes a little (or a big) bite out of your performance. Review the integrations you have in place and determine if they’re all really necessary.
- Load 3rd Party Integrations Asynchronously – any 3rd party integration you do need should be loaded asynchronously so that its impact on your site performance is minimized.