Help with Test Result


I have ran the results on one of our websites and need help/advice on reducing the initial first page download:

Many thanks.


Step #1 - talk to your hosting provider (or ops team) and get HTTP keep-alive’s enabled. That will probably shave 1-2 seconds off and it’s just a configuration setting on the server (you actually have to work hard these days to NOT have it enabled).

The biggest win for performance (though it is a little more work) involves working on your css and js files. Move the css file up to the top of the head which will let it load in parallel with your js and combine all of those js files into a single file. That will save another second off of your load time (and more importantly, off of the start render time). If you can, it would also be better to move the javascript (and particularly the jquery) to the bottom of the body instead of putting it in the head but that depends on how your page works.

It looks like you have several small icons on the page that are all coming down as individual images. Moving them to an image sprite will eliminate requests which is the key to getting your performance faster. SpriteMe is a firefox bookmarklet that can help with creating sprites.

Finally, if you’re not loading your Google analytics asynchronously, you should:

Those are going to be the really big wins and should easily cut your load time in half. After you’ve made those changes it would be worth taking another look at the page to see what other opportunities there are for improvement but it’s not worth doing anything else until you get those fixed.

Cheers for you time and help, I will enable live headers and move the CSS and Js about. Please could explain breifly the advantages of using Asynchronous Tracking?


The Asynchronous support for analytics lets you load their code and do the tracking without blocking anything else in the page execution. It’s a recent modification they did to help get out of the way of page performance. Not a huge win but it doesn’t hurt anything and is usually easy enough to do.