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Seven Steps to Maximize Desktop Speed

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now less than a month away, which means that eCommerce sites should be wrapping up their optimization techniques and testing their platforms in preparation for the influx of traffic. We’ve offered advice on how to optimize your website speed, how to prepare for website failures to minimize their impact, how to learn from the previous eCommerce season, and finally, how to test site capacity and functionality to ensure that traffic spikes don’t cripple your systems.

Yet even after doing all that, you may still be finding yourself lying in bed awake at night, worried that something has slipped your mind. It’s understandable. After all, this is the biggest time of the year for an eCommerce site, with the outcome often making or breaking your entire fiscal year.

But fear not, because we’re here to provide some final checklists to help you rest easy knowing that you’ve done anything and everything to prepare for success. First up, your desktop site:

1. Lighten Up Page Design

Exclude or minimize elements such as ads, personalization, content optimization, tracking pixels, and other unnecessary embellishments that might impact performance. Doing so speeds up the rendering of the page on the browser and reduces load on the servers.

2. Optimize Third Party Provider Tags (non CDN)

Load third party provider tags asynchronously after Document Complete or remove them when not required during that time period. This will speed up the page load and eliminate any risks associated with their performance during this key time period.

3. Decrease Number of Requests

Decrease number of requests made by a webpage through elimination, sprites, data URIs, etc. Make sure Keep Alive is turned on.

4. Server Side Performance

Look at the data collected from your monitoring tools to find where you can optimize your infrastructure, front end code, SQL queries, databases, backend, etc.

5. Decrease Number of Bytes

Decrease the number of bytes of the entire page through elimination, file optimization, minifying content, and compression. Shrink large images while ensuring good image quality.

6. Defer Loading of JavaScript

Defer the loading and execution of JavaScript whenever possible in order to reduce the initial download size, and speed up the execution and rendering time.

7. Deliver Static Content from a CDN

Do not load static content like images, JavaScript, and stylesheets from the same host as the site. Host static content on a CDN, or other group of servers, relying on domains that do not set/store cookies. Serve your static content from two unique domains to increase the amount of parallel requests the browser can make.

If you have executed all of these steps, you’ve done as much as you can to keep your desktop site up and running. But remember that mobile sites are becoming more important every day, so check back tomorrow to make sure you’re covered there as well!

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Published at DZone with permission of Mehdi Daoudi, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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