From Turtle to Rabbit: Speeding Up Your Website

If your website loads slowly, you will fail to impress visitors; you will also hurt your SEO rankings with Google and the leading search engines. While it’s not easy to make drastic changes to your pages, you can check out your site and change a few minor things. With this in mind, here are four tips to speed up your pages and help your website succeed. However, it’s important to note that before making changes you should run some kind of speed test in order to make sure that you are tuning up the right things. Pingdom and Dot-Com Monitor are two companies that offer a free speed test.  You can check those out here and right here.

Clean up code: With poorly written code, your pages will load slowly and may throw up errors. To check this out, load your website in all major browsers. Then, look for any errors. To take this further, hire a programmer or ask your current one to look for any minor or major issues. Then, when fixing the code, you can speed up your site and keep your clients happy.

Resize images: While tempting, you don’t want huge images on your site. Think about it, when landing on your site with a smartphone or slow connection, your visitors will not want to wait a long time for simple images to load. Luckily, with a little work, you can resize your images and watch as your website visitor’s return to your site often.

Uninstall plugins if you don’t use them: If you use WordPress, consider logging into your panel and checking out the plugins you installed. Often, people will install too many and forget to delete them when they are not needed. By doing this, your site will load faster and you will remove potential vulnerabilities in the system.

Remove auto-loading video and audio: People on smartphones don’t always sign up for plans with unlimited data. Sadly, when a video or audio files loads, one will waste plenty of their precious bandwidth. Furthermore, when in an office environment, people will hate when a video or audio feed pops up. To avoid this annoying issue, turn your auto-load features off. Instead, provide a link to the video so a visitor can choose to load it if he or she desires.

With these four simple steps, you can speed up a website quickly. Remember, with fast loading pages, your visitors will return frequently and your SEO results will not suffer.

Keeping Tabs On Your SLA: Why and How

Initial Questions: What is a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A service level agreement (SLA) is a contract that defines the responsibilities of a service provider to its customers. This agreement should describe the services in detail and may be designed for services provided to a corporation, a single customer or a specific group of customers. A good SLA will specify the metrics, by which each service is measured, offer a thorough explanation of how problems may be remedied and list any fees or penalties which may be paid by the provider if service levels are breached. All SLAs should be designed in a manner that protects both the customer and the service provider. This insures that the customer receives the services promised but does not penalize the provider if, for instance, the customer fails to provide necessary information in a timely manner. A well thought out service agreement will protect both parties in the long run by defining expectations from the beginning of the relationship and avoiding misunderstandings should a dispute arise in the future.

SLA for web hosting

If you are using an internet service provider (ISP) for web hosting you should closely examine their SLA. Pay extra attention to details regarding network availability, technical quality and security measures. Network availability should be defined by percentage of availability, as well as time of availability, such as 99.9% availability between 8 am and 10 pm. You should read the fine print to make sure network availability applies to more than a just single network and if network infrastructure, such as cabling, switches and routers, is included within the agreement. Another feature to be aware of is whether or not the customer’s server is included within the hosting network. The SLA should also dictate response times to any issues, like service outages or denial of service (DoS) attacks.

Managing your SLA

SLAs should be viewed as dynamic rather than static documents. Whether you are hosting a personal blog or a large e-commerce site it is important that you review your SLA periodically. Increases in website traffic, improvements in technology that increase workloads or changes to the metrics used to measure services are all compelling reasons to review of the terms of your SLA. There may come a time in the course of doing business with a particular web host where you may want to monitor your uptime and downtime so that you can keep track of whether your web host is keeping up their end of the bargain in your SLA.  There are a few different companies that offer a service like this. Pingdom – www.pingdom.com – may be one of the most well known but Site24x7 – site24x7.com, Dot Com Monitorhttp://www.dotcom-monitor.com/sla-management.aspx, and Paessler – www.paessler.com, are also companies that offer workable solutions for most people.

At the end of the day, it’s important that you keep track of your SLA because if you don’t, you might be spending a lot of money and not getting much in return!

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