• How to Use External Files to Make Your Website Load Faster

    Dec 29, 2014


    There are a number of proven ways of getting your web page to load faster; out of which making CSS and JavaScript external is one of the most popular. However, one immediate question arises- Should CSS and JavaScript be embedded within the page itself, or placed in external files?

    Going for external files usually leads to faster pages as the browser caches JavaScript and CSS. The files that are embedded in HTML documents are downloaded every time a request is made for the HTML document.This decreases the countof required HTTP requests, but enhances the HTML document’s size. Alternatively, if external files contain the JavaScript and CSS, the document size is considerably reduced without augmenting the HTTP request count.


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    Now, as the debate on external versus embedded file goes on, it would be good to know that external JavaScript files and external CSS style sheets might be a great answer for those looking for easy means to render better user experience to the visitors and boost search engine ranking. As popular search giants such as Google, MSN and Yahoo continually consider page loading pace asignificant factor in determination of the ranking of a site, the requirement for reducing load times increasingly becomes importance. Apart from the usual file compression strategies and optimization of the sizes of graphic files, JavaScript files and CSS style sheets contained externally can further bring down the size of a webpage, thereby decreasing the page load time, leading to a better user experience.

    Let us see how these external files work towards accomplishing faster web page loading and hence improved search engine rankings.


    How External Javascript Files and CSS Style Sheets Work

    During a web page design, the concerned programmer can directly write down the design features within the web page’s HTML code. This indicates that all the web pages will incorporate the code needed for building the structure of the webpage along with the codes that are required for defining the aspects of design, namely font colors, font types coloring of tables, borders, as well as other graphic design features. As you know, this additional code enhances the mass of the HTML page and as a result, the total website becomes bulky, and the load time of every page of the site increases.


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    By leveraging external CSS style sheets, creation of a single style sheet is possible which includes the graphic design data for the complete website.This single style sheet can be attached to every web page containing the corresponding design aspects, thereby doing away with the necessity to incorporateweighty design codes in every individual webpage.

    This has a two-fold benefit. On one hand it trims down the size of the web pages, and on the other hand it makes it very convenient to alter the design features throughout the website as and when necessary, by simply making certain small alterations in only the single external CSS style sheet. A similar principle is applicable while exporting features of JavaScript from a web page to an externally placed JavaScript file. Instead of directly writing the JavaScript code within the web page’s HTML code, it gets exported within an external file.

    In this way, a single JavaScript can be applied to a number of webpages without the need to incorporate the code on each of these webpages. The size of the files pertaining to theHTML pages that originally enclosed the JavaScript code is reduced. This in turn leads to optimization of the load times for these HTML pages.


    Major Advantages of Using External Files

    The first and foremost major advantage of utilizing external JavaScript and CSS files, as we all know by this time, is quick load time for the web pages. As per a Google research, even as low as half a second of variation in page loading time can lead to a 20% difference in the volume of traffic retained by the page.


    website load speed


    In simple words, around 20% of the visitors who come to your website would prefer to click away from your webpages and head to some other site rather than waiting for an extra half second for a particular web page to load. Since moving over to external CSS style sheets from tabular design layouts can curtail the file size by 50% or more, this smallalterationhas the potential to literally boost the profitability of your site within a few hours.

    Moreover, sites using external CSS files also move up higher in the search engines owing to a number of factors including larger content to code ratio (the quantity of written content as compared to the quantity of programming code that a web page contains), clearer codes thatcan be easily accessed by search engine spiders and the capability of placing the content right at the top of an HTML document rather than having it headed by scores of code.

    Using external JavaScript files and CSS style sheets also brings about lessened bandwidth use, something that could mean a lot of savings for high traffic websites. Again, it would also be great to know that sites that use external CSS style show high degree of compatibility with different devices.

    So, it is clear that if you are using external files for increasing the speed of your website, you get a lot of other added advantages too, which comprehensively enhance the productivity of your online business.


    Going Ahead with the Next Step

    Some sites give you the opportunity to receive a complete SEO analysis by simply typing in the URL of your site. You would be able to know if your site has gone for external JavaScript, external CSS or file compression for optimization of the loading time. If this has not been done, hire an experienced web programmer to handle these things and get them done for you. So, it’s time for you to go ahead and get your free SEO analysis done, so that you can quickly leverage the option of external files for enhancing traffic.

    Hire a professional web design & development company who can guide you through making of your website which is not only efficient and attractive but also optimized well.