If you are an online business, then fast internet and loading speeds are the absolute bedrock for the stability and profitability of your company. While the digital world is getting bigger and better, and we can use our browsers now for almost anything, this increase in the scope of the internet can lead to slow loading, lagging or even crashing. Below we explore how you can speed up your load times without needing to spend money on faster broadband speeds.
Update your browser
Google Chrome is the most used browser on the internet (having recently overtaken Internet Explorer), but pretty much all browsers work the same way with similar features. One of the first things that you can do to speed up your browser is check for any updates; your browser will not always update automatically, so this step often gets overlooked.
Not updating your browser could mean that you are running on an older, slower version, or one that is having bug issues. To find out if your browser has been updated, simply type in “update [name of your browser]” into the browser you use and follow the steps provided.
Disable any toolbars, extensions or plugins
Toolbars, extensions, and plugins are like add-ons or apps for your browser, and some have many useful functions and purposes. However, it may be that you have accidentally installed some that you do not need, or that you no longer use, and deleting or disabling these can help to speed up your browser.
You can usually view your toolbars, extensions and plugins from the settings menu in your browser of choice.
Clear history, cache, and cookies
Another useful way to speed up your internet browsing is to clear your history, cache, and cookies.
Cache: your internet cache is locally stored image and content files from websites that you have visited. This is useful as the next time you visit that webpage, the content and files will load quickly. However, as your cache builds, it will take longer for websites to source through your growing stock of locally stored content.
Cookies: cookies are also locally saved files, but on you as the user, such as usernames and passwords.
History: this is your browsing history, keeping a record of every site you have visited.
Clearing these three saved pieces of data and information can help your browser to run faster. However, it can also cause inconveniences, such as with you having to enter your user name and password again.
Sit nearer the router
This one is not always practical for everyone, but the further away you are from your internet router, the slower your internet is going to be, especially if the signal has to travel through solid objects like walls. If possible, consider moving closer to the router.
Use minimal tabs
There will be points while you are working that you need several tabs open, and modern browsers are designed to support this. However, the more tabs you have open, the slower your browser will be, especially if each page is rich in content, audio or visual files.
If possible, aim to have the absolute minimal number of tabs open; perhaps by working your way through each tab individually and closing it once you are done with it.
Although we talked earlier about disabling any unnecessary or un-used extensions and plugins, there are some useful add-ons available that can help with the speed of your browser. Extensions such as Google’s Data Saver work by running some internet traffic through Google’s servers, thereby reducing the downloads per page and helping to speed up slower pages.
Turning off prefetching and automatic loading
Modern browsers attempt to predict where you will head next on your webpages, and while this can be extremely useful, it can also slow down your browser, especially if it gets its predictions wrong!
We’d only recommend this for really slow browsers, and if you feel that yours is one of these, simply type “turn off prefetching in [name of your browser]” into your search engine and follow the steps that are listed.
Minimise the other tasks that you are doing
If you have multiple documents, applications, and e-mails open on your desktop, regardless of whether it is on a browser or not, it is going to slow down the processing speeds of your computer, and therefore, your internet. Keep your computer running as little tasks as possible, so that when you need to use the internet, it can run at full power.