With the data from running a site analyzer on hand, your next task is to check for broken images and paths. This will kill your load times if you have several on your site. Take a look at the loading time for all of your images and scripts as well while you are at it.
Broken paths and images kill load time. As little as 1 script and 2 images that aren’t loading because of bad paths can double load time. This is an easy fix and it will make a big difference.
Here’s the next big tip that gets overlooked. Host files locally – this may require more bandwidth, but you’ll gain a lot of speed by not having to go out into the web to find the image. Local means more speed.
Just like it is easier to go to the corner store for milk than it is to travel to another state, the same is true in relation to images being retrieved from the web. Quit using services like Flickr to host your images – put them on your own server since local files nearly always load faster than external files. In the long run, they do you no favors. Staying with images, make sure to correctly tag images with height and width tags. Doing this correctly will allow you to see a huge difference when the web browser loads the page.
If the browser reads the width and height of the tag, it can blow right past the image and let it load in the background while it renders the rest of the page. This is another one of those oft overlooked tricks that can make an immediate difference.
Reduce widgets – they can keep your site from loading properly. Widgets are nice and they do serve a valid purpose, but too many is not a good thing. They can bog a page down to the point that the load time is unbearable.
Also, use static caching – web servers are good at serving static files. Make your dynamic pages into static pages, and reduce load on your server. This will greatly improve load time for crucial pages. Again, this is a very simple change to make that doesn’t even require a web development pro to do.
Use a service such as CSS clean to take your CSS source and strip out white spaces, line breaks, unnecessary characters, etc. It’s just another one of those little things that eats up bandwidth and bogs you down. Excessive white space is never good.
These tips will help you shorten load times, and since Google is floating the idea of taking page load time into account for rankings as well as AdWords Quality Scores, it is a good idea to start working on it now.