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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Wood

Does style over substance sacrifice your website’s page speed?

Page speed is a crucial consideration when building and developing any website. The speed of your site can determine how easy the site is to use, how many people use the site, the website’s conversation rate and how high your pages rank on google.

Visitor’s are more likely to interact with your website when they can navigate through pages and tools quicker. Better experiences reduces the chance for users to bounce off the site and increases the likelihood that they interact with other pages and contact forms.

Why does google rank faster websites?

Google uses the overall traffic behaviour from your website as a contributing factor on where to rank your pages. If very few people leave the site and stay on for longer, google and other search engines view this as indication that your website is a good and trusted source with reliable, usefull and engaging information. Google and other search engines priorities websites with low bounce rates and great content to improve their users experience and promote the websites that contribute the best information and entertainment.

What makes a website fast?

Put simply the more complex the website with lots of content and features is going to take longer to load. If you want to have a faster website, you are going to have to compromise on some feature and style choices. Here are the basic actions you can take to optimise your website‘s speed.

1. Optimizing media

Large images can big a main cause of slow website because large high quality images take longer to load. There are a few solutions to solve this issue, one is to manually crop and resize image, another is to use a website builder or add a plug-in that automatically optimises your media. WIX automatically optimizes media on its servers by resizing, cropping and transforming it. This optimisation delivers the best quality, across a range of devices.

2. Simplifying code

Complicated code, or code that has not been formatted correctly, can slow down page speed. Using simple code makes it easier for Google and other search engines to crawl your site, which also makes it easier for pages to load fast. Using tried and tested code or a trusted website builder that utilises simple code across all of its pages means you won’t need to worry about checking it or cleaning it up, and can rest assured your pages are optimised for performance.

3. Employing a CDN

WIX explains a CDN (content distribution network) as servers and data centers placed in different geographical locations, which then deliver content to websites in their region. This speeds up content delivery times and consequently reduces load times. Wix’s network of global CDNs means your site's pages are optimized for performance, regardless of where in the world your site is located.

4. Utilising lazy load

Lazy loading is a stratergy of placing content that takes more time to load further down the page and delaying the load time of content held outside your website on another site. This allows the core content to load first and the other elements to follow with out disrupting the users experience.

5. Avoiding plugins

Plug-ins require load times and can really drag down your website speed dramatically. Some analytic plugin that operate in the background can be complex and require large amonts of time to load. If you need the help of plugins, It is recommend that you prioritise the use of plugins and tracking codes that focus on analysing how users interact with the site, as they will give you more meaningful feedback on its functionality.

6. Mobile first

Did you know Google crawls for mobile first and that users are increasingly browsing on mobile devices? When it comes to page speed optimization, your mobile website should be a high priority.

7. Deploying caching

According to WIX, Automatic caching means that sections of your site's content is automatically saved as initially seen by a user, and displayed exactly the same way when they visit again. This is an important to consider for improving page speed because it reduces load time by delivering saved content for repeat users to a site.

Wix deploys automatic caching to all of its pages, allowing you to focus on launching your new website like a prowithout thinking about the specifics of how it is optimized for page speed.

8. Optimizing content

Optimising content is about assessing the content like videos and style choices on your site and deciding if it is crucial because changing it or removing it could speed up you website massively.

A great example of content optimisation to help improve website speed is Wix’s built-in video player. This allows you to display videos on your pages without relying on an external source, like embedding a YouTube video, which can have a real and detrimental impact on your page speed. Built-in features like these make designing a performance driven site easier.

It is also important to be conscious of the number of fonts on your website, and their sizing. The more fonts you use, and the more variety of color and size on your site, the slower your page will load. select several options that will make an impact, and stick with them. This is something to be aware of, whether you are building a website from scratch, or simply optimising a current one to improve its page speed.

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