What Makes a Fast Website?

What Makes a Fast Website?

Fast Websites Are Vital to a Good Experience

To make a website fast, keep media, files and website resources as small as possible. The larger your content or images, the slower the site.

There's many factors that affect the speed of your website, but some of the key ones we've listed below.

Optimise Image & Video Sizes

Keep image and video files as small as possible, both in terms of file size and resolution. It's important you don't load a 1920x1080px image in a box that's only ever going to be 100x100px. WordPress and off-the-shelf solutions sometimes come with a plugin to optimise images as you upload them, it's important these are installed and active.

We dynamically resize any images you upload and always display the most relevant sizes image - this means the user has to spend less time downloading the image to view the full website, meaning the website loads faster.

Reduce Unnecessary JavaScript & Dependencies

JavaScript can bloat a website, if there's unneeded files being included, especially from third party hosts. It's best to host your dependencies as local as you can, to reduce the time for fetching and resolving those files. It's also important not to include JavaScript files that don't get used.

Minifying JavaScript is another great way to speed up your website, this is something that can be done automatically also.

The websites we build with Laravel use Webpack, which helps to automatically remove unneeded JavaScript and minify the JavaScript files we do use.

CDN & Caching

CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, this is a system used to help serve website across different regions, caching the website on their CDN and using that to display to the end user quickly, instead of completing the entire process of fetching the website from the server it's hosted on.

Caching is vital for a fast website, it's important to ask your developer about this when you're looking to have a website developed.

How to Track Website Speed

Google Page Speed Insights

Using Google Page Speed Insights to track your websites speed and performance is a great way to see how well your website is performing on both mobile and desktop.

It will also give you indications on how to make your website faster and improve the performance, although the likely actions needed will require a developer to make changes to your website as it's often not possible from an admin panel.

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