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TechTalk #2: Optimising Your Website for Page Speed

    Feel the need for speed! You can optimise your website to load faster.

    I am really excited to offer this new playlist of tech talks, together with Bridget Willard, and hope you will find them useful. An accessible net is only possible if we all understand how to use it. Let’s get everyone using and understanding the tools available!

    You can find our TechTalk Playlist on YouTube right here!

    Speed matters, right? If you can do something faster, then you have an advantage over your competitors. The same goes for websites. No one likes waiting for a slow-loading website.

    So, how fast should a website load? Answer: between 1 and 2 seconds. https://www.semrush.com/blog/how-fast-is-fast-enough-page-load-time-and-your-bottom-line/

    In June 2021 Google launched its Core Web Vitals. This measures, among other things, how fast your website is. How fast it loads and how fast people can use your website. You want your website to load in under three seconds and when it loads it should be scrollable and clickable so people can use it. You can read more about Google Core Web Vitals right here.

    Do You Want a Fast-Loading Website?

    1. Websites Need Quickly Loaded Images: Are Your Images Optimised?

    Too big? Images that are larger in their dimension are often the culprit. If you only need a 600px by 400px image, then only upload that size of an image. Why upload a huge image that your website needs to scale down to fit your teaser?

    Too heavy? Images that are larger than 300 kb also have no real business being on your website. Again, why make your visitor load a 1MB image if it is only showing in your teaser?

    Make sure your images are optimised in their data size for the web. I use tinypng.com to optimse my images for data size: https://tinypng.com/ To cut your images, you can use Photoshop, or a free alternative like Photopea. https://www.photopea.com/ Photo editing programs also offer a compression tool that reduces the data size of your images.

    2. Websites Need Quickly Loaded Resources: Use an Optimiser Plug-in

    Let’s face it, we aren’t all coders, and a lot of our themes and plugins come with code we could only dream of optimising. Best to use a plug-in to help.

    An optimiser plug-in will “zip” your website’s Javascript, HTML, CSS, and images into smaller packets so they can load faster. It will preload and cache your website for browsers too. I use WP Optimizer: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-optimize/

    3. Websites Need to Be Built Simply and Effectively: Page Builders and Your CMS

    Out of the box, most CMS offer a variety of blocks and tools to make your website look great. In addition, vanilla HTML websites also do the job for most projects. (see below)

    If you use a CMS, make sure it, and any page builders you are using are only as big as they need to be. Page builders can be great, but they may also add weight to your website making it sluggish. You can read more about page builders right here: https://warrenlainenaida.net/09-2021-afraid-page-builders-are-slowing-down-your-website-in-just-a-few-minutes-you-can-change-all-that/

    4. Websites are Just Websites: There’s Nothing Wrong with Either an HTML Website – or a Bologna Sandwich

    For the ultimate page speed, why not build your website in simple HTML? That’s perfect for a small website. A larger website will benefit from a managed CMS or a framework like GatsbyJS. You should look into these options if your website is a large one. After watching our video you will know a lot more about how you can optimise your website to load faster and hopefully rank better on Google!

    I love straight HTML! Check out these free HTML templates at https://htmlrev.com/ !

    Contact Me with Your Questions About Website Page Speed

    Contact me if you have any questions! I’d love to help.

    With great thanks for the photo from Unsplash! https://unsplash.com/@gustavocpo