Website Performance

Why does Website Performance Matter?

Research has shown the modern website browser is extremely impatient. Companies have found that as little as 1/10th of a second on page loads makes a noticeable difference on speed. How much difference? Well, lucky for us, Google provides a nice tool for us (requires registration for extended version). Of course, you need to know your conversion rate which can be gotten from your properly configured Google Analytics and Tag Manager account.

Please be aware, that most of the tools analyze single page loads. Users who visit multiple pages, maybe able to view sequential pages faster due to caches in the browser of commonly used files. This includes Images, CSS and Javascript files.

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Free Testing Tools

Don’t know how your site performs? Try one of these recommended two free tools to audit your sites performance.

Lighthouse Plugin for Chrome Browser (Download)

Lighthouse can be found online, and provides a browser based testing tool that can be accessed via the Chrome Browser. It’s made by google and is a good representation of how google judges performance. Its a bit more complex then the Google Web Speed tools but it offers more features, tests and matrices including SEO, Accessibility and others.

Google Web Speed

For those not looking for a online option, we recommend Google Page Speed Insights for website speed testing. This is a quick web based tool similar to lighthouse. Its a great, easy test for most people can run.

What Makes a Fast Website

Total Loading Size

The first thing to consider when judging a sites page speed is its total size. This includes all HTML, Javascript, CSS and fonts the site requires to show the site. This is important, because it will hint at the consumption of network bandwidth required for a user to see the webiste.

But please, do not over emphasis this value. There are techniques, Like Lazy Loading, Defering Javascript and CSS, and Critical CSS that can reduce the impact of sites that require many resources.

Lazy Loading / Deferred JavaScript and CSS

We as website developers can deploy a few different techniques to overcome large page sizes. Deferring JavaScript and CSS to the bottom of the page, or after the page becomes visible, can help us present our information to the end user faster.

Critical CSS

Critical CSS is the process of putting important CSS up at the top of the page, so that it can load with the page itself. These technologies can drastically reduce the perceived loading time of the page when paired with the deferment of CSS files to the bottom of the page.

Next Gen Images

WebP

CDN

It’s recommended to use Cloudflare or CDN. We found some CDN solutions to negatively impact performance by requiring burdensome JavaScript to run on the browser. JavaScript based CDN’s can cause speed issues on mobile as the JavaScript needs to process the website in the browser.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are an amazing technology that allows users to install a web page, as if it was an app. Unfortunately, Progressive Web Apps are usually poorly developed, or not properly deployed.

Amp

AMP is a technology utilized by google. It’s a technology still in beta. We do not recommended for most due to incompatibility and changing specs. Please read more in our AMP documentation.

Common Pitfalls and Problems

Common problems with page speed can be caused by misinterpreting the results of tools like Page Speed Insights. Google recognizes these shortcomings, and thus puts a limited amount of emphasis on its results. Still, faster page speed can increase your returns, especially when paired with advertising.

Proper Programming Optimization Services

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