HOW TO OPTIMIZE A SQUARESPACE WEBSITE FOR SITE SPEED

If you’ve done some research into SEO practices, you will understand that website speed is pretty significant.

Site or site rate is a ranking factor used by Google, giving sites with faster speeds precedent in search results. It is all part of delivering better results to their users as the truth is, people don’t need to hang around for slow-loading websites.

The answer is, not complete controller, but you still have options to optimize site speed.

Here Is What you can do:

Get our record version here: Things to do to Accelerate your Squarespace site

Search engine optimization is important concerning your website getting found organically in search results, but that is not the only reason to prioritize site rank. Think about what you do when you land on a website which takes a long time to load.

Most individuals won’t hang around. This analysis shows they’ll depart the site if it does not load within 3 seconds. This looks like a brief time, but with improvements in internet speeds through the years, we’ve been prepared to expect that things should get the job done fast. If not, there is bound to be a rival site to test out instead.

So while SEO is a concern, there’s another thing which ought to be a larger concern: consumer experience. Improving site speed provides a much better user experience and ensures that your site visitors are more inclined to stick around a little longer.

Test your website first

How will you know if your website takes less than three seconds to load, or if any modifications you’ve made any difference to speed? You may examine your site speed first.

There are a few different tools available to help and most will also generate a report highlighting problem areas. This helps so you’re not left to guess.

Squarespace urges that you use their built-in tools, or even a tool such as Pingdom to make certain you’re getting accurate results. If you’re using the Google Chrome browser, you can follow these steps:

Click the Network tab.

Refresh the page to display the Load time.

One tool Squarespace doesn’t advocate is Google’s Pagespeed Insights. They say this is prone to error because it is designed for programmers who code their websites from scratch and can yield false negatives for Squarespace sites which are constructed on a custom CMS. That means if you use it and register a mistake, that does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with page loading speed rank on your website.

Ways to speed up a Squarespace Site

Here are a few areas where you may be able to reduce load rate of your site and of individual pages:

REDUCE IMAGE SIZES

This is a fundamental that we’d anticipate most designers to know, yet large image files continue to be frequently the culprit behind slow-loading pages. We know – you’re trying to strike the ideal balance with image quality and keep that sharp appearance onscreen, but you do not need print quality pictures to attain this.

Some key things to remember are:

Use JPG over PNG many of this time (some vector images do not look so good in JPG).

Maintain the image width low. Squarespace advises that you don’t go beyond 1500 – 2000 pixels in width, but sometimes, you could be able to make them even smaller.

The Getty stock pictures or free Unsplash images you can download and insert directly via Squarespace are often big. To make them smaller, you can download them in the page you have put them on and utilize a picture resizing tool to reduce file size.

There are several free image resizing tools. For instance: PicResize, ResizeImage and Tiny PNG.

A type of”quick win” with Squarespace site speed is to make sure you’re using the SSL option. Why? Since your site will be delivered through the quicker HTTP/2 protocol.

You can also consider switching to the HSTS option, which has been found to improve security and SEO. Both of these are found under Settings > Advanced > SEO and any changes can take up to 72 hours to become active.

Switching on AMP (Accelerated Mobile Web Pages) can considerably improve page speed for blog posts, especially on mobile devices. It is pretty important to remember mobile once you’re looking at page rate because a lot of browsing action happens on mobile devices.

When AMP is switched on it is going to deliver quite fast-loading blog pages to mobile users, provided that people have been accessed through a Google search.

AMP works by stripping out”non-essential” programming by a page and utilizing clever caching to load webpages immediately. It’s well worth reading up on it as it disables quite a few standard Squarespace blocks, such as type cubes and code blocks.

WATCH THIRD-PARTY SCRIPTS

There are all types of third party scripts you might be running on a Squarespace site, including those associated with plugins you choose to add. As a general rule, only add the ones which are absolutely vital to achieve the functionality you need on your site – extras can slow you down.

If you’ve had your website going for some time and you are not sure what impact third-party scripts are having on web site rate, it’s worth doing an audit. The site speed tools we discussed earlier can inform you that are slowing your website down.

Another thing we would suggest is being quite selective in the first place about which third party plugins you let. A general rule is to select reputable, well-reviewed tools which have a clear history of regular updates by the proprietor. Plugins that are not kept updated can drag a website down.

DON’T GO TOO FONT-CRAZY!

We all know. Some fonts are so trendy, you need to get them on your own site. Web fonts really can produce the appearance of a site, but the problem is they can also drag load rate.

You will find a couple of typefaces that are considered “web safe” with nominal effect on website speed, but naturally those are your boring ones, like Times New Roman or Arial. The majority of people do opt to utilize some form of internet fonts to spice up the look of the page.

Here are some things to consider:

There’s some evidence to suggest that Google Fonts load more rapidly than Typekit fonts. (Both of which can be found in Squarespace’s net font library).

Try to stick with only one web font. If you move too”font-crazy,” it is going to slow your website down.

Do you have embedded videos on your Squarespace website? If so, choosing the custom thumbnail alternative for video embeds can help improve speed.

There are a couple of reasons for this: firstly, with no custom thumbnail, Squarespace will need to look up articles and load it from any website the video is uploaded also (e.g. YouTube or even Vimeo). This occurs even if the visitor does not click on the movie and may lead to a lag if large files are being loaded.

Second, doing without a habit thumbnail leaves you open to third party cookies being run on your website – yet another speed bump.

If you’re running Squarespace 7.0, certain templates permit you to allow Ajax loading (asynchronous Javascript and XML). This means it may tell browsers to load your website one page at a time, speeding up the total load time for visitors.

Last thoughts

Squarespace recommends that where possible, restricting your pages to under 5mb in size. This should keep you near optimum performance speed-wise.

The tips listed above should keep your pages below that 5mb threshold. We would also add that it is important to avoid too many embeds on a single page. These can otherwise encourage third-party scripts to operate and may inhibit your own speed.

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