If you’ve done any research into SEO practices, you will know that website speed is really significant.
Website or site speed is a ranking variable employed by Google, providing websites with faster speeds precedent in search results. It’s all part of delivering better results to their users because the fact is, people do not want to hang around for slow-loading sites.
Together with Squarespace being a hosted platform, we often wonder just how much control they have over site speed. The solution is, not complete control, but you still have choices to optimize website speed.
Here’s what you can do:
Get our checklist variant here: Things to do to speed up your Squarespace site
SEO is important concerning your site getting found organically in search results, however, that’s only one reason to prioritize site rank. Think of what you do when you land on a web site that takes too long to load. Or do you give up fast?
Most individuals won’t hang around. This study shows they’ll abandon the site if it does not load within three seconds. This seems like a short time, but with improvements in internet speeds over time, we’ve been prepared to expect that things should get the job done fast. If not, there’s bound to be a competing website to test out instead.
So while SEO is an issue, there is one more thing that ought to be a larger concern: consumer experience. Improving website speed delivers a better user experience and means that your website visitors are more likely to stick around a little longer.
Evaluation your Site first
You may examine your website rank .
There are a couple distinct 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 a tool such as Pingdom to ensure you’re receiving accurate results. If you are using the Google Chrome browser, you can follow those steps:
Click the Network tab.
Refresh the page to display the loading time.
They say this is prone to error because it is intended for developers who code their websites from scratch and can return false negatives for Squarespace sites that are constructed on a custom CMS. That means in the event that you use it and enroll an error, that doesn’t necessarily imply there is anything wrong with page rank on your site.
Ways to accelerate a Squarespace website
Listed below are a Couple of areas where you may Have the Ability to reduce load speed of your Website and of individual pages:
REDUCE IMAGE SIZES
This is a basic 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 are attempting to hit the ideal balance with image quality and retain that sharp look onscreen, however you don’t need print quality pictures to achieve this.
Some key items to consider are:
Use JPG over PNG many of this time (a few vector images do not look so great in JPG).
Keep the picture width low. Squarespace recommends that you don’t go past 1500 – 2000 pixels in diameter, although in some cases, you may have the ability to make them smaller.
The Getty stock pictures or free Unsplash pictures you can download and insert directly via Squarespace are often big. To make them you can download them from the webpage you have put them on and utilize an image resizing tool to reduce file size.
There are several free picture resizing tools.
A type of”quick win” with Squarespace site speed is to be certain you’re using the SSL option. Why? Since your website will be delivered via the quicker HTTP/2 protocol.
You can also consider switching on the HSTS alternative, which has been found to improve security and SEO.
Shifting on AMP (Accelerated Mobile Web Pages) can significantly improve page speed for blog posts, especially on mobile devices. It is pretty important to remember mobile when you’re looking at page speed because so much browsing action happens on mobile devices.
When AMP is switched on it will deliver very fast-loading site pages to mobile users, provided that people have been accessed via a Google search.
AMP works by stripping out”non-essential” programming by a page and utilizing clever caching to load pages immediately. It’s well worth reading up on it as it disables quite a few standard Squarespace cubes, such as type cubes and code blocks. Check out the advice on AMP and check it out before choosing to run with it.
WATCH THIRD-PARTY SCRIPTS
There are all types of third-party scripts you may be running on a Squarespace website, such as those associated with plugins you decide to add. As a general rule, only add those which are absolutely necessary to accomplish the performance you want on your website – extras can slow you down.
If you have had your website going for some time and you’re not sure what impact third-party scripts are having on site rate, it is well worth doing an audit. The website speed tools we discussed earlier can inform you that are slowing your site down.
Another thing we’d suggest is being quite discerning in the first area about which third-party plugins you allow. A general rule would be to select reliable, well-reviewed tools which have a clear history of regular upgrades by the proprietor. Plugins that aren’t kept updated can drag a site down.
DON’T GO TOO FONT-CRAZY!
We know. Some fonts are just so stylish, you have to get them on your own site. Web fonts really can produce the appearance of a site, however the problem is that they can also drag load rate.
There are a couple of typefaces that are considered “web safe” with nominal impact on website speed, but naturally those are the dull ones, like Times New Roman or Arial. Most people do opt to use some form of web fonts to spice up the appearance of the webpage.
Here are some items to think about:
There’s some evidence to indicate that Google Fonts load more quickly than Typekit fonts. (The two of which can be found in Squarespace’s net font library).
Try to stick with only one web font. Should you go too”font-crazy,” it’s going to slow your site down.
Have you got embedded videos on your own Squarespace website? If so, choosing the custom thumbnail alternative for video embeds can help to improve speed.
There are a couple of reasons for this: firstly, without the custom thumbnail, Squarespace might need to look up articles and load it out of whichever site the video is uploaded too (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo). This happens even if the visitor doesn’t click on the movie and could lead to a lag if big files are being loaded.
Second, doing with no custom thumbnail leaves you open to third party cookies being run on your website – another speed bump.
ENABLE AJAX LOADING
This implies it may tell browsers to load your site load google – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnbUXnmk6kw – one page at a time, speeding the overall load time for visitors.
Squarespace recommends that where possible, restricting your pages to below 5mb in size. This ought to keep you near optimum performance speed-wise.
The hints listed above should continue to keep your pages under that 5mb threshold. We’d also add that it is important to prevent too many embeds on one page. These can otherwise encourage third-party scripts to operate and can inhibit your speed.