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Ways to Speed Up Your Site

Hey everyone! It's been a while - the team has been revamping some of our content, and we've been talking about how to make dev dives more applicable to clients. To that end, today I want to go over some best practices on how you can make your site run as fast as possible. On our end, we're always making improvements to the platform, but following some basic practices can actually help increase your site speed by entire seconds.

The first and most obvious way to make your site faster is by paying attention to your content. We've gone over images before, but the easiest way to start noticing improvements is by making sure every image on your site is as small as it can be (while still looking good, of course). And that's not just resolution - if you have an image editor such as Photoshop, you can choose a compression level when saving images. In general, a good rule is to compress an image until you notice a degradation in quality, then re-save the high quality version with one less step of compression.

In addition to sizing your images properly, the amount of content on your website affects how quickly it will load. Today, data show that only about 10% of people will even look at the second slide on a homepage slider - our designers here recommend only using one banner at a time so that the site doesn't have to load extra content. While having good, quality content on a website is important, simply cramming images in can adversely affect the user's experience because of slowdowns - make sure that your content is all serving a purpose. Similarly, we highly recommend keeping videos limited to one per page as a maximum, because they're so large. What's more, many people today don't enjoy autoplay videos when browsing, so often times you're better off dropping videos altogether on pages with high traffic.

A big source of website slowdowns that many people don't consider is third-party scripts. While it may seem tempting to set up as many analytics, tracking, and chat integrations as possible, it's important to remember that each one comes with a performance cost. It's not an exaggeration to say that an unoptimized script could reduce your page speed scores by 10-20 points by itself. We do some optimization to ensure that common scripts such as Facebook tracking pixels, Google Analytics, or Podium chats don't slow down the site as much as possible, but it's not possible to completely remove the performance impact. If you're worried about a third-party script affecting your website's speed, let us know and we can take a look.

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