The Way to OPTIMIZE A SQUARESPACE WEBSITE FOR SITE SPEED

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    If you’ve done any research into SEO practices, you will know that site speed is really significant.

    Site or page speed is a ranking factor used by Google, providing sites with faster rates precedent in search results. It’s all part of providing better outcomes to their users because the fact is, people don’t want to hang around for slow-loading websites.

    With Squarespace being a hosted platform, we often wonder how much control they have over website speed. The solution is, not complete control, however you still have choices to maximize site speed.

    Here Is What you can do:

    Get our checklist variant here: Things to do to speed up your Squarespace site

    Search engine optimization is important in terms of your website getting found in search results, however, that’s not the only reason to prioritize site rank. Think of what you do if you land on a website that takes too long to load. Do you hang around and waitfor? Or do you give up quickly?

    Most people won’t hang around. This analysis shows they’ll abandon the site if it does not load within three seconds. This seems like a brief time, but with improvements in online speeds over time, we’ve been conditioned to expect that things must get the job done fast. Otherwise, there is bound to be a competing site to test out instead.

    So while SEO is an issue, there is one more thing that ought to be a larger concern: user experience. Improving site speed delivers a better user experience and means your site visitors are more inclined to stick around a little longer.

    test the speed of a site your website first

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

    There are a couple different tools available to help and most will also create a report highlighting problem areas. This is helpful so you are not left to guess.

    Squarespace recommends that you either use their built in tools, or a tool like Pingdom to ensure you’re getting accurate results. If you are using the Google Chrome browser, you can follow these steps:

    Open Developer Tools.

    Click on the Network tab.

    Refresh the page to display the Load time.

    They say this is prone to error as it’s intended for developers who code their websites from scratch and may return false negatives for Squarespace websites which are built on a custom CMS. That means in the event that you use it and enroll an error, that does not necessarily imply there’s anything wrong with page rank on your website.

    Ways to speed up a Squarespace website

    Here are a Couple of areas where you may be able to reduce load speed of your Website and of individual pages:

    This is a basic that we would expect most designers to know, yet large image files are still frequently the culprit behind slow-loading pages. We know – you’re trying to hit the ideal balance with image quality and keep that sharp look onscreen, but you don’t need print quality pictures to achieve this.

    Some key items to remember are:

    Use JPG over PNG many of the time (some vector images don’t seem so good in JPG).

    Maintain the image width low. Squarespace recommends that you don’t go past 1500 – 2000 pixels in width, although sometimes, you could have the ability to make them smaller.

    The Getty stock pictures or free Unsplash pictures you can download and add directly through Squarespace are usually big. To make them you can download them from the page you have put them on and use an image resizing tool to reduce file size.

    There are numerous free picture resizing tools. For example: PicResize, ResizeImage and Tiny PNG.

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

    You could also consider switching on the HSTS alternative, which has been found to improve security and SEO. Both of these are located under Settings > Advanced > SEO and some other changes may take up to 72 hours to become active.

    CONSIDER AMP FOR BLOG POSTS

    Switching on AMP (Accelerated Mobile Internet Pages) can considerably improve page speed for blog posts, particularly on mobile devices. It’s pretty important to keep in mind mobile when you’re looking at page speed because a lot of browsing action happens on cellular devices.

    When AMP is switched on it will deliver quite fast-loading blog pages to mobile users, as long as those have been obtained via a Google search.

    AMP works by stripping out”non-essential” coding from a page and utilizing clever caching to load pages quickly. It’s worth reading up on it as it disables quite a few standard Squarespace cubes, such as form blocks and code blocks.

    There are all types of third-party scripts you might be working on a Squarespace site, such as those connected with plugins you decide to add. As a rule of thumb, only add those which are absolutely necessary to accomplish the functionality you need on your website – extras may slow you down.

    If you’ve had your site going for a while and you are not certain what impact third-party scripts are getting on site speed, it is worth doing an audit. The site speed tools we discussed previously can tell you which are slowing your website down.

    The other thing we would suggest is being rather selective in the first area about which third-party plugins you let. A general rule is to select reliable, well-reviewed tools that have a clear history of regular updates by the owner. Plugins that aren’t kept updated can drag a site down.

    DON’T GO TOO FONT-CRAZY!

    We know. Some fonts are just so trendy, you have to have them on your website. Web fonts really can make the look of a website, however the problem is they can also drag load speed.

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

    Here are some things to think about:

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

    Try to stick with only 1 web font. If you move too”font-crazy,” it’s likely to slow your site down.

    USE CUSTOM VIDEO THUMBNAILS

    Have you got embedded videos in your Squarespace website? If this is the case, selecting the custom thumbnail option for video embeds can help to improve speed.

    There are two or three reasons for this: firstly, without the custom thumbnail, Squarespace might have to look up content and load it from any website the video is uploaded too (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo). This occurs even if the visitor doesn’t click on the video and could lead to a lag if large files are being loaded.

    Second, doing with no habit thumbnail leaves you open to third party biscuits being run in your site – another speed bump.

    This implies it may tell browsers to load your site one page at a time, speeding up the total load time for visitors.

    Final thoughts

    Squarespace recommends that wherever possible, limiting your pages into under 5mb in size. This should keep you close to optimum performance speed-wise.

    The hints listed above should keep your pages below that 5mb threshold. We’d also add that it is important to prevent a lot of embeds on a single page. These can otherwise encourage third-party scripts to operate and may inhibit your speed.

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