Fast Websites

One of the questions I often get asked is:  “why do you focus so much on the making fast websites?”  

The answer is simple. If your website takes too long to load and has sluggish performance most people won’t stick around to see your content.

Of course a website needs to look great, have good content, and provide a high quality user experience.  If the site doesn’t load fast enough however, most users will never see the content because they will bounce.

That is why, imho, website speed is fundamental.  What good is a great looking website if almost nobody waits for it to load?  Even in the age of super fast broadband and 4G, loading a very heavy site on a mobile device can be excruciating.  I have worked with agencies that create beautiful WordPress websites that take 30 seconds to load.  That might not sound like a long time but slowly count to 30. Imagine staring at your phone looking at a spinner…

I’m have often been hired to fix these kinds of sites. However without some serious compromises the best I can often do is tinker around the edges. To build a site that is very robust you have to take a holistic approach.  Even still, I can often speed up these behemoths by using next gen image formats, deferring JavaScript, removing unnecessary CSS, etc. But the real magic happens when all of the pieces ( hosting, front-end, back-end, database, etc. )  work together.  

It starts with choosing the hosting for your site.  Some people try to save money by hosting their site on bargain hosting providers like Hostgator but this is never a good idea.  You cannot build fast websites on a slow, shared, server.

Content Management Systems
fast websites

The next mistake people make is choosing a CMS like WordPress and loading it with plugins and page-makers.  It’s is possible to build a fast WordPress site but they are few and far between in the real world.  Most people that use WordPress pick a heavy theme, use a page builder like Elementor, and load up on plugins.  Each layer adds to the sites footprint and makes it slower. Add that to having to make database calls for each page view to a shared MySQL server and it’s easy to see why WP sites are generally so slow.

Hosting a modern framework on a scale-able cloud service provides a night and day comparison in terms of speed.

Hopefully this gives you a glimpse of why I focus on website speed as well as my preferred approach to building a fast site. 

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