Size matters - optimise your website

Dropping in an innocent looking plugins into your WordPress site can lots of CSS and JS files, slowing down your website.

Keep those round-trips to t’internet to a minimum.

We frequently have discussions about the value of adding extra CSS files and JavaScript to a website build. In simple terms; each file adds a round-trip to t’internet and back. This isn’t good for the speed of your page and hence your viewer’s experience.

Keeping those round trips to a minimum is especially important when on mobile devices or slower connections. Also having these in the head (near the top) of your website can hold up everything else from loading. We try not to get too hung up on CSS and and JavaScript because you can get thousands of lines of these for the price of a single image.

However, the size of the each file also matters. It’s best to keep them all as small as possible. We recommend minification and compression for CSS and Javascript. Correctly sized images with in-image and over the wire compression. Here are some guides on how you can check what your website payload is.

1. Test with PageSpeed Insights

The easiest way, if you have Google Analytics, is to do a speed test and look at the suggestions. Achieving 100% for both mobile and desktop is probably unrealistic. Even big sites like google themselves don’t hit the perfect benchmark. Aiming for 85+ for desktop,and 70+ on mobile would put you above the vast majority of sites.

2. Correctly sized images

Ensure you use appropriately sized and compressed images for your site. WordPress certainly helps with this by automatically sizing the images; but only if the theme developer has correctly made use of this feature.

3. Reduce plugin usage

Dropping in an innocent looking plugin on your WordPress site can add a handful of extra files (sometimes a lot more!). It’s our bugbear with the WordPress system that it is all too easy to drop in plugins with many users not knowing the consequences of their actions. Use sparingly.

4. Get under the hood

Look at the code. Right click in your browser and view source. If there are a lot of CSS and JS links, usually found near the top or bottom of the source then things could be improved.


If you would like us to assess what possible options you have to improve your site speed; please drop us a line.

Size does matter. For websites; smaller is much much better!

Published on: 17th October 2014
Categorised in: help and tips
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