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More Info: Aspects of Site Load Time


Fair warning, there is no "golden rule" or an exact set of steps to magically make any site load instantaneously. Rather, what is outlined below is more of a set of guidelines to follow to incrementally speed up a site.

*Note: We perform these steps by default on all of our site builds, so if we built your site, you have nothing to worry about. If you would like us to take a second look at your site and try to speed it up, please submit at ticket about your concerns.

There are many technical parts to a website, but we're going to focus on just a few here.

  1. Files and file size
  2. Plugins
  3. Site structure

When properly put into action, these 3 areas of improvement can lead to significant site speed improvement.

The best practice to follow: keep it simple. Be a minimalist when it comes to your website, only add what you need, and get rid of anything extra. Stay lean and mean.

Files and file size: this comes down to the basics, the larger your site is in size, the more the server has to comb through to render the site. Think of it like a pantry, the more you have, the harder it is to find everything you need for a meal.

Furthermore, site size can be affected in 2 ways, number of files and the size of the files. This can be a double whammy if the site has tons of files and they are large (this varies on the type of file [pictures vs. plugins, etc]). 

Plugins: these can be a blessing and a curse. The functionality they are able to add to a site is amazing. At the same time, know all plugins are not developed by the same company, meaning they are all coded differently. This can lead to conflicts between them, and ultimately to site lag and functionality issues.

Site Structure: this is the most technical aspect of this post, and should only be addressed by a qualified developer. Site structure is comprised of 2 components, the server configuration and the coding of the website.

Server configuration is handled by the site's host, and consists of a myriad of settings and integrations which can greatly affect a site's performance. For the purposes of this post, we're not going to dive into these settings, but if your site experiences extreme issues, contact your hosting provider for a consult.

The actual coding of the site is the other part of site structure we'll cover. This is how the parts and pieces of your site are coded and talk to each other. There are endless ways to code a website, with no single "best way" because that will depend on your ultimate goal... mobile app based website, store website, brochure website, etc. 

The most common practice, and what we at Thirteen05 use, is to leverage WordPress and build on top of their infrastructure. WordPress is the most widely used Content Management System on the web and is supported by millions of developers around the globe. This enables to most flexibility and freedom to accomplish nearly anything you can dream up. WordPress is based on the use of PHP, which in layman's terms is a "module system". If a block of code is going to be used on 7 pages, instead of having 7 instances of that code as in a static HTML site, a single instance of the code is created and then "called" into place on each of the 7 places. This drastically reduces the amount of code necessary to run a website. This is the key feature of WordPress' site structure, and it ties in with our first item of the article, file size. By having less physical (technically "digital") code, the site actual size is reduced while still retaining the exact same output.

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Article details
Article ID: 107
Category: WordPress
Date added: 2019-03-26 2:06pm
Views: 17
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