How to Trim JS, CSS and External Stuff to Slim Down and Speed Up Your Site – Chris Simmance

09 April 2019

Posted in: BSEO

Below is a roundup of Chris Simmance’s BrightonSEO talk which was focused on website speed optimisation and trimming code to improve the performance of your site. We will cover a variety of tactics mentioned by Chris that will help you get a page speed upgrade.

Overview

How to slim down and speed up your site

In this talk, Chris showed us a number of common coding issues that can lead to website bloat, harming the speed and performance of your site.

CSS is the most common asset for bloat so auditing your CSS files is certainly a great place to start. Chris mentioned the importance of creating small CSS files for each content block on a web page to tidy and optimise CSS files. Removing unneeded CSS is also a must for page speed improvements.

You can also optimise performance by prioritising above the fold content and ensuring everything above the fold loads first before the rest of the page is rendered. This will help keep users on-site and create the impression that the page is fully loaded.

Online image compression tools should be used to ensure image dimensions and file sizes are perfected, with Chris suggesting the SVG image file format for a speed upgrade. Simply testing different image formats and sizes can be the best option to find what’s best for your page.

Another major page speed issue is the unnecessary use of ad trackers. Websites sometimes use multiple ad trackers (that do the same job) due to poor internal comms. Consolidating these ad platforms and using as few as possible is a great (and often overlooked) way to optimise your website.

Reducing the use of plugins and making use of Google Tag Manager for batch loads were also mentioned as handy tactics for page speed improvements. CDNs are also still important if you’re looking for a competitive edge.

Potential impact on the industry

As marketers, we often focus on creating the best on-page content possible with highly optimised copy to achieve top rankings. However, if your website’s speed and performance isn’t optimised int he first place, the ranking potential of any on-site content is severely limited.

Working with your dev team to implement technical changes that improve website performance is an absolute must. Simply slimming down your website and reducing bloat could result in major speed upgrades that have an immensely positive effect on both user experience and rankings.

Key takeaways

  • CSS is the most common asset for bloat.
  • Creating small CSS files for each content block on a web page is a great way to improve speed.
  • Removing unneeded CSS is a must for page speed improvements.
  • Prioritise the loading of above the fold content to keep users on-site and create the impression that the page is fully loaded.
  • Online image compression tools should be used to ensure image dimensions and file sizes are perfect.
  • Simply testing different image formats and sizes can be the best option to discover what’s best for your page.
  • Another major page speed issue is the unnecessary use of ad trackers.
  • Consolidating ad platforms and using as little trackers as possible is a great (and often overlooked) way to optimise your website.
  • Reduce the use of plugins.
  • Don’t overlook CDNs (for internationals).
  • Use JS to instruct the next page to load once a button or CTA has been hovered/activated.
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