Earlier this week, Chris and I walked through the process of optimizing our site for better page speed, an important ranking factor for SEO. At the end of it, we had left it with still deciding what to do with our Instagram feed and slider, as both were still holding back our load time. To recap, here’s where we ended:
Since then, we’ve made some decisions regarding those two plugins as well as made an update to another part.
This was a hard one to let go of, since it was a part of our front page and overall design, but after seeing the results without it, it was hard to justify the load time. It had to load 8 images, plus make a number of requests to Instagram and made a marked difference when we removed it.
Slider Revolution’s awesome features, such as the moving background effect, made it an essential part of the initial design and functionality of our previous site which we brought over to the redesign. Unfortunately, it was also making a crazy amount of requests and didn’t give us the flexibility to push our scripts to the footer, which was starting to become a deal breaker. After rethinking how we would present the information in an attractive way while taking out some of the unnecessary functionality, we moved to Soliloquy, a well-built plugin that we already began installing on clients’ sites when they needed something less flashy out-of-the-box. It met all of our criteria, so we remodeled a little and landed on what you see on the site now.
One of the errors we were getting from running our speed tests at Pingdom was “Remove query strings from static resources.” We did some digging and found a function that forces the removal of the script version and thought we were done. However, this broke Google Fonts, which was what a majority of the text on the site was using, so it had to go. This is something we’ll revisit in the future, but after making these three changes, we ran the test again to get here:
Considering we started this whole process last week with a 91/100, 65 requests, a 5.76 second load time, and a 3.3mb page size, I can happily say we’re very satisfied with the results!