Client-Side Site Speed Strategy

May 8, 2020
May 8, 2020 Danielle Ganon

Let’s speed up your site. Not only will it make your site visitors happy, but you will also be in Google’s good graces.

In 2019, Google made mobile site speed a ranking factor when before, only the desktop site speed was considered.

With more and more people browsing the internet on their smartphones, it’s about time that the user’s mobile experience was taken into consideration.

These are a few ways we make site speeds faster client-side at Markitors.

Image Optimization

Images provide visual interest to a webpage. It can even be necessary to have images on your site like in the case of a photographer’s online portfolio or an e-commerce site selling a product.

Too many pictures that are not properly optimized can bog down a site, though.

Some ways to optimize your images is to resize their dimensions and to compress them.

Resizing:

Most of the time having a 5,000-pixel wide photo up on a site is not necessary, so resizing is a must. You can use any image editing software. We have also used this online image resizer as well.

Image Compression:

Images can have metadata that account for its file size. Compressing images helps to reduce that. TinyJPG, TinyPNG, and Compressor.io are some of our favorite online tools for this job.

Depending on the kind of compression that you choose (lossless vs lossy), the image quality is retained.

compressor.io image compression

We try to achieve a file size of under 100kB with our image optimization process.

Overall, when it comes to adding images to a site, ask yourself if the image is:

  • Necessary
  • Provides value
  • High quality
  • Relevant

Add images with intention, and sometimes, less is more.

Minification

Minification helps with page speed by eliminating data without taking away functionality. This data includes new line breaks, comments, and other characters that are deemed unnecessary.

This process is used on files like Javascript, CSS, and HTML.

Once these files are cleaned up, it is much easier to load a web page.

At Markitors, we used the Autoptimize plugin to do this process.

One piece of advice when minifying your site is to test it because it has the potential to break it depending on the file that gets minified especially if you have a theme with a lot of files.

There is an option to exclude certain files from the process in the plugin settings to help with that.

Autoptimize settings

 

Redirects

Redirects affect the site speed because it increases load time.

Think of it this way: you are going to class but when you get to the room, there’s a note taped on the door saying that the class has been moved to a different room on the floor above. You take more time to get to class because now you have to take the stairs up to a different location.

Imagine that it gets worse. You get to the new room only to be pointed to a different room for this class that you badly want to be at. This is a redirect chain, where a redirect forwards to another redirect.

Thankfully, there are ways to fix redirect chains and errors.

The method in which you implement a redirect also matters. There are client-side redirects and server-side redirects.

Client-side redirect is a forwarding method that uses a meta refresh or Javascript.

The meta refresh redirect uses a meta tag in the head section using a refresh element.

The Javascript method uses Javascript to tell the browser where to forward the visitor.

These are not recommended for SEO.

Server-side redirects forward a visitor using a 3xx HTTP status code. There are several kinds like 301 for permanently moved pages, 302 for temporarily moved pages, and more.

Overall, do not use redirects unless necessary.

Conclusion

There are plenty of reasons why your site is slow, so there are many different fixes to your speed problems. These are a few of our client-side site speed strategies.

Danielle Ganon

Danielle Ganon is a Technical SEO Manager at Markitors, a digital marketing company in Scottsdale, Arizona that connects small businesses with customers...and has a good time doing it. She enjoys her free time by drinking unsweetened iced tea while reading movie scripts, binge-watching her favorite tv shows, and sewing clothes.