Nowadays it is safe to say that every website owner knows that fast site loading speed and it’s optimization on both desktop and mobile versions really matter. These not only impact overall User Experience, but also your search ranking, conversion rates and potential revenue you might be losing because of loading issues - not to mention your brand’s reputation. In this article we provide you with a complete list of the most common reasons why your Squarespace website’s loading speed might be lower than necessary and the ways to fight them.
How to Speed up Squarespace Site
If you have faced the problem of slow loading and look for the ways to increase it, try the following:
- First go to status.squarespace.com to check if a speed issue is a platform-wide problem;
- Make sure to use a supported browser or its latest version for viewing and editing your Squarespace site;
- Keep your pages under 5MB;
- Check if your local connection is stable and fast;
- Do not use too many fonts on the pages;
- Temporarily remove any custom code to see if it helps;
- Remove excessive URL redirects;
- Make your site mobile friendly for faster loading on gadgets.
After you’ve visited the Squarespace status page and the problem with loading speed appears to be not on the service side, check the browser you are using. It should be the current version. If it’s not, download the latest version. Next step is to learn the size of your pages and see if the content there is too large. For instance, Squarespace web pages with many images may have slower loading speed, especially if you are browsing from mobile devices or have slower connections. And checking the connectivity of your local network is another thing to do! Try loading the site on another network, for example, from a smartphone with the Wi-Fi disabled.
No more than two fonts throughout a website - sticking to this general web design rule will make your site look good and load faster. These are web-safe fonts that most browsers and operating systems recognize:
- Courier New
- Lucida Console
- Lucida Sans Unicode
- Palatino Linotype
- Times New Roman
If you are using any third-party codes or CSS on your Squarespace site, you should check whether they affect loading speed. When troubleshooting these issues, remove all custom codes (don’t forget to save them) and then refresh the page. Then visit your website mappings panel to check your URL redirects. In case you find too many of them, streamline where it’s possible.
There are also lots of other factors that can affect your Squarespace site's loading time. These include your computer capacity, local network firewalls, anti-virus software, and browser add-ons. Try temporarily disabling them and see whether they are impacting the loading.
Best Practices to Speed up Squarespace Site
This section describes the best tools you can use to analyze your website, as well as some advice on how to improve the site's mobile performance. We’ve also added some statistical data to emphasize the importance of loading speed in regards to ranking and revenue. They are easy to test and implement on any Squarespace page.
Google Speed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is one of Google tools that is intended to test and improve a website performance on any kind of device. This service provides you with the overall page’s performance score. Note that Google PageSpeed score is done with the predefined settings, such as device and connectivity. Thus this rate doesn’t reflect real user experience at 100%.
But PageSpeed Insights also provides actual information in the Field data section of the Chrome User Experience Report. This is based on the Google Chrome combined data that the browser collects from its users. Such section is very much beneficial because it captures real user experience
How to Speed Up Site On Mobile
There are five simple actions that will have the biggest influence on your Squarespace website mobile performance:
- Assessing the speed of a mobile version.
There are services like Test My Site, for example, that analyses your site's mobile performance and suggests personalized solutions for improving.
- Reducing the weight of your pages.
Many e-commerce sites appear to be way too big for mobile devices. Loading speed really matters for mobile users, and you shouldn’t expect your users to wait more than several seconds for your website to load. Make sure the pages weigh less than 1 MB.
- Removing carousels with pictures.
Your site visitors are likely to see only the first picture of a carousel before starting to scroll down. When there’s a need to reduce page weight, the first thing is to remove auto carousels from a mobile version through Squarespace dashboard.
- Optimizing search on your page.
Motivate your users to start their experience with searching your website! Put a search box on the top of your mobile website version to make it visible. Also implement typos autocorrect to make the mobile search more user friendly.
- Optimize the checkout.
For e-commerce brands creating their sites with Squarespace it’s crucial not to make the purchase process too long. It’s good when your site remembers your returning customers and their last purchase information. Think of implementing online payment services for example PayPal or Google Pay, so your users can buy with few simple taps.
How Big of Impact Site Speed Has on SEO
Back in 2010, Google reported that websites’ loading time was going to be included into search rankings. The performance has become more influential since then, and performance and loading speed optimization is at the moment a huge part of SEO. It’s obvious that a slow loading site has an adverse impact on user experience and visitors are less likely to stay on sites that load slowly. Thus users are less likely to stay on such web pages long enough to get a query answered. This is one of the main reasons to consider websites’ loading speed in search ranking algorithms.
But it’s still difficult to estimate exactly to what degree it affects SEO as Google hasn’t revealed any details about its search algorithms. We can only say for sure that site usability and overall user experience are by no means vital, especially on mobile devices. Google also made a research indicating that 53% of mobile sites are abandoned by the users completely if it takes longer than 3 seconds for them to load.
How Site Speed Affects Conversion
In case any speed issues impact your website, then you are definitely losing potential customers and thus many sales. Also dissatisfied customers are less likely to buy again from the same online store that loads slowly and it’s a huge loss of potential returning visitors. And ecommerce websites rely a lot on returning visitors, as they represent a central element of the Customer Lifetime, making up to 48% of all transactions according to Business Insider.
To assess the importance of page loading speed regarding conversions, Walmart, a largest world’s retailer by revenue, presented a remarkable analysis based on their online sales data. It reflected how customers behave depending on page loading time. It showed a severe dropping of conversion rate as average site loading time increased from 1 to 4 seconds.
So remember about the great financial benefits you can get from investing in website pages’ speed improvements. Regardless of your current revenues, your Squarespace website can bring you more whether you run a blog, company site, or online store. By implementing the Best Practices described above for optimization and maintaining efficiency, you can grow your business faster and easier.