Top Tricks to Make A Weebly Site Load Faster
If you’re like most Weebly users, you were attracted to the easy drag and drop website editor as a way to quickly and easily publish a website. You’ve also probably noticed how slowly your new website loads though. The sad reality of Weebly is that the site speed is terribly slow. This is mostly due to poor development practices by Weebly, but it’s also a function of how drag and drop web editors work. There ends up being a lot of extra code, and that all takes time to load.
Poor page speed can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings though, so there’s a real cost to using the Weebly editor. When considering search engine optimization of your Weebly site, one of the biggest issues you’ll need to deal with is the terrible page speed. Luckily, there are a few tricks to getting your Weebly site to load faster, which are discussed below.
Why does page speed matter?
Briefly, page speed is a huge part of the user experience for your website. How annoying is it when you visit a site and find that it loads slowly, or when a site continues to load as you try to interact with it. Google and other search engines are prioritizing user experience in recent updates, so you’ll want to ensure that your website is easy to navigate, easy to use, and loads quickly. For Weebly users, that last issue is very challenging since there are limited things you can do to help. Even if you realize modest improvements in the page speed for your Weebly site, it’s worth the effort though.
The link above will take you to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, a free method to test your website’s speed, and identify issues. As a Weebly user, you’ll likely see a bunch of red problem areas, like the picture below:
This is an embarrassment of a page speed, but believe it or not, that’s a marked improvement over what it used to be. For anyone considering Weebly as a tool to build your website, this image should be enough to make you look elsewhere, at least until Weebly improves their page speed.
So, what can be done to increase your Weebly website’s page speed?. Use a CDN to cache your site and improve load times.
If you’re looking for a more robust solution for your website, check out Sucuri. They offer a professional quality CDN that can really improve the page speed of your Weebly site.
2. Compress and reduce the size of your images.
This is one of the most potent ways to increase the load time of your Weebly website. Weebly’s photo tool is SLOW, and it will make your site crawl. By uploading appropriately sized pictures, you can dramatically decrease your Weebly site’s load times and improve page speed. Most images these days are very large – even those that you take with your cell phone can be several mb in size. That’s too much for a website, and you should create appropriately sized images. To do that, there are a few options.
First, and the most professional way, is to use a photo editor like Photoshop, Canva, or GIMP. You’ll want to open your photo in the photo editor, then export the photo in an appropriate size for your website (likely between 640 and 1960 pixels wide). If you’re not sure, just export everything as a 1960 pixel wide image and you’ll be fine. Turn your quality on the export to “web” or 72 DPI, and export them as a .jpeg / .jpg. The file size should now be less than 1 mb, and appropriate for fast loading on your website.
3. Choose a simple Weebly theme.
The Weebly theme you choose is essentially the backbone of your website. It’ll dictate what fonts and colors are used, and what backgrounds are on your pages. That makes it incredibly important to choose a simple, and therefore faster loading, Weebly theme. Some older Weebly themes are also not built using “responsive” design. That means that they will not dynamically resize assets on the page for the device used to access them. Responsive design was created when mobile web browsing became more popular, and has since become the standard on the internet. If you built your Weebly website many years ago, check to make sure you’re using a modern theme.
Weebly makes it easy to review how new themes would look on your website. Just visit the Themes page in your editor to take a look.
4. Limit the number of Weebly Apps you install.
Each Weebly app adds time to your websites loading and reduces your page speed. It’s important therefore to only install apps that you need, and to uninstall apps you’re not using. This improvement in page speed will be small, but every little bit helps. You can also improve the pagespeed by ensuring the apps you use are from quality developers with good ratings. If you see a drop in page speed after installing a Weebly app, it may be best to uninstall it and find another way to accomplish what you want.
Much of the improvements can be found by editing the HTML and CSS of the theme you’re using. Also implement script loading optimization, including ordering the scripts to load with usability in mind.
Advanced users can also use embed codes to bypass standard Weebly widgets for things like video headers and images. These two in particular are huge offenders in page speed optimization on Weebly.
The only good news about this advanced Weebly page speed optimization, is that load times can be dramatically improved, and you can achieve a near perfect score on the Google PageSpeed tool. If you’re not comfortable doing this work yourself, you can hire a contractor to help. The following site (no affiliation) has proven that they can get Weebly sites to a perfect 100 pagespeed score, for a price.