It’s no secret that we love Webflow, and our love for Webflow comes with good reason. While we could write a whole book on it, we’ll just highlight one feature today—load times.
From dial-up to 5G, the internet has come a long way. And now, our expectations for the speed and the quality of the sites we browse on the internet are much higher. In fact, just how fast your website loads may be affecting your business’s bottom line. Luckily, Webflow has all the features you need to build a fast, responsive website, and today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the platform’s load speed capabilities.
It may seem like a few milliseconds would have little to no impact on a customer’s experience—but, those milliseconds actually make a huge difference. When your load time is slow, your audience will be much more likely to leave before they even make it to your site.
When we look at a website load time, we consider how long it takes for every element on the page to appear and fully load—including videos, images, and text. In 2018, Google Research found that it takes 15.3 seconds on average for a mobile webpage to load. Google Research has also found that when a page load time goes from one second to 10, the probability of a user bouncing from the site increases by 123%. Beyond just the experience of loading your website, load speed is one of many factors that Google’s algorithm uses to rank your site. So with a slow site, your rankings will negatively affect your site’s SEO—but let’s save that conversation for a different day.
Many factors play into how fast a website loads. From too many plugins, file sizes, and website hosting, there could be a few different elements causing your page to load slowly. But, that’s where Webflow comes in. From Webflow’s start, the company has prioritized clean, back-end code with its visual drag-and-drop design tools. Since then, the company has added features that hugely impact your site’s load time to bring you faster website experiences with less hassle.
As a default feature, all images on Webflow websites are responsive. After uploading an image to your site, Webflow creates variations to automatically scale and optimize inline images to load quickly on every device size at every resolution. Webflow’s responsive image feature alone can help mobile page experiences load up to 10 times faster.
Hosting is often overlooked when considering page load times, but your hosting can make or break your load speeds. Webflow offers hosting via Tier 1 Content Delivery Network, Amazon Cloudfront, and Fastly to support your site while delivering your content quickly. Webflow’s hosting is completely scalable and easy to manage, so your site is ready to grow as your business grows.
While Webflow is a great platform to build super fast sites, your website’s load speed ultimately depends on the content on your site. Images, fonts, and other custom elements can weigh your site down, leaving you with a less than ideal load time. Luckily, there are a few ways you can optimize your site and drastically improve your site speed.
Sites that lean image-heavy could be slowing your load speed if the images are not properly optimized. While the responsive image feature on Webflow can help dramatically increase your page speed, the issue may lie within image sizes. Essentially, when someone comes to your site, the browser requests and downloads files to properly render the content on your site. The more files you have on your site, the more HTTP requests are made, which results in a slower loading time. To optimize your images, consider compressing your images, converting your images to WebP, or resizing your images on your site.
Images still slowing your site down? No worries! Lazy loading your images—or letting your images load when they appear on the screen as you scroll as opposed to when the site is first opened—can bridge that gap. Webflow’s lazy loading feature was added to the platform in 2020 as the default for all new images uploaded. With that being said, if you have inline images on your site that were uploaded before this update, you can update the settings on each image to take advantage of this feature.
Especially for custom fonts on your site, these assets can cause some issues for your site speed. Fallback fonts are often used as a backup to help load fonts before your custom font. But, this comes with some accessibility issues as some browsers may hide your text until the font loads. Luckily, Webflow’s “font-display” property has a “swap” attribute that informs the browser to load the content with a preloaded system font so that your text loads automatically. This setting can be easily updated on your website directly in the custom font settings.
In today’s age, slow website performance will no longer do. But with Webflow, you’ll have the tools you need to build a fast website. As one of the top Webflow development agencies, Responsival can help you build a website that does everything you need it to do with blazing-fast load times. Ready to start building your Webflow site? Contact our team today to see how we can help!
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