Site visitors are extremely impatient and may opt for a competing publication if the site doesn’t load quickly enough.

With a few tweaks and optimization techniques, it’s easy to shave off valuable seconds to make online publications faster. Just a few seconds makes the difference between keeping or losing a visitor.

Both front end and back end optimization is necessary to boost page loading speeds. With numerous stories, images and ads on online publications, it’s vital to optimize every area possible to prevent page loading lags.

Bulky Images

Bulky images are one of the top culprits for slowing down online publications. These types of sites use images to draw attention to stories. Depending on the site, the homepage alone could have over 50 images. Unoptimized images drastically increase the overall page size. Enabling image compression and only uploading images optimized for the web are two ways to reduce image sizes.

Provide your clients with image guidelines to help them boost their page loading speed. For instance, JPEGs are better for photos and the file size should be as small as possible without sacrificing the image quality.

Clean Out The Old

Outdated themes, plugins and code weigh down a site. Many publications are using the same plugins and themes they had five years ago. They haven’t bothered to update them. This means they don’t have any newer features that help their sites load faster.

Start by removing any unused plugins and themes that still load in the background. Every extra line of code can bog down the site. The next step is to update outdated plugins and themes. If a better, faster theme or plugin is available, use those instead. Leaner is usually better, especially if the functionality is still the same.

Use A Content Delivery Network

A CDN is ideal for sites with visitors around the world. Instead of all content being on a single server or in a single location, content is placed on various servers throughout the world. Visitors are able to access the content on the server closest to their physical location. As a result, the content loads faster.

For example, someone in India trying to load a site from Nevada would have to wait longer if the servers were only located in Nevada. If the content was on a server in India too, the content would load much faster. For high traffic publications, a CDN is a good idea for a speed boost.

Focus On Above The Fold

Visitors see the above the fold content first, such as the header and initial stories. If this section loads after ads, sidebar widgets and the footer, visitors are going to get impatient and likely leave. Reordering the HTML to load the most vital viewable content first helps improve loading times by showing visitors what they want to see first. If it the ATF content loads within the first two seconds, but it takes ads and the footer a few more seconds to load, visitors will still be happy.

Minify Resources

Clean code is an important part of making online publications faster. Getting rid of comments, white space and unnecessary code in all HTML, JavaScript and CSS resources shaves bytes and sometimes kilobytes off the total page size.

Compression and combining resources into single files such as having all CSS in a single file also helps cut down on resource sizes. Doing this could reduce page loading times by precious milliseconds.

Reduce Code With Plugins

Adding in code for every layout change quickly bulks up the page size. Installing a single plugin to handle all layout changes reduces how much code is necessary. Plus, it prevents clients from having to mess with the code themselves. Plugins such as Conductor help reduce page bloat while still giving online publications full control over the layout of their content at any given time.


While online publications are notorious for slow loading pages, it doesn’t have to be that way. By cleaning up code and unused resources along with other optimization tweaks, it’s possible to reduce overall page sizes and page loading times. This equals happier visitors for your clients and as a result, happier clients.

Start optimizing your clients sites today by installing the Conductor plugin. It’s easy to use for both you and your clients.

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