How to Make a Weebly Website Load Faster

make weebly load faster
Weebly is a great solution for any business, or individual to create a website. Weebly is easy to use, self-explanatory and includes all of the essentials of website creation like a domain name, hosting, website building, analytics, support and more. With all of the awesome features that Weebly offers, there are still a few downfalls of the service. One of the main downfalls, is the limited ability to make necessary tweaks to hosting and site speed. This article will focus on how to make your Weebly website load faster and some common Search Engine Optimization techniques that will help as well.

TYPES OF OPTIMIZATION

There are two basic types of optimization for your Weebly website that you should focus on
  • On Page Optimization
  • Off Page Optimization

These are common terms in the web development communities, but for this article they have a slightly different zeal.

On Page Optimization

This type of optimization revolves around the things you do directly on your website. For speeding up a Weebly websites load time these things include

  • Fast loading templates/themes
  • Properly formatted images
  • Clean HTML and CSS

With the proper techniques and some cleaning of the clutter on your Weebly website, you can do a lot to speed things up. First let’s focus on the very basics of building your Website, the theme.

Themes are the groundwork of everything your website is based on and are the first elements that load for a Weebly website. To ensure you have a fast loading Weebly theme you have to make sure that it keeps certain load time variables correct.

1.       Keep things minimal if you can.

2.       Minimize the use of images and multimedia.

3.       Properly format images to desired size, either with Microsoft paint, or another tool and keep them as small as possible.

4.       Keep your HTML and CSS as clean and un-cluttered as you can. Try not to use too many add on-s.

5.       Utilize CSS effects for headers, backgrounds and menus, instead of using full size images.

Moral of the story, the more you have, the longer it takes to load. Following some simple disciplines in your websites creation can save you on load time.

Off Page Optimization

There are some simple on page factors and practices to follow when building your website. Off page optimization factors for a Weebly website are a little trickier. Weebly has its hosting tied in with all of the other services it provides. While Weebly offers a very efficient form of cloud hosting to customers it can still bog down on load times. Also optimization becomes difficult, because there is little you can do to tweak load time factors that have to do with your Weebly hosting.

The workaround I have found is to include your Weebly website into a content delivery network, or CDN for short. Content delivery networks make your website load faster by caching your website on their servers. This allows the CDN to more efficiently deliver your websites data and in-turn gives you a quicker load time. Again this is kind of a tricky little work around and I have not tried it with a domain that is registered with Weebly, but I will and I will report my findings here when I do.

What I did to make this work is

1.       I purchased a domain name from Go Daddy. This gives you better control over your DNS options for your domain.

2.       I then used Weebly’s domain transfer tool to set my new domain as the default for my Weebly website. This is great because Weebly still hosts the domain, even though it was purchased elsewhere.

3.       I then followed all of the on page optimization procedures that we already discussed and constructed my website.

4.       Next I signed up for a Cloud Flare free account, just for starters and went through the set up instructions provided by Cloud Flare.

5.       Activated desired features in Cloud Flare and after about 7 days I started to see better load times. Down from 20-10 seconds total load time to 15-5 seconds total load time.

To update name servers if your domain register is  Weebly. Simply click domains scroll through the options and update the necessary name servers.
Also note that total load time is my measurement of when I hit enter after typing in my url, until the website is completely loaded to the last element. This is on a 1.5mb connection that varies in speed. When using Pingdom Tools to test my website It testwith significantly faster load times anywhere from 1-5 seconds.

WHAT IS CLOUD FLARE?

Cloud Flare is a CDN that as I described earlier stores your website and delivers it in a more efficient manner. Cloud Flare also offers great security features for any website and a plethora of other nifty add-ons that could really help any webmaster.If you are interested in Cloud Flare for your website, I suggest getting started with their free account and if you have a need for their more advanced options you could upgrade to a better plan. For me, I am perfectly content with the free plan for the moment, but I may work my way up to a more professional plan soon.There are other content delivery networks available and if you have a budget to spend, you can get some really stellar support for your website. Most of these companies offer different plans and services similar to Cloud Flare and try to tailor their plans to fit your individual needs.
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Summary
How to Make a Weebly Website Load Faster
Article Name
How to Make a Weebly Website Load Faster
Description
There are several factors that make websites load faster, good coding, image optimization etc.... This article will focus on how to make Weebly load faster with a content delivery network.
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Posted in How To, SEO, Website Tutorials and tagged , , .