12 Steps to Lightning Page Speed

At Wall Street Oasis, we’ve observed that each time we give attention to enhancing our web page velocity, Google sends us extra natural site visitors. In 2018, our firm’s web site reached over 80 % of our site visitors from natural search. That’s 24.5 million visits. Needless to say, we’re very tuned in to how we are able to proceed to enhance our person expertise and preserve Google completely satisfied.

We thought this text could be an effective way to spotlight the particular steps we take to preserve our web page velocity lightning quick and natural site visitors wholesome. While this text is considerably technical (web page velocity is a vital and complicated topic) we hope it supplies web site homeowners and builders with a framework on how to try to enhance their web page velocity.

Quick technical background: Our web site is constructed on high of the Drupal CMS and we’re working on a server with a LAMP stack (plus Varnish and memcache). If you aren’t utilizing MySQL, nevertheless, the steps and ideas on this article are nonetheless related for different databases or a reverse proxy.

Ready? Let’s dig in.

5 Steps to velocity up the backend

Before we bounce into particular steps that may show you how to velocity up your backend, it would assist to evaluation what we imply by “backend”. You can consider the backend of every part that goes into storing knowledge, together with the database itself and the servers — mainly something that helps make the web site operate that you simply don’t visually work together with. For extra info on the distinction between the backend vs. frontend, you learn this text

Step 1: Make certain you might have a Reverse Proxy configured

This is a vital first step. For Wall Street Oasis (WSO), we use a reverse proxy known as Varnish. It is by far essentially the most essential and quickest layer of cache and serves nearly all of the nameless site visitors (guests logged out). Varnish caches the entire web page in reminiscence, so returning it to the customer is lightning quick.


Step 2: Extend the TTL of that cache

If you might have a big database of content material (particularly within the 10,000+ URL vary) that doesn’t change very ceaselessly, to drive the hit-rate increased on the Varnish caching layer, you’ll be able to lengthen the time to stay (TTL mainly means how lengthy earlier than you flush the thing out of the cache).

For WSO, we went all the way in which up to two weeks (since we have been over 300,000 discussions). At any given time, only some thousand of these discussion board URLs are energetic, so it is smart to closely cache the opposite pages. The draw back to that is that whenever you make any sitewide, template or design adjustments, you might have to wait two weeks for it to arrive throughout all URLs.

Step three: Warm up the cache

In order to preserve our cache “heat,” we have now a selected course of that hits all of the URLs in our sitemap. This will increase the chance of a web page being within the cache when a person or Google bot visits those self same pages (i.e. our hit fee improves). It additionally retains Varnish filled with extra objects, prepared to be accessed shortly.

As you’ll be able to see from the chart under, the ratio of “cache hits” (inexperienced) to complete hits (blue+inexperienced) is over 93 %.

Step four: Tune your database and give attention to the slowest queries

On WSO, we use a MySQL database. Make certain you allow the sluggish queries report and test it no less than each quarter. Check the slowest queries utilizing EXPLAIN. Add indexes the place wanted and rewrite queries that may be optimized.

On WSO, we use a MySQL database. To tune MySQL, you should utilize the next scripts: https://github.com/major/MySQLTuner-perl and https://github.com/mattiabasone/tuning-primer

Step 5: HTTP headers

Use HTTP2 server push to ship sources to the web page earlier than they’re requested. Just be sure to check which of them must be pushed, first. JavaScript was choice for us. You can learn extra about it right here.

Here is an instance of server push from our Investment Banking Interview Questions URL:

</information/advagg_js/js__rh8tGyQUC6fPazMoP4YI4X0Fze99Pspus1iL4Am3Nr4__k2v047sfief4SoufV5rlyaT9V0CevRW-VsgHZa2KUGc__TDoTqiqOgPXBrBhVJKZ4CapJRLlJ1LTahU_1ivB9XtQ.js>; rel=preload; as=script,</information/advagg_js/js__TLh0q7OGWS6tv88FccFskwgFrZI9p53uJYwc6wv-a3o__kueGth7dEBcGqUVEib_yvaCzx99rTtEVqb1UaLaylA4__TDoTqiqOgPXBrBhVJKZ4CapJRLlJ1LTahU_1ivB9XtQ.js>; rel=preload; as=script,</information/advagg_js/js__sMVR1us69-sSXhuhQWNXRyjueOEy4FQRK7nr6zzAswY__O9Dxl50YCBWD3WksvdK42k5GXABvKifJooNDTlCQgDw__TDoTqiqOgPXBrBhVJKZ4CapJRLlJ1LTahU_1ivB9XtQ.js>; rel=preload; as=script,

Be certain you are utilizing the right format. If it’s a script: <url>; rel=preload; as=script,

If it’s a CSS file: <url>; rel=preload; as=type,

7 Steps to velocity up the frontend

The following steps are to assist velocity up your frontend software. The front-end is the a part of an internet site or software that the person instantly interacts with. For instance, this contains fonts, drop-down menus, buttons, transitions, sliders, varieties, and many others.

Step 1: Modify the position of your JavaScript

Modifying the position of your JavaScript might be one of many hardest adjustments as a result of you have to to regularly check to be certain it doesn’t break the performance of your web site. 

I’ve observed that each time I take away JavaScript, I see web page velocity enhance. I counsel eradicating as a lot Javascript as you’ll be able to. You can minify the required JavaScript you do want. You may also mix your JavaScript information however use a number of bundles.

Always strive to transfer JavaScript to the underside of the web page or inline. You may also defer or use the async attribute the place potential to assure you aren’t rendering blocking. You can learn extra about transferring JavaScript right here.

Step 2: Optimize your photos

Use WebP for photos when potential (Cloudflare, a CDN, does this for you robotically — I’ll contact extra on Cloudflare under). It’s a picture formatting that makes use of each Lossy compression and lossless compression.

Always use photos with the right measurement. For instance, in case you have a picture that’s displayed in a 2” x 2 ” sq. in your web site, don’t use a big 10” x 10” picture. If you might have a picture that’s greater than is required, you might be transferring extra knowledge by the community and the browser has to resize the picture for you

Use lazy load to keep away from/delay downloading photos which can be additional down the web page and never on the seen a part of the display screen.

Step three: Optimize your CSS

You need to be certain your CSS is inline. Online instruments like this one may help you discover the essential CSS to be inlined and can remedy the render blocking. Bonus: you may preserve the cache profit of getting separate information.

Make certain to minify your CSS information (we use AdVagg since we’re on the Drupal CMS, however there are various choices for this relying in your web site).  

Try utilizing much less CSS. For occasion, in case you have sure CSS courses which can be solely used in your homepage, do not embrace them on different pages. 

Always mix the CSS information however use a number of bundles. You can learn extra about this step right here.

Move your media queries to particular information so the browser does not have to load them earlier than rendering the web page. For instance: <hyperlink href=”frontpage-sm.css” rel=”stylesheet” media=”(min-width: 767px)”>

If you’d like extra information on how to optimize your CSS, try Patrick Sexton’s fascinating put up.

Step four: Lighten your internet fonts (they are often HEAVY)

This is the place your builders could get in an argument along with your designers for those who’re not cautious. Everyone needs to have a look at a fantastically designed web site, however for those who’re not cautious about the way you carry this design stay, it might probably trigger main unintended velocity points. Here are some tips about how to put your fonts on a eating regimen:

  • Use inline svg for icon fonts (like font superior). This method you may scale back the essential chain path and can keep away from empty content material when the web page is first loaded.
  • Use fontello to generate the font information. This method, you’ll be able to embrace solely the glyphs you really use which leads to smaller information and quicker web page velocity.
  • If you’re going to use internet fonts, test for those who want all of the glyphs outlined within the font file. If you don’t want Japanese or Arabic characters, for instance, see if there’s a model with solely the characters you want.
  • Use Unicode vary to choose the glyphs you want.
  • Use woff2 when potential as it’s already compressed.
  • This article is a superb useful resource on internet font optimization.

Here is the distinction we measured when utilizing optimized fonts:

After decreasing our font information from 131kb to 41kb and eradicating one exterior useful resource (useproof), the absolutely loaded time on our check web page dropped all the way in which from 5.1 to 2.eight seconds. That’s a 44 % enchancment and is certain to make Google smile (see under).

Here’s the 44 % enchancment.

Step 5: Move exterior sources

When potential, transfer exterior sources to your server so you’ll be able to management expire headers (this may instruct the browsers to cache the useful resource for longer). For instance, we moved our Facebook Pixel to our server and cached it for 14 days. This means you’ll be accountable to test updates from time to time, however it might probably enhance your web page velocity rating.

For instance, on our Private Equity Interview Questions web page it’s potential to see how the fbevents.js file is being loaded from our server and the cache management http header is ready to 14 days (1209600 seconds)

cache-control: public, max-age=1209600

Step 6: Use a content material supply community (CDN)

What’s a CDN? Click right here to study extra.

I like to recommend utilizing Cloudflare because it makes lots of duties a lot simpler and quicker than for those who have been to try to do them by yourself server. Here is what we particularly did on Cloudflare’s configuration:


  • Auto-minify, test all
  • Under Polish
  • Enable Brotoli
  • Enable Mirage
  • Choose Lossy
  • Check WebP


  • Enable HTTP/2 – You can learn extra about this matter right here
  • No browsers presently help HTTP/2 over an unencrypted connection. For sensible functions, which means your web site should be served over HTTPS to make the most of HTTP/2. Cloudflare has a free and simple method to allow HTTPS. Check it out right here.


  • Under SSL
  • Under TLS 1.three
    • Choose Enable+0RTT – More about this matter right here.

Step 7: Use service staff

Service staff give the positioning proprietor and builders some fascinating choices (like push notifications), however by way of efficiency, we’re most enthusiastic about how these staff may help us construct a better caching system.

To learn the way to to get service staff up and working in your web site, go to this web page.

With sources (photos, CSS, javascript, fonts, and many others) being cached by a service employee, returning guests will typically be served a lot quicker than if there was no employee in any respect.

Testing, instruments, and takeaways

For every change you make to try to enhance velocity, you should utilize the next instruments to monitor the influence of the change and be sure to are on the correct path:

We know there’s a lot to digest and lots of sources linked above, however in case you are tight on time, you’ll be able to simply begin with Step 1 from each the Backend and Front-End sections. These 2 steps alone could make a significant distinction on their very own.

Good luck and let me know in case you have any questions within the feedback. I’ll be certain João Guilherme, my Head of Technology, is on to reply any questions for the neighborhood no less than as soon as a day for the primary week that is printed.

Happy Tuning!

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