How exactly do you build a fast website? And if your website is slow, what can you do to improve it?
Umbraco HQ asked Carbon Six Digital Director Paul Marden: “What’s your best tip(s) to improve page speed on a website?”
Make sure you properly test the performance of the site under load before it goes live. This is especially important with sites with more complex hosting, such as a load-balanced configuration. Traditionally load testing was expensive as it required costly software and hardware all over the world to simulate close to real world conditions. But tools such as Load Impact, which is our favourite, have dramatically cut the cost to run load-testing simulations.
Recently on a Proof of Concept of an Umbraco 8 site which will be hosted on Azure Web Apps we found that page load speeds were fine without any load on our Webapps site, but once we simulated something close to real world levels of usage (which aren’t particularly high) we found that we had under-provisioned the Azure Web Apps, and that page load speeds regularly spiked far higher than was acceptable.
Without load testing early, we would only have found this issue once the site went live.