Increase Your Site Load Speeds + Best Practices
One question the Brad Good teams receives a lot from potential clients is how to improve their Squarespace website page load speeds.
However, if your site is still loading slowly, read on below about some common issues that you can fix.
When a browser first loads a web page, it downloads all of the page's content. This can seriously affect load times if your page has a large amount of content. Load time also depends on the bandwidth of the computer or device a visitor uses to view your site. So depending on the browser, some content may be cached to decrease load times on following visits.
A page containing more than 1 MB of content could cause noticeably slow loading on a cellular connection. For a broadband connection, 5 to 10 MB on a page may increase load times to noticeable levels.
To avoid these issues, Squarespace recommends:
- Optimizing your images for web display.
- Spreading out content across multiple pages.
- Using excerpts in Blog Pages with lots of content. This prevents browsers from loading everything at once and can improve load times.
- Keeping your page size under 5 MB. Visit Checking your page content size to determine page size and learn which parts of the page take up the most space.
Squarespace supports the browser versions listed in this guide for viewing and editing your site. Viewing or editing a site on older browser version could be the cause of loading issues.
It is always best to check if your browser is current and download the latest version here. For additional resources, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox have built-in tools you can use to investigate loading issues.
Your Local Connection
According to Squarespace, if you're experiencing loading issues on pages with small amounts of content while using an up-to-date browser, this could indicate an issue with your local network.
They recommend try viewing your site on another network, or ask a friend using a different connection to view your site, to determine whether this is a contributing issue.
You can also troubleshoot this with a speed test. If your upload and download speeds are lower than what your Internet service provider has promised, contact them to see if there might be an issue.
You can also check status.squarespace.com to see if your issue extends to all Squarespace sites.
Custom code which includes third-party embed code, code injections, and CSS, may cause your Squarespace website to load slowly.
Squarespace recommends that when troubleshooting load time issues, remove all custom code from your site, save it in a text document for safe keeping, then refresh the page.
As a general design rule, Squarespace recommends you use no more than two fonts throughout your site. Reducing the number of fonts on your site can also help improve loading time.
When a browser loads any page on your site, it first loads all the fonts that are set in the Style Editor, including custom Typekit fonts. If you have many different fonts, all of them must load before the page can appear in the browser.
To optimize loading time, Squarespace recommends that you use web-safe fonts, which are fonts that most browsers and operating systems recognize.
In the Style Editor, these fonts are web-safe:
- Courier New
- Lucida Console
- Lucida Sans Unicode
- Palatino Linotype
- Times New Roman
A variety of other factors can affect your Squarespace website's load time. This includes:
- Computer memory/capacity
- External scripts added to the site
- Multiple embedded videos loading simultaneously
- Local network firewalls
- Anti-virus software
- Browser add-ons
If you’ve checked for the potential culprits above and Squarespace's Status page doesn't mention a system-wide issue, open a ticket letting Squarespace know what you've tried so that they can investigate further.