5 Ways to Quickly Improve your Webflow Website Speed Today

Written By:
Jay Delisle
January 2, 2023
Navy Orange spaceship going fast through space
Table of Contents
Subscribe to newsletter
By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Copy URL
This is some text inside of a div block.

Importance of Page Load Speed

Improving the page load speed of your Webflow website is essential for a number of reasons and one of the best ways to improve your site. First and foremost, fast loading times lead to a better user experience. No one wants to wait around for a website to load, and if your site is slow, visitors are likely to leave before it even finishes loading. This can lead to a high bounce rate, which can hurt your search engine rankings and make it harder for people to find your site.

Website Performance Metrics

In addition to improving the user experience, faster page load times also have a number of other benefits. For example, Google has stated that page load speed is a ranking factor, so a faster website may be more likely to appear higher in search results. In addition, faster page load times can lead to increased conversion rates and better user experience. Users are then more likely to complete a purchase or sign up for a service if the process is a quick, seamless, and pleasant experience.

Page Speed Performance Tools

So, how can you improve the page load speed of your Webflow website? The first step is to identify any bottlenecks that may be slowing your site down. Knowing your page load speed metrics is invaluable, but how do you determine and gather this data? There are many tools available to analyze your website's performance and give you full speed and performance reports for your Webflow website. I tend to use the following as they give detailed reports and good action items that can be addressed to increase speed and performance. Those tools include web.dev, Google PageSpeed Insights, and GTmetrix. These tools will give you an idea of what areas of your site may be causing slowdowns, such as large images, unnecessary JavaScript, or third-party APIs.

Screenshot of website PageSpeed Insights Report
Example of PageSpeed Insights Report

Now that we have the tools to identify performance issues and areas of your website slowdowns, let's start to improve your speed metrics.

Webflow Optimizations to Increase Site Speed

1. Optimize Images

Nothing will destroy your site speed and performance like megabyte-sized photos that haven’t been compressed. Optimizing and compressing your website images is the single biggest action that can be taken to greatly improve your website load speed. Proper image file formats and compression can make a big difference in page load speed without compromising image quality. In terms of file formats, JPEG is typically best for photographs, while PNG is a good choice for graphics with transparent backgrounds. However, using WebP formats for images is the modern file format that can help with performance and should be used whenever possible. There are some really good tools to help make this step straightforward and effortless.

1.1 TinyPNG

TinyPNG is a great tool for optimizing your images without taking a hit on image quality. Just take your WebP, jpg, or png and drop on the web interface and TinyPNG will take that image and compress/optimize it for you to download, reducing its size but not quality. It’s an amazing tool that I use all the time.

1.2 ImageOptim

Similar to TinyPNG, ImageOptim does the same thing but I wanted to give it a shout-out as a mac application. This can be downloaded and used on your mac and therefore, no internet connection is needed for use. Always great to have an image compression and optimization tool on your computer for instances where you can not access the internet.

1.3 Webflow Assets Panel

The Webflow assets panel has its own image compression tool. I’ve started to use this the most, as it is so convenient and easy to use. On top of compressing the images, it will convert images to WebP format automatically.

1.4 Optily

This tool is my best-kept secret for image optimizations. It can do all images on your website, but its special use case and superpower are how it does images that are in the Webflow CMS. Using Optily, you can put in your Webflow site URL and it will automatically get all the images in your CMS, optimize and compress them and then automatically upload the optimized image versions right back into place in the CMS! All without you doing any manual work. It’s a great tool and lifesaver for updating your CMS images.

One thing to note about this tool is it will be coming to the end of service, as Webflow plans to have this feature working natively in Webflow in the near future.

At the end of the day, all of these tools do their job and reduce image size and performance footprint. You can use what works best for your workflow and the use case at hand to compress your images and reduce their file size without sacrificing quality.

2. Defer Images and Videos

The next way to improve the speed of your Webflow website is to defer images and videos from loading right away. This can greatly reduce the initial load speed of a page as it does not require all images and videos on the page to be loaded right at the start. In Webflow, there are two main ways to accomplish this.

2.1 Lazy Load

Lazy Loading is a technique that allows for the images to only be loaded when needed, for example, when a user scrolls down the page and that video/image comes into view. Accomplishing this in Webflow is simple and straightforward. You can access the lazy loading option through the image setting panel for any image element. It is as simple as making sure that the Load setting is set to Lazy: loads on scroll. This enables lazy loading for that image/video.

Screenshot of Webflow Image Settings panel
Webflow Image Setting - Lazy Load

2.2 Custom Code

The second way is through custom code and javascript to make sure that video API calls and images are deferred to a specific point in the page loading process to ensure the best performance. Going with this method usually requires hiring a Webflow developer[link to services] in order to complete it unless you have a technical background. Adjusting the timing of when images and videos start to load will greatly allow for better performance all without affecting the quality or user experience of the webpage.

3. Reduce Javascript Code

Javascript is a great tool to use for custom actions on a Webflow website. However, these actions come at a cost to performance due to the nature of the code execution. Javascript tends to increase load times due to scripts having to load and execute as well as third-party API code that has to finish executing during a website page loading. Where possible, you want to reduce javascript code and the number of API calls to third-party integrations. These alone can cause a massive increase in the page load speed of a Webflow website and is usually the biggest performance hit we see when optimizing client Webflow sites. You have to really weigh the pros and cons when deciding to make a tool integration or use third-party API calls with Webflow, as these will for sure cause an increase in load time.

Screenshot of opportunities section of website page load speed report
Example of how Javascript Affects Performance Load Times

4. Optimize Needed Scripts

Sometimes there is Javascript that is needed and can’t be removed. In this case, to increase performance we can do a few things to still optimize the loading and execution times of these scripts, to lighten the performance hit of their use.

4.1 Use Async or Defer

Add “defer” or “async” attributes to the <script> tag to control when scripts are run and make sure they’re executed at more appropriate times.

Declaring async or defer in your javascript call to the script affects when the script will be loaded and executed.  Depending on the situation, one attribute option can be better than the other.

Async is the choice when you don’t care about when the DOM is ready, as the script is fetched in parallel to page parsing. This option is great for when something doesn’t rely on DOM elements, like analytic scripts.

Screenshot of javascript script tag with async attribute set
Async Script Attribute Set

The defer option will wait until the page has been parsed and the DOM is set up before executing the script. This makes this the best option for scripts that rely on or plan to manipulate the DOM and need it to be ready for interaction.

Screenshot of javascript script tag with defer attribute set
Defer Script Attribute Set

4.2 Load Scripts Conditionally

When a script is needed for certain times and not others, make sure to load these scripts conditionally. Add conditional logic before the script tag to control in which scenarios the script is loaded and executed. This cuts down on time when the script is not needed and therefore, will reduce the javascript execution time and unused code.

4.3 Embed Small Scripts

If the code needed to be added is small enough, just embed it on the Webflow website. Having a script tag is costly as it has to be located, downloaded, and then executed when loading the webpage. Embedding small scripts will save time and improve performance.

Just be careful and mindful of how much you embed, Webflow itself has a 10,000 character limit for embedded code.

4.4 Keep Scripts in <body> instead of head

Move scripts from the <head> tag to the footer area of Webflow. This would be in the Before </body> tag text edit for the page you are adding custom code. Pages are parsed and rendered from the top down, so moving the script to the bottom, allows the web page content to be loaded first before loading and executing scripts. It improves the user experience by allowing content to be the focus and increases performance by allowing scripts to run after the content at the top of the page.

5. Download Fonts

Another simple but useful way to improve speed is to download fonts directly to your Webflow website. Using API calls in general, especially for fonts, will affect javascript execution times, render blocking resources, and unused javascript negatively. Just download the font you want to use and upload right to Webflow as seen below:

Screenshot of webflow custom fonts
Webflow Download Fonts
Screenshot of webflow downloaded fonts
Webflow Displaying Downloaded Fonts

6. Bonus: Server Speed

Optimizing server response time is another important factor in improving page load speed. A slow server can significantly impact the overall performance of your website, so it's important to choose a hosting provider with fast response times. The beautiful thing about Webflow is you get all of this out of the box just by using it and hosting with Webflow. Hosting with Webflow takes care of security and server speeds, and is ready to take on any amount of traffic and scale without any slowdowns or performance hits to your website.

Once you've implemented the optimization strategies outlined above, it's important to test and monitor your page load speed to ensure that your efforts are paying off. Regularly monitoring your page load speed will help you identify any issues that may arise and allow you to make any necessary adjustments to keep your site running smoothly.

In conclusion, improving the page load speed of your Webflow website is essential for a better user experience, improved search engine rankings, and increased conversion rates. If you’re looking for help to optimize your Webflow website or just looking to save time by having your own Webflow development partner, contact us and check out what we can do for you! Until next time, keep building.

Headshot of author Jay
Jay Delisle
Webflow Developer & Expert

Related Articles

The latest posts on similar topics from the experts

Navy and Orange space theme showing astronaut with space behind
January 6, 2023

4 Essential Tools Proven To Grow Your Webflow Website and Business

Learn how to grow your Webflow website with these four essential data tools: analytics software, Google Search Console, heatmap software, and screen recording software. Discover how these tools can help you track website traffic, improve search rankings, optimize website design, and analyze user behavior.

Get Your Time Back

We handle all Webflow Development and Builds so you can focus on your business.