My new website in more detail

My new website in more detail

I recently announced the launch of my new website. While my new website looks very similar to my old site, looks can be deceiving. My new website has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The redevelopment aimed to improve the speed that my website loaded. Page load speed is now a prominent website performance metric, and my old site was not as quick as I would have liked.

Why is page load speed important?

Page load speed has risen to prominence as mobile internet browsing has grown. Mobile internet connections are sensitive to page load speeds. Slow loading pages can dramatically impact the site's usability on a mobile. Page load speed has such an impact that it has become a significant ranking factor for search engines like Google.

What I did to improve page load speed

There were a few things I did to make my web pages load quicker. The first was to remove much of the clutter. On each page, I removed anything that was not strictly needed to achieve the goal of that page.

I also moved the site to a more powerful server. While there was nothing wrong with my old server, a bit more power never hurt and it was an easy win.

The big change that had most of the impact was to move to static Progressive Web App generator called gatsby.js. Gatsby meant I could build my site using modern web tech such as the React JavaScript library. Gatsby would then generate static code that would be lightning fast to load.

Other changes I made

Gatsby can be used to create a headless WordPress website. This setup still enables you to use WordPress to manage your content but bypasses the WordPress templating engine. Instead, you have a separate site that queries the WordPress API for content. A headless configuration has many advantages over the standard WordPress setup particularly when it comes to security and performance. I would even say that a headless WordPress setup will become the norm before long.

Being a programmer, I am not as reliant on a CMS system as many others, so I decided against using WordPress. Editing code is no problem for me and removing WordPress meant one less thing to manage. Without WordPress, there is also one less attack vector for hackers to try and exploit.