How To Optimize Your Squarespace Website's Load Time By Removing Unused Fonts
BY BLAKE WILLIAMS /
CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER
As any user of the internet knows, it stinks when a website takes a long time to load. Performance issues can be caused by a multitude of problems such as a bulky website platform, poor hosting servers, large unoptimized images/videos, or unnecessary code. As a website owner, this becomes a large problem.
Not only will a slow site take more time for a visitor to buy your product or read that new article you wrote, but it ultimately gives visitors a bad customer experience when they visit your website.
So if you are not a web developer, how would you pin down these issues and get them fixed? Since the first step to solving a problem is recognizing the problem exists, let's start there!
What's My Website Speed?
Using a great website called Pingdom, you can enter your website and see what may be causes for concern. This generates a really helpful report summary that even non-technical people can quickly analyze.
However, if your website is not getting top grades, you may want to dig deeper. Because Danielle and I are constantly working to make sure our website code and graphics are as slim as possible I was really confused with why our readings were so high. That's when I noticed that we were registering a large amount of font files being downloaded, however we only use 1 font on our actual site.
The reason for this occurrence comes from the fact that whenever you "test" a new font in your Squarespace style editor panel or the template has a default applied to a block you do not see, it actually continues to load that font every time someone visits your site (even if you didn't end up displaying it on your site). That loading sequence slows down your website's speeds and can cause visitors to simply click to some other website that appears quicker.
With this new found knowledge in hand I looked back at some other Squarespace websites we had built in the past and wondered what tweaks I could make to help improve all their loading speeds. Thus came a personal project cleverly named the "Squarespace Font Optimizer."
Squarespace Font Optimizer is a free website tool we built that can actually improve your website's performance in seconds.
Better yet, you can do it all by yourself and completely online. The steps are all outlined over on the Font Optimizer page, but the basic process comes from downloading your Squarespace site's Style Pack JSON file and uploading it to the optimizer, selecting which fonts to switch out, redownloading your new super swift Style Pack and uploading it to your site.
In 5 easy steps you will have gotten rid of all those unused fonts slowing down your load time.
After running another free Pingdom Speed Test to compare the improvements we definitely saw some improvements and wanted to share this tool with everyone!
Our page size became over 2.5 times smaller and our load times decreased by half a second with more than 3 times less request. Those are results!
If you are interested in optimizing your own Squarespace site you can try our Squarespace Font Optimizer here. And if you have any issues or want to share your success with us please reach out to cheers studios at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always welcome to answer any website or branding questions you may have!