Best Practices for a Faster Concrete5 Website

Let’s review a few “best practices” for a site that performs as well as it looks. A speedy page load time will not only help maintain interest in your site, but will actually help your rankings in the major search engines. Conversely, a good looking site that suffers from poor performance will likely achieve a less than desirable placement when searched for.

The following are some simple steps you can easily implement to help improve your site performance:

A). Keep your home page well organized and uncomplicated. Overloading your home page with excessive images, widgets, and slideshows will not only take longer to load but often can be overwhelming to the casual web surfer. Remember… if you offer up too much on the home page, there is little reason to explore the rest of your site. Use “teasers” of information and a “call to action” to entice your audience to take the next step and browse your site. (The simple home page example below has minimal clutter but encourages people to link to other parts of the website.)
homepage example

B). Control your images for size, quality, and type. Using progressive JPEGs when possible (and explore the options of adding transfer compression to your .htaccess file from your cpanel). It is a good practice to optimize your images with a photo editor prior to uploading them. If you are using high resolution images for a gallery and downloading they will be best displayed on an inner page with, if needed, a faster loading “optimized” image as a teaser on the home page.

C). Utilize Concrete5’s built in caching to your advantage. Caching controls are found under the Dashboard’s “Systems & Setting” page. While building your site or doing major edits the cache should be turned off, but don’t forget to turn in back on when you are finished!

Explore using “Full Page Caching” as well. While Full Page caching is extremely fast, it may interfere with some add-ons and forms. I have had success using it on my Home page to provide a faster initial view of my site. You can turn on Full Page Caching for individual pages by clicking that page listing in the Sitemap area of the Dashboard.FPcachesitemap

The three simple steps of controlling home page content, optimizing images, and utilizing your site cache will certainly help you take your site to the next level.
If you have questions about this or are curious about other topics, feel free to contact me at


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Author Spotlight

Adrian Rick

Adrian is an "Enthusiastic Website Junky" and active member of the Concrete5 community. As the operations manager for a midwestern manufacturer, he is responsible for the development and maintenence of several commercial websites. His company, Advertisers Resource Company (AdReCo Media) specializes in creating user friendly websites using the open source CMS Concrete5.

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