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Google Announces Site Speed Impacts Your Ranking

Google have recently announced that speed of your web site is now a factor in its ranking on their search engine. One of the key focuses of Recite CMS is to make your site run as quickly as possible.

Part of this new functionality is a new tool in Google Webmaster Tools that indicates the page load speed of your site. They recommend using tools such as Page Speed or YSlow (both plug-ins for Firefox's Firebug) to find areas where your site speed can be improved. While some of these come down to the person implementing the web site, Recite CMS does take care of several of these recommendations, including:

  • Minifying CSS and JavaScript. CSS and JavaScript files contain many unnecessary characters that are useful when creating these files but serve no purpose in rendering the page. Recite CMS allows you to automatically reduce these files when they sent to your site visitors.
  • Serving files from a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Recite CMS has an add-on package called Assets Mirrors that will automatically synchronise all your web site files to a remote location. This can be achieved using Amazon S3, FTP, SFTP or a network file server. Additionally, developers can implement their own mirroring driver to suit your own needs if required.
  • Caching generated pages on the server. In order for Recite CMS to provide the advanced functionality it does, a lot of processing goes into generating your web site pages. Recite CMS minimises this overhead by saving and re-using generated content wherever possible using its internal data cache. This is an area of Recite CMS we devote a lot of time and are continually striving to squeeze more speed from generated pages.
  • Leveraging browser caching. When Recite CMS serves a static page with content that isn't about to change, it instructs the visitor's browser to save the data to its "temporary files". This makes it much quicker for the user to browse your site, since much of the data will already exist on their computer.

Of course, there are still areas we can improve in making sites run quickly. One of the key features we will be implementing soon is to automatically GZIP encode all returned HTML pages. Not only can compressing returned pages speed up your site, it can also reduce your (and your site visitor's) bandwidth usage.

If you have any questions about Google's new policy and how it relates to Recite CMS, or if you have any further improvements you'd like to see made to Recite CMS related to web site speed, please Contact Us.