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Website performance and security

Website performance and security are areas that are often overlooked. However, this should still be done to prevent potential problems that a website with poor security can cause.

2023-06-29 by Sebastian Pikand

blog post

Website performance and security

Investing in website performance is an excellent idea

The development budget can significantly affect the technical performance of the website. Therefore, it is safer to hire experienced makers who do quality work. As a result, the website generally uses the best programming practices and therefore has a higher quality. A smaller budget can force you to use less experienced developers or create situations where you have to start fixing bugs or shortcomings later. A lot also depends on which platform or framework is being used – for example, a lot of WordPress sites are created, but companies also have their website created in a framework, for example in Next.js. In this article we compare the features of WordPress and Next.js. But first, we will describe how high-quality development work is reflected in the good performance of the website.

Better structured website functionality

Some websites need more features, such as integration with third-party services. It is important that additional features are integrated properly. Good development principles must be used or performance issues can easily arise.

Homepage scalability as a preventer of performance problems

A larger budget allows you to develop a more scalable website – this helps the website handle increased traffic and user activity without the page slowing down or crashing. On the other hand, a smaller budget can limit the ability to create a scalable website, which can result in performance issues when there are a lot of users on the site at the same time.

Website infrastructure as another important component

A larger budget can allow for better server infrastructure, such as using more powerful servers or cloud-based solutions to help ensure a smooth and fast website. A smaller budget can result in lower quality or less reliable infrastructure with a higher risk of performance issues or downtime.

In general, the size of the development budget plays a decisive role in determining the technical capability of a website. By investing money in a competent developer or development team, although it may be more expensive, it is easier to ensure that the website is built to a good standard and is technically capable and secure based on the well-being of users.

What are the key features that can help improve website performance?

There are several options that can help improve website performance. Google Lighthouse helps to evaluate the performance of the website – it’s a tool with which you can consistently test the performance score of your website. Read more in the post "Google Lighthouse – a tool to evaluate and improve the quality of your website". Below are some ways to improve website performance.

Improve page speed

Page speed is a critical factor in website performance, and optimizing your page speed can significantly improve your Lighthouse score. This can be achieved through several strategies such as optimizing images, reducing unnecessary CSS and JavaScript files, reducing HTTP requests, and optimizing browser cache.

Minimize render-blocking resources

Render-blocking resources are CSS and JavaScript files that prevent the page from loading until it is fully loaded. Minimizing these resources can improve website performance and Lighthouse score. This can be achieved by adding small CSS and JavaScript files, deferring larger files, and optimizing critical rendering paths.

Improve server response time

A slow server response time can significantly affect website performance. This can be improved by using a faster web hosting provider, optimizing database queries, and reducing server load.

Implement lazy loading (lazy loading)

Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of images and other non-critical resources until they are needed. This can improve website performance by reducing the amount of content that is loaded on initial page load.

Implement AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

AMP is a technology that creates lightweight versions of web pages optimized for mobile devices. Implementing AMP can improve website performance, especially on mobile devices.

What are the main problems that make WordPress pages slow?

One question that many have is – should you invest in a more expensive website developed in a framework such as Next.js, or should you choose to build a page in WordPress? Although WordPress is a popular choice, it is good to know the problems that come with WordPress, which we describe below.

Poorly optimized images

Unoptimized images can significantly reduce the loading speed of a web page. This can be solved by compressing the images and saving them to a suitable file (e.g. WEBP). There are also plugins that allow you to conveniently optimize images.

Too many plugins

WordPress plugins can add a lot of functionality to a website, but if there are too many, the page will often become slow. It is important to use only plugins that are really necessary and remove all unnecessary plugins.

Outdated WordPress version or plugins

Running outdated versions of WordPress or its plugins can lead to security vulnerabilities and performance issues. Regularly updating WordPress and any installed plugins will help ensure that your website runs smoothly and securely.

Poorly coded themes or plugins

Badly coded themes and plugins can cause performance issues and even security holes. It is important to only use themes and plugins from trusted sources and check their reviews and ratings before installing.

Caching issues

Caching plugins can help improve website performance by storing frequently used content. However, incorrect cache settings or conflicts with other plugins can cause problems.

Problems caused by the server or hosting provider

Slow servers or a poor hosting provider can significantly affect website performance. It is important to choose a reputable hosting provider and regularly monitor website performance to identify and resolve issues.

In general, poor performance of WordPress themes can be caused by a number of issues, but many of them can be solved with regular maintenance, just using the right plugins and properly optimizing images and cache.

How is Next.js better than WordPress when it comes to security?

Next.js and WordPress are both popular platforms for building websites, but they have significant differences when it comes to security. Here are a few reasons why Next.js is generally considered better than WordPress regarding security.

Static Site Generation (SSG) reduces attacks on the home page

Next.js uses a static site generation (Static-Site Generator) model, which means that each page of the website is pre-built, so to speak, and is served directly from the content delivery network (CDN network). This can greatly reduce attacks against a website by eliminating the need for database and server-side scripting. WordPress, on the other hand, relies on server-side scripting and a database, which can create potential security holes. WordPress requires some plugins to implement additional security features.

Adding cross-site scripting (XSS) protection to a Next.js page is easy

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) is a cyber security attack technique where bad guys inject dangerous scripts into the code of a website to steal user data or cause other harm to website users. For example, they can inject code that steals a user's login credentials or redirects them to a malicious website. This is often done using an existing input form on a web page, such as a comment field or a search field. In order to avoid XSS attacks, it is important to protect the input fields of the website by data validation and data cleaning. In Next.js, it is easy to implement the corresponding code to add protection, while in WordPress, again, some new additional plugin should be added to enable this security feature. However, an abundance of plugins is not good for page performance.

There are no plugins

Next.js does not use plugins like WordPress, so there are no problems with plugins. In addition, it is possible to create homepage libraries freely in Next.js.

Stronger authentication

In Next.js, the developer can provide an authentication mechanism and at the same time choose more secure alternatives than WordPress cookies. A secure example is encrypted JSON Web Tokens (JWT).

Better control over code

With Next.js pages, developers have more control over the website code. This allows them to ensure that the code is secure and follows best practices. With WordPress, there is more reliance on third-party plugins and themes, which can create potential security holes.

Due to the aforementioned circumstances, WordPress pages are also more vulnerable to bots than Next.js pages. In addition, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world, on which about 40% of all websites are based. The popularity of WordPress makes it an attractive target for attackers looking to exploit security holes and vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, Next.js is a safer choice than WordPress.

How fast should the website load so it won’t annoy users?

Website loading speed is an important factor in user experience. A website that loads too slowly can annoy users and lead them to leave the page. Generally, a web page should load under 3 seconds to avoid user frustration.

Research shows that even a one-second delay in page load time can reduce conversions by 7%. Additionally, 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or faster, and 40% of consumers will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Various factors such as page size, number of images and videos, design complexity, and server response time can affect website loading speed. To improve website loading speed, website owners can implement various techniques such as reducing the size of images, minimizing code, using a content delivery network (CDN), and optimizing server response times.

Read more in the post "Google Lighthouse – a tool to evaluate and improve the quality of your website".

Good performance and security as an indicator of website quality

Several factors affect the performance of a website – which platform or framework the website is based on and which optimization techniques have or have not been used. In general, for WordPress sites, poorly optimized images, too many plugins, outdated versions, and poorly coded themes can cause the page to slow down. Regular maintenance, using only the necessary plugins and properly optimizing images and cache can help resolve issues. A website based on a framework (such as Next.js) offers better security and performance and is the perfect solution for building larger and more complex websites. If the budget allows, it makes sense to choose experienced developers to ensure the creation of a high-quality website. It's a good practice to test your website using the Google Lighthouse tool to get an idea of ​​page quality – performance, accessibility and search engine optimization. Regularly updating the site according to Google Lighthouse's suggestions makes it possible to make the homepage faster, more user-friendly and more valuable in the eyes of search engines.

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