Speed sucks

Occasional Contributor

Are you fighting with speed problems on your website? 

We are having some real speed troubles since we moved our website to HubSpot CMS. It looks like there are troubles with the caching. In the old days with World Press we would have asked the webdeveloper to install the W3 total cache plugin. But know whom shall we ask?

HubSpot Support refers to the template builder. We bought the template at the HubSpot market place. The template builder is convinced that his template is the fastest in the world. 

So we decided to look how other HubSpot agencies are doing. We performed a simply test. We used a tool named WebPagetest and tested all the Diamond Partners and some Platine Partners. We used this setting on WegPagetest: Frankfurt, Germany - Dynatrace - Chrome - Cable

Surprise: No Website performs on really high speed! Do they all suck?

Here are the results:

Speed HubSpot.png

How fast should a website be? We all know: Faster is better.

I always use this website from a genius SEO ninger I personally know: https://www.veganblatt.com/

Their load time is 2,41 seconds, and the start render time ist 1,087 seconds. For me this is the benchmark. 


So what can I do to get our website back to the "autobahn"?

I am appriciating any advice.





6 Replies
Esteemed Contributor

Interesting results @mbredl. Thanks for sharing!


In order to provide the best feedback for getting a faster site we'll need to see the website! You may not be able to control the first-byte time or how caching is set-up. But there is still a lot you can do especially with web fonts, images/iconography and with scripts/css.


Occasional Contributor

Stefen, do you have any idea who can help?




Esteemed Contributor

Hard to provide help without a specific site to look at. Some general advice: avoid webfonts if possible, if you use webfonts try this technique, move all scripts to your footer, concatenate your scripts/css into a single file (in HubL you do can this easily with the include function) - at least until the COS is moved onto an http/2 server, avoid using large images, compress your images with imgoptim or fileoptimizer, use progressive jpgs...


Hope some of this helps!

Regular Contributor

This is a neat case study. 


I am curious when you ran these test?

Top Advisor

I do a lot of optimization work for companies on the hubspot cos. There are a few areas that can be improved and some that cant.


The truth of the matter is that the majority of hubspot partners are really good at sell and marketing, and really bad at development.  Because of this they rely heavily on the template builder as apposed to building their sites using HubL. 


The template builder adds tons of extra wrappers and span tags to the html. 


Also they use hubspots default css and build on top of it. Check how many css files are loading on your site. frame work css is always bulky because it is coded for many different scenerios. Ideally you would want 1 css file containing only code pertinent to your site and as few imports (google fonts and etc) as possible. 


Hubspot includes js in the head of your page for form processing and such. If you build a web page with HubL, the {{ standard_header_includes }} that is required in the document adds these  and more (check docs: http://designers.hubspot.com/docs/hubl/hubl-supported-variables). You could technically move these to the footer, but I am not consulting you to do so because I haven't check the repercussions. Things like this are what give you the "above the fold error" on google page speed test and gtmetix. 


Images. Almost 80% of what I do when optimizing websites for my clients on any cms/cos is optimizing images. First, make sure that the images you are using are resized in photoshop for no more than their largest usage. 


second, make sure you are slicing your jpegs as progressive. they load better.


lastly, all images (png, jpeg, gif, etc.) need to be optimized. I use compressor.io to optimize images. 95% of the time that is enough for google with images, and if googles happy then your optimizing correctly. 


ensure that your url doesn't have landing page redirects. This is a popular one with hubspot. google page speed test and gtmetrix will tell you if you do, and if you do will tell what they are. 


caching isn't really an option with hubspot other than what they provide. Luckily they supply a cdn, unfortunately it doesn't deliver css and js unless you create a .css or .js file and place it in the file manager. that will be a pain. Content delivery networks spread your resource requests to other servers taking the load of your hosting server. multiple things can be loaded in at once.


Hopefully that will help. You would be surprised at how many high tier partner agencies (and I have worked for a lot of them) do not optimize their websites. 


on the other side of this it is important to remember that the core focus of hubspot is content marketing, not seo. SEO is ALWAYS important and you should optimize as best as possible. A high load time is intolerable to a lot of users. But your using your content to attract visitors via social media and etc, not so much through search so you don't have to bow to the google gods as much as completely SEO driven strategies. 


I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

HubSpot Product Team

All great points. I just want to clarify one thing.

@Jsum wrote:

caching isn't really an option with hubspot other than what they provide. Luckily they supply a cdn, unfortunately it doesn't deliver css and js unless you create a .css or .js file and place it in the file manager. that will be a pain.


All JS and CSS assets built in Design Manager are pushed a CDN, the same one used for File Manager.