Just started out on Webflow and looking to migrate our business site over from WordPress.
I was doing some performance testing and noticed something with the hosted pages.
Whenever you publish the site, the load time of every page after is significantly slower than subsequent requests to the page, presumably because it is compiling the page, then future calls are cached on the server.
For example, you can see below that the first visit to a page took over a second, then requests after are a lot faster.
This isn’t browser caching, this is happening on the server.
To give you another example, I did a Lighthouse check on a page that has already been loaded. As you’d expect the result is great and everything is reasonably fast:
I then made a tiny text change and republished the site, then did the same Lighthouse test on the same page, but this time letting it hit the page fresh right after a publish. You can see from the result that it’s not as good, and the reason is “Reduce initial server response time”:
This doesn’t only happen post publishing, if the page hasn’t been visited in a while, then it also causes this “recompiling” delay.
The main cause for concern is the fact that search engines are the ones that are likely to be crawling your site and hitting pages for the first time before your visitors in most cases, and if they’re seeing the page load time is poor then this could affect rankings. It’s also not a great user experience having a delay, albeit only initially.
Just to mention, if you have a Webflow site, you can do the exact same test, although your page load times might differ significantly, for example, the initial load time might be 100ms, but then subsequent calls might be 15ms. In this case, it probably doesn’t make much difference for you, but for us it seems to take over a second.
What is everyone else’s thoughts on this? Has anyone experienced this and found workarounds?