4x Faster Sites with Duocms7 +Webp

We've just pushed version 7.3.19 of Duocms. As part of this release we've begun the roll-out of some of the features we're baking into the cms to improve search engine performance.

One of the many SEO and usability issues both our sites and websites in general have is loading speed. Webpages over the past few years have got bigger and bigger and the major culprit of this has been image size. With improved screen resolutions and larger monitors it is inevitable image size will go up, but google and other search engines now look at performance as a factor on how they rank your pages, so performance matters more than ever.

Duocms 7 already has a number of features in place to minimise site size.

  • We set long caching headers so images are stored locally for up to six months, which is a big help to returning visitors
  • We serve responsive images so mobile sites get smaller versions of images automatically
  • We use server optimisation tools to strip meta data from pngs and jpegs to make them even smaller without loosing quality

We've now added Webp Compression

Webp is an open source image format developed by Google. It's not yet supported in all browsers, but we're able to detect browser compatibility when they request the image. So for web browsers which don't support the format we server them the usual jpegs and pngs. All this happens transparently without our website authors having to change anything.

What effect has it had?

The feature is still in testing, but early results from two of our sites below look very promising.


Before Webp

With Webp


www.duodesign.co.uk - home page, desktop version



1.8Mb (46%)

www.duodesign.co.uk - home page, mobile version



1.6Mb (76%)

www.wadedeacon.co.uk - home page, desktop version



5.7mb (77%)

www.wadedeacon.co.uk - home page, mobile version



1mb (47%)

Many of the pages are up to 4x smaller with webp enabled, the added bonus is that less data equates to a quicker load time, in some side by side testing of the sites above on a fast connection the load times went down from 1.5 seconds to just 500ms included all the images on first load. On a 3g connection this would speed a site up from 18 seconds to a much more manageable 6.5 seconds.


We have a number of other features in the pipeline in the future around improving site speed, accessibility and search engine performance. We'll be sure to blog about these as they roll out.


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