When a visitor lands on your website for the first time, you only have around three seconds to capture their attention and convince them to hang around. Page load time being an important part of the user experience is a deciding factor of how much time any visitor will spend on your website.
Slow page load speed is especially damaging for e-Commerce websites handling large scale transactions every day. Shoppers who are not satisfied with the performance and speed of the website are less likely to make a purchase again from the same site. For that matter, even Google, when ranking sites, incorporates site speed in search rankings.
So, what can be done to speed up your WordPress website? Before we get on to that, let’s first discuss the adverse impact of a slow site.
- A second’s delay in page response drastically decreases your customer satisfaction by 16%
- Nearly half of your customers may think of changing the service if confronted with a poor loading site in the a longer run
- Ordinary web performance impacts your page ranking and disturbs the user experience. Even though you are spending quite well on creating superior quality content, it may be in vain if the speed of the websites comes in between the content and user
- Keeping in mind the market dynamics and competition, your website is your business’s face value; a slow one may hamper its image and lead to giving business opportunities to the competitors
In a nutshell, a slow website will negatively impact sales, conversions, traffic, page views and the brand image.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website
1. Choose a Good Host
Choosing the best WordPress Hosting is the first step in building a robust website. But the difficult part is, which type of hosting is right for you?
When starting out, the availability of unlimited page views with Shared Hosting can be quite lucrative. However, no matter how good the bargain is, it comes at another cost – frequent downtime during high traffic time and an incredibly slow site speed. The chances are that your Shared Hosting plan is the chief contributor to site slowness. Though Shared Hosting is a great option for sites with low traffic, as the traffic grows, the need to scale the hardware arises.
Dedicated Hosting, Managed Hosting and Virtual Private Server are better options for sites with high/medium traffic. So, if you are planning to open an eCommerce website which is following a hyper growth approach and in future may have millions of daily visits, Shared Hosting is definitely not an option.
2. Use a Better Caching Plugin
A good caching plugin can drastically improve the page load speed of your WordPress site. The process of caching involves storing parts of the site so they only need to be loaded once, instead of every time a repeat visitor visits your site.
To enhance the performance of your site, we recommend replacing the default cache plugin ‘WP Super Cache’ with ‘W3 Total Cache’. Trusted by many popular blogs, W3 Total Cache is a great WordPress plugin that can significantly enhance the user experience by loading the pages faster through caching. Also, it offers customization of caching as per your requirement.
3. Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Removing unnecessary plugins increases the overall speed of your website and is also a good security measure. Too many plugins or plugins that don’t work well together can significantly hamper your site’s overall performance and speed. In addition, it’s also possible that multiple plugins could lead to your site ultimately crashing as crashes are caused by poorly written plugins. If any time in the future you need any plugin back, you can always download it later.
4. Select a Fast Theme/Framework
If you choose a theme packed with various additional features that you don’t need, it may impact the site’s performance. On the other hand, a fast and well-coded theme/framework will create a positive effect on the speed of your website.
Almost every theme has a demo site, so that you get an idea of how it looks and works. The first thing that needs to be done before purchasing is to test the demo website and identify where the bottlenecks are. Website Speed Management and Performance Optimization and Pingdom Tools are two excellent online tools that help analyse the speed of any website.
5. Reducing the number of HTTP requests
Reduced number of HTTP requests made to your site’s server has a direct relation with increased speed of the website. The more HTTP requests your site has, the slower the loading time of the pages.
6. Compress the Images
There’s no doubt that images improve the overall appearance of a website and the user engagement rate of any content piece published. However, even if you have the best hosting for WordPress, your website may be responding slowly due to the image size. Not only for websites running on WordPress, but this fact is also applicable to almost all the websites.
Optimizing the images in a way that they don’t lose their quality when compressed in a smaller size is the best solution to speed up your WordPress website.
Imagify is a WordPress plugin that can efficiently handle this task without compromising on the quality of the images used. Easy to use and install, the free version is more than enough to power a small WordPress blog or a website.
Following these tips, you can easily optimize the speed of your WordPress website. However, there’s a lot more that can be done to make your website rank higher in Google and load faster.
Remember, regular monitoring is the best way to keep a check on page load speed. Always keep looking for effective ways to improve your website and the user experience to delight all the visitors and offer fierce competition to the competitors.