It often takes a lot of time, effort and strong technical background in order to build a WordPress website that functions properly and provides all the necessary services and content to your target audience.
One of the more important aspects that every website owner should keep in mind is the amount of time it takes for users to load and navigate throughout the website. This is what you would call your site speed.
This article aims to give you simple tips and tricks on how to increase your site speed in order to have an overall faster WordPress website.
But before we get to that…
Is Site Speed Important?
Is it really that big of a deal if your WordPress website just takes a couple more seconds to load than average? The short answer is yes.
“Web pages that load within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that take 5 seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38%.”
Imagine pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into creating the best possible website that perfectly represents your business as a whole and would solidify your presence in the online world…
…only to be completely disregarded by your target audience with them clicking off the website before the homepage even loads.
This is the sad reality for most brands that fail to properly optimize their WordPress websites in a way that reduces overall page loading times.
So, if your website takes one too many seconds to load when people navigate to it, then you can definitely expect a significant amount of those users to bounce off and visit one of your competitor’s website instead.
Your WordPress website can have all the best content and functionalities in the world, but none of that matters if your audience doesn’t have the chance to see it.
Investing a little bit of time and effort into improving your site’s speed can go a long way.
Benefits of Improved Site Loading Speed
If you still find yourself on the fence on whether all this trouble to shave off just a few seconds of loading time is worth it, here are a few reasons as to why improving your site’s loading speed is a good idea:
- A faster website means less likelihood of users clicking away
- Google’s ranking algorithm considers your site speed
- It gives users an overall better experience
- Your site will more likely see an increase in traffic
- Studies show an increase in conversion rates from improved loading times
Below flow chart explains how a faster website stimulates your business:
This shows how important it is to optimize your website in order to avoid losing out on possible customers and sales.
Factors that Slow Down Your WordPress Website
Given the fact that you have a lot of competitors to deal with, as well as the attention span of your average website visitor being incredibly short, most individuals won’t be inclined to wait while your website loads.
With this in mind, you think to yourself: “Why is my website so slow?”
Here are a couple of factors that you should take note of and see if they affect the performance of your website.
- Your plugins might be a problem – Not all plugins are made the same. Some require more resources than others. Oftentimes, these plugins are eating up all of your server’s resources, causing the slow loading times throughout the entire website.
- Your web host isn’t the right one for you – In hindsight, having a slow server is often one of the leading factors that cause your website to have such slow loading times. It’s recommended to do some testing using certain tools to get a better picture of the problem.
- You’re not taking advantage of browser caching – Having the proper caching plugin can do wonders in improving your site’s loading speed. However, this goes without saying that proper utilization, configuration, and implementation is important in order to get this right.
- Your website lacks proper optimization – This can range anywhere from your website’s code, page styles, images, and more. Having the right optimization on areas where your site needs it can definitely help decrease the loading times of your webpages.
How to Increase Your Site’s Speed
Now that you have been made aware of the importance of how your WordPress site speed can affect your overall traffic, Google ranking, and how users perceive your brand, improving your site speed sounds more and more like a necessity than an option.
By allowing your site to remain slower than your competitors, you are putting yourself at a significant disadvantage. With the low retention span of most internet users coupled with the high bounce rates, you’ll be lucky to get the attention of your target audience in your niche.
Optimizing your site in a way that allows for easier access and faster loading times will not only increase traffic, conversion rates and ranking, but will also let your customers associate your brand in a positive way.
Here are a few tips that you can do in order to increase your site’s loading speed:
- Work on your backend – You should properly clean up the backend of your website or ask a highly professional web developer to do so. The right code optimization allows a considerable improvement in your WordPress website’s loading time.
- Optimize your images – What this means is that the image files themselves don’t need to be as large as they already are. Image compression helps alleviate this problem so that the bare minimum number of pixels that the website needs is uploaded.
- Reduce your server requests – Every little image or file on any of your web pages on your website uses resources on your server. If possible, try to reduce the number of images and files in order to lighten the load on your server and lower the amount of server requests at a time.
- Make the most of browser caching – By using browser caching, the browser caches most of the information needed to load your website. This makes it so that subsequent visits to your website will be much easier since most of the information and data it needs to load are already cached in the browser.
- Research and choose the proper web host – This singular choice can make a huge difference in your website’s loading time. Make sure to research in order to make the right choice in your web host that can fulfill all your requirements.
Website speed matters and it certainly deserves your attention. Not only does it impact your Google Search rankings, but it is also an important factor for how your visitors perceive your brand. And most importantly, fast websites sell more.
Are you curious about how your site is performing?
We can audit your site performance and give you actionable steps to make it load faster. We can also help you with implementation if you prefer.
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