If you are already a WordPress website owner, or you are about to build one, some skills are essential for you. One of the main and most important things is the website loading speed. Here’s the thing: website speed is something you should worry about the most because the faster your website is, the more users will use it. Nowadays everything is online, and there’s nothing you can’t find online – many websites have similar content and many businesses have similar products.
So, one of the things that can improve your online presence is, besides things like unique domain name, for example, is website loading speed – if your website load slowly, users will lose patience and go to another. And that’s bad. Generally, users prefer to browse WordPress sites with better page loading speed because they want everything, and also want everything now. Also, loading speed influences everything – not just traffic, and user satisfaction, but bounce rate to conversions if you have an online shop, and finally profits.
Fortunately, website loading speed is something you can control, and today there are numerous online tools and hacks that will help you to improve it. In order to help you, we have put together a detailed guide on how to speed up your WordPress website for successful functioning. We will try to explain why page loading speed is important for your WordPress website, which factors influence your website speed loading, and how to measure it in order to improve it. Are you ready to rock it? Here we go.
Why you should speed up your WordPress website?
As we said earlier, there are some pretty important reasons that can ring your bells about site performances, and some of them might cause big problems.
First of all, search engines like Google are ranking websites with fast loading times which are, logically, higher than slow-loading ones. So, if you want a top-ranking position, speed is a big deal. When we are talking about speed: according to some studies, if site loading speed is more than 2 seconds, almost half of your visitors will bounce off the website and find another one. That is pretty tricky if you’re running an online shop – online buyers are the most impatient, almost 80% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to return, so it can be really bad for your profit and finally, for your business.
Test your WordPress website speed
Before you can optimize your website speed, you need to know your starting point. This means you’ll need to measure your website’s initial speed. And no, you don’t need to use some complicated algorithm for this step. Today there are some really useful tools that will do all the job for you. The only thing you should keep in mind is that speed may be different from page to page: it depends on various factors, like what content is hosted on it, the size of the page, etc.
Now, when you’ve checked everything, we should start talking about essence.
1. Choose a reliable hosting provider to speed up WordPress website
This is the first step to increase the whole site performance. A good host for your website is the thing that should be basic – so we don’t need to argue about that. There are lots of different web-hosting providers, and at least as twice as many hosting solutions, but keep in mind that the cheapest can be good, but not always. It depends on how big your website is, do you want to improve it in the future, do you have a lot of traffic, etc.
Build the strategy and try to recognize what your website needs, and where you see it in the future. Inform yourself, read the reviews, ask for help from someone with more experience. For example, shared hosting is a perfect option for small WordPress websites such as blogs, but if you have a big website with an online shop, you should try something better. According to reviews on WebSite Planet, Hostinger is recognized as top web hosts: it offers affordable hosting solutions for all kinds of websites. For more information about it, go to this page. Different hosting solutions are designed for different types of websites, and their price depends on it. So, be smart: a proper hosting solution and reliable web host are a long-term investment, so don’t be a scrooge.
2. Update is Holy Grail of speed issues
Keeping your WordPress website up to date is both speed and security issue. Use the latest versions of WordPress and its components because each version comes with new features and bug fixes – you’ll be sure all vulnerabilities are fixed, and it will make your website run more efficiently. Two flies with one hit!
3. Choose a good theme
There are thousands and thousands of stunning themes waiting for you to pick it. But, perfect look doesn’t mean the perfect performance – poorly coded theme can slow down your website. Also, every WordPress theme has a lot of dynamic elements such as sliders, widgets, icons. The more dynamic elements it has, the possibility of slowing down site performance is bigger. If you are just about to establish a WordPress site, the best option for you is to choose some delightful, but also a theme with a good speed test score. You can also compress your WordPress website size – the smaller your website size is, the faster it will load. Voila!
4. Avoid unnecessary plugins
Too many plugins can also slow down your WordPress website’s performances. Of course, it depends on the size of the plugins, their compatibility one with another, and how they are coded. It’s true – the main difference between WordPress sites and other platforms is its diapason of plugins, but it doesn’t mean you have to install every plugin you see. Think smart, and try to focus just on the most necessary plugins, ones that you really need. Also, before installing, try to focus on their quality and read the reviews.
5. Compress images
Images in high resolution are “must-have” detail if you want your website to be stunning, but they need more space than text, so they are the major contributors to the size increment of a website. It’s crucial for you to learn how to compress them to be as small as possible without losing quality. For example, Photoshop has Save for web option which reduces image size, and it’s also easy to use. Also, they are some other tools for compressing images, so do the research and try to find something most compatible for you.
Having a speed-optimized website is not everything, but it can help you – the biggest advantage that it will improve the experience of your visitors, giving you more traffic and better ranking in search engines. Try to focus on creating a high-quality website with good content, and page loading speed is just one factor on the journey of success.