In these day and age, efficiency and speed matters. If your website is starting to show signs of slowdown in terms of loading this directly affects its traffic volume and profitability. This is undeniably a major concern among developers and business owners as faster loading is crucial in maintaining presence in the highly competitive digital marketing realm.
Why is it essential to speed up WordPress?
WordPress is an extremely powerful content creation tool facilitating more than 455 million websites to date. To further customize a website and make it unique, users need to download plugins, themes, and other content creation tools. Although useful, these tools greatly slowdown the overall functionality of WordPress sites. The good news is that there are many techniques to enhance loading speed in WordPress.
It is important to address slowed loading because a pleasant user experience is directly connected to its speed and efficiency. If you want to retain the large volume of visitors and welcome the flow of potential income to your business, it’s time to speed up things. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips that you can easily conduct to greatly enhance the speed of your WordPress site.
Apart from taking care of excellent customer engagement, are there other reasons why it’s crucial to speed up WordPress?
In terms of search ranking, Google and other search engines place websites fast loading times higher in SERPS than slow-loading web pages. If you want to improve positioning, improving the speed of your site should be a top priority.
Studies reveal that websites that take longer than two seconds typically results in about 47% of visitors leaving these sites instead. Just think about the immense traffic and profits that your business loses due to an issue that can be fixed with simple techniques.
If you own or manage an e-commerce shop on WordPress, it is essential to implement major improvements. Online buyers are impatient especially when slowed-down loading affects their overall buying experience online.
So, how fast should a WordPress site load really?
How fast should your WordPress load on the screen? According to Google, ideal loading time should be three seconds or less. Further studies reveal that sites that load more than three seconds suffer from a probability bounce increase of up to 32%. Furthermore, WordPress sites that take more than five second increases their bounce rate up to a whopping 90%. If you want to keep your visitors and reel in more leads, it’s best to implement strategies and tools to improve loading speed.
1. Install WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress being a dynamic system means that pages are built on the fly every time a user visits a site. The platform performs a series of processes to sift through all required information, put them all together, and then display it on the screen.
The series of steps that WordPress conducts significantly slow down the website, especially when you have a ton of people visiting your site simultaneously. We recommend the developers and business owners to use caching plug ins to improve loading speed from 2x to 5x faster.
Some excellent caching plugins that you can use on WordPress include WP Rocket and WP Super Cache.
2. Conduct a Site Speed Diagnosis
To improve site performance, you need to gain full understanding about website loading. Before uploading any plugin or making any changes on your website, we recommend conducting a site speed diagnosis. This will help in tracking and evaluating how certain changes or additions affect the load times on your site.
To analyze load speed, we recommend using WordPress specific tools that provide tips on how to make sure your site runs better. WP Engine Speed Tool is a fantastic example. Simply insert your site URL and you’ll receive a custom analysis via email. It will include information including load speed and customized recommendations on how you can fix the speed issue.
3. Remove Unused Plugins and Themes
Apart from keeping your plugins and themes updated, deleting those that you’re not using anymore is yet another key to improving site speed. Unused plugins and themes not only slowdown loading speed but also present security issues and reduce the overall performance of your WordPress site.
To delete plugins, you will need to first deactivate them. Go to the inactive plugin section and delete plugins that you no longer need on your site. Removing unwanted themes, go to Appearance > Themes to delete inactive themes.
4. Use Themes with Optimizing Speed Feature
When selecting a theme for your WordPress site, choose from themes that were developed for speed optimization. There are many beautiful themes that are poorly coded resulting in slow site loading.
Ideally, choose simpler themes over those that are teeming with sophisticated layouts, flashy graphics, and other unnecessary features. Examples of premium WordPress theme shops where you can find themes that optimize loading speed are StudioPress, Themify, and CSSIgniter.
5. Limit Comments Per Page
Although getting lots of attention on your blog posts, too many comments can result in slow page load time. Breaking the comment section down into pages is a smart move as this reduces loading time altogether.
To limit comments per page, go to Settings > Discussion and tick the “break comments into pages” box. You can then select the number of comments per page, with default comments per page set at 50.
6. Switch to a Dedicated Server
If your sites receive high traffic volume, it’s a good idea to host it on a dedicated server, where resources are not shared with other sites. When uptime is crucial a shared serve can be problematic. Although shared hosting is cost effective, being on the same server with other sites with the same high traffic can result in clogging of both CPU and RAM. So, if another site hogs up all the shared server’s bandwidth, you will be left with nothing but a slow site and frequent downtime.
To guarantee maximum uptime, it’s worth switching to a hosting plan where you can optimize the power of a dedicated server.
One of the major responsibilities of site owners and developers is to deliver a good user experience for online visitors. Minor tweaks and a small investment can make or break the success of your site. Improved SERPS, increased traffic, and higher chances for conversion are other benefits that your WordPress site can enjoy if you make an effort of improving the loading speed of your site.