Undoubtedly, WordPress has become the #1 CMS, but it has one big issue and that is the loading speed of the website. With WordPress, you will probably end up with a sluggish website if you don’t take the right precautions while making your website.
FACT: Slow speed of site is one of the biggest reasons behind losing a potential visitor. This also affects your website ranking in Google.
The website’s speed can decrease due to various reasons, such as bad optimization, poor web–host etc. Reasons can be many, but optimizing the website speed should be your top most priority.
Why the speed of website is crucial for user experience and SEO?
Page speed is the amount of time that a page takes to load the content of the website. Page speed depends on various factors; from website design, web hosting, to website optimization. The website will load faster, if it’s optimized properly and has a quality web-host.
The speed of the page matters a lot:
- The users prefer to visit a website if it loads quickly.
- Google and other search engines penalize the websites that load slowly.
- Faster page speed leads to high conversion rates.
So page speed not only helps you to attract more visitors and achieve high rankings in SERP’s but it helps you in generating more conversions. Thus, websites that load faster offer a better user experience which further leads to higher conversions.
Factors contributing to page speed
Page speed depends on the size of the page. Every time you browse a website, it takes time to download a code that makes up your page. A code that includes HTML, style sheets, script and images. As users expect more engaging website design, the size of site keeps on increasing with each new feature as it requires adding a new script that may weigh down your website.
How to make sure that your website is up to speed?
Checking website page speed is very easy. You can check your website’s speed through various online tools that are available for free. Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, and Website Grader are the most popular tools that help you analyze the speed of your website.
Google PageSpeed Insights – It’s a free tool by Google that helps to analyze a website and offers complete breakdown of page load issues. The report includes all the factors – from uncompressed images to bad CSS that slows down the webpage loading speed. Let’s have a look on the two page speed insights recommendations:
GTMetrix – It offers a complete insight of your website and provides actionable recommendations to improve the speed of your website.
Website Grader – It’s a free online tool that measures your website against parameters like SEO, mobile readiness, security, and performance, etc. It also offers preferable recommendations for the website.
Tips to speed up your Word Press website
- Remove slow plugins
You can blame plugins for the poor speed of your WordPress site. WordPress is pretty simple and fast without plugins. But every plugin that you add to the website weighs down your website by adding more code, more database queries. You can fix this issue by finding alternative plugins that can help you to work better and speeds up your website. Every plugin that you choose for your website can raise certain problems. As plugins are developed by different developers with different skill-sets, you need to be careful while choosing, installing these plugins. It’s preferable not to use more than 20 plugins for a website.
- Optimize images
Images are one of the most basic reasons behind decrease in the website speed. Make sure to optimize images before adding them to the website. Google offers images in various sizes; choose the image that works best for you. Many image compression tools are also available online for free, such ascom, Smush.it, image optimizer of Yahoo, etc. that can help you to reduce the file size of an image drastically. You can also use WP-SmushIt plugin, which can reduce file size of an image automatically while uploading.
- Optimize your database
WordPress has a database that can get messy very quickly. Optimize your database by using WP-Optimize This plugin will help you to manage spam, revisions, posts, tables, drafts, etc. and help you reduce their overhead. It will also help in reducing database size. You can use WP-DB Manager plugin for the same. This plugin can help you to optimize database by scheduling dates for the database optimization.
- Replace PHP with static HTML
The theme that we choose for our website is often loaded with PHP bloat. You can replace PHP code with static HTML when necessary to cut down the page loading time drastically.
- Reduce redirects on the website
Redirects slow down the loading speed of the website. Use minimal number of redirects to your website. Always prefer to use 301 (permanent) redirect rather than using 404 (broken links) error. Remove unnecessary redirects from your website by using Screaming Frog tool, and Xenu Link Sleuth, a tool for crawling data from websites. Removing unnecessary redirects will speed up the website.
- Specify image dimensions
Browser works as per the layout of the page, i.e. adjusts content around the images – before displaying the page. If the size of each image is different, a browser has to work harder to display the page, thus, increasing your page’s load time. You can reduce the load time by specifying dimensions of the images. It Use height and width tags in <img> element to specify image dimensions.
- Put CSS at the top and JSS at the bottom
It’s best to use CSS at the top of the page as browser will not reduce the size of the page before executing the CSS file. Include all the interface-related stylesheet in the <head> of your document. On the other hand, use java script as close to bottom of the page as it allows the webpage to load before fetching the script. So keeping CSS at the top and java script at the bottom of page will automatically speed up the loading time of your webpage.
It’s never been important to fix your website speed as it is right now. Users are less tolerant of slow websites and shifts to another websites. We completely understand the importance of website loading speed for your business and our professionals are ready to help you with that. Contact us to know more about our WordPress speed optimization services.