Nowadays, Internet users expect nothing less than a perfect online experience. Providing your viewers with such is the key to staying on top. Boosting WordPress website speed will get you there and the benefits of it are numerous. Your users will not leave the page due to the delay in page loading. Consequently, search engines will recognize your pages as fast loading ones and reward you by pushing them up in the search results. That means higher ranking and more traffic for you! You see, it’s a win-win situation!
Even the tiniest parts of a second count in this industry. Let’s take a look at some numbers to prove it, shall we?
- Nineteen years ago the average span of attention was 12 seconds, while now it dropped to just 8
- Almost half of the consumers expect that the page loads in two seconds or even faster
- Forty percent of viewers will leave if they need to wait for more than 3 seconds for the page to load
- A 1-second delay means a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and an 11% drop in views
Testing is the first step in boosting WordPress website speed
If you are a frequent visitor to your website, the time that you have to wait to get the response is not representative. You should test your website speed to know where you’re at. WordPress Speed Test will help you do that quite easily. Now that you have the results, let’s start improving them! Here are some basic tips on boosting WordPress website speed.
Opt for a perfect host
Investing in quality hosting is always money well spent! You can choose from Shared hosting, VPS and Dedicated servers. Each of them has its benefits and downsides. For example, a reliable shared hosting provider makes sure that your website is optimized for performance, but the server resources are shared with other customers. That can negatively affect your loading time if your neighbors get a lot of traffic. A Virtual Private Server provides you with more privacy, obviously, and it costs a bit more than sharing. Luckily, dedicated cloud services do not cost an arm and a leg anymore so they might be your choice on your way up to the higher ranking.
Catch up on the updates
Since search engine algorithms change almost on a daily basis, so should you! Keeping your core technology up to date is crucial for boosting WordPress website speed. The most popular platform constantly improves its plugins, features, and security. All you have to do is update on a regular basis and don’t let any cool new feature passes you by. You certainly wouldn’t like to experience a Google ranking downfall just because of a few clicks that take seconds.
Reduce your HTTP requests
Around 80 percent of page loading time gets spent on downloading images, style-sheets, and scripts. For each of them, an HTTP request has to be made. So, by minimizing your HTTP requests, you are practically maximizing your website loading speed. You can do so by using CSS instead of images or by placing your scripts at the bottom of your pages. Another useful tip is to streamline your elements on each page or to combine multiple style-sheets into one. And, if your website is still HTTP, it is about time for you to upgrade it to https.
Enable compression whenever it’s possible
High-quality content is imperative for any successful website. However, the quality content can often be too heavy and make your web page slower to load. Do not worry, there is a simple solution to that. Since you probably wouldn’t like to jeopardize the quality, you can compress the content of your pages. Compression works best with repetitive data, which makes website files perfect for such an action. Compressed files are easier to download and, consequently, they help boosting WordPress website speed.
Optimize your images
Research shows that images are the first to be noticed once a web page is opened. That is why you should never underestimate their contribution to your traffic. However, you shouldn’t let them hold you back because they are difficult to load. One of the best tips you can get is quite simple: Use image editing tools to reduce the size of your images. Optimole, Imagify, and Smush are just a few of often used image optimizer plugins for WordPress. Remember, you can insert the size of the image it will actually appear in since WordPress creates several sizes of them.
Install a Caching plugin
Caching plugin can make a WordPress site 2 to 5 times faster! Isn’t that impressive? Let’s see how caching works, shall we? Every time someone visits your page, WordPress runs a process to find the needed information, to put it all together and to finally display it. When you have many people visiting your page at the same time, this process can significantly slow down the page loading. So, instead of repeating the entire process every single time, the caching plugin generates a copy of the page after the first load. After that, the plugin provides that copy to upcoming visitors.
Give CDN a chance
Users from various areas around the world do not get the same experience in terms of page loading speed. Visitors that are closer to the server hosting your site will get the quicker response than those further from it. Content Delivery Network consists of servers located all around the world. So, with CDN every time a visitor goes to your website, they are served the files stored at the nearest server from CDN.
Hiring a professional SEO company can be a good idea if you are looking for other ways to improve your website performance.
Now you can go ahead and try some or even all of the tips for boosting WordPress website speed. Surely, you will be satisfied by the results you’ll get.