The need for speed
When it comes to your website‘s loading time, every second counts. The need for speed nowadays translates into every aspect of life, including the time spent browsing the web.
- A website’s loading time is a contributing factor to page abandonment. We now know that a user’s expectancy when it comes to waiting for a webpage to load is 2 seconds or less.
- Faster loading time improves your website’s search engine ranking.
- Your website loading faster can also increase your website’s conversion rate. Research shows that a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
Identify speed bumps
Now, the next logical step towards fixing the problem with your website is identifying it by running a speed test.
Pingdom is a well-known and free tool that offers website monitoring services. Another great thing about this tool is that it has a user friendly interface, offers easy to follow summaries and it helps you to easily identify the existing issues with your website.
Make it faster
Once you’ve identified the issues it should be a little easier to fix the problem.
Keep it simple at the core
Think about your WordPress website like a body. If you want to strengthen the whole body you have to find ways to strengthen the core.
Now, what is the core of your website? Your website’s core would be: the hosting, themes and the plugins. Keeping these simple and uncluttered will help making it stronger, aka faster.
Choose a fast host
When it comes to choosing a server to host your website, you have to do your research. Reliable and fast hosting options aren’t always the cheap ones. The quality of the hosting service is definitely linked to how much you have paid for it.
Choose a clean theme
Choosing a theme can be overwhelming, especially with so many options to choose from. A solid framework and clean theme are going to help your website run faster. This way you won’t need excessive plugins, which will keep your website uncluttered.
Use caching plugins
W3 Total Caches is a plugin designed to improve your website’s user experience by increasing server performance. It can also help with loading speed by reducing download times and providing transparent content delivery network integration.
Only keep what you need
When it comes to using plugins for your website avoid installing non-essential ones. Every once in a while it’s best to do a check-up of the plugins you already have: keep the ones that work and get rid of the faulty ones.
An image optimizer will reduce the file size of an image while maintaining its quality. WP-Smushit is a free plugin that can do this automatically for you while also boosting your SEO.
Optimise the website homepage
Optimising your homepage contributes to a faster website loading time. The homepage is the page that needs to work faster, since it’s also the one that most users will be landing on.
A few quick ways to optimize it are:
- Show excerpts instead of full posts;
- Reduce the number of posts shown on the page;
- Remove unnecessary widgets (you can include them in posts).
All in all, just keep it simple and minimalist – it will look better and load faster.
Database optimisation plugins are simple but effective clean-up tools for your website database; an automatic organiser. WordPress offers many options for database optimisation, such as: WP-Optimize andWP-DBManager.
Revision Control is a simple plugin that allows you to control the amount of post revisions stored. Less clutter means more storage space and faster loading time.
Image loading time
When a post contains lots of images it may take longer until they can all load. This plugin can help with this – it loads the images above the fold and as the reader scrolls down, the other images begin to load just before they come into view.
Storage space and security
CloudFare is a great tool that can not only increase the loading speed of your website, but can also offer the website its needed security. Along with W3 Total Cache plugin, they make a great combination that can drastically improve your website’s loading speed and security issues.