If you’re old enough, you may remember the days of dial-up internet and waiting several minutes for your web pages to load. Nowadays, we don’t have that sort of patience and expect our web pages to load immediately, or we’ll click away. To retain visitors, your website needs to be lightning fast. Let’s go over how you can speed up your WordPress site.
Why Your Website Speed Matters
Today’s digital consumer is impatient. People no longer stick around and wait for slow websites to load. Studies show that nearly half of users will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load! So if you don’t optimize your website for speed, you could be losing out on half of your audience!
Your visitors aren’t the only ones who care about your website’s speed. Google and other search engines use loading time as a significant ranking signal. This means if you want your website to appear at all in search engine search results, your website has to be up to par. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how fast your website loads.
How To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
Choose The Right Website Host
Your website’s host can make or break your site’s performance, so choose one carefully. Be sure to compare the details of service plans between multiple providers and pay special attention to website speed and uptime.
Furthermore, steer away from shared hosting. Although the lowered costs may be tempting, these plans offer the slowest speeds since multiple websites run on the same server.
A trusted web hoster like Design2Web IT can provide your website with a dedicated server for ultra-fast, responsive, and scalable WordPress hosting.
Keep Your Website Lean
The leaner your WordPress website, the faster it will load. To slim down your site, keep the following elements in mind:
- Plugins – There is an extensive library of WordPress plugins available, and it can be tempting to install any that offers cool features. However, clogging your WordPress website with plugins can significantly slow down your website. Furthermore, if you need to install a plugin, download a reputable one with a low impact on your site’s loading time.
- Themes – Like plugins, not all themes are equal. If you elect to use a theme, choose wisely. While some themes may offer a bunch of cool, flashy features, you’ll want to prioritize your site’s speed. Test the theme’s demo to see how long the loading time is; if loading takes longer than a few seconds, consider a different one.
- Content – You want your site to be as beautiful and captivating as possible, but consider the elements you add to your website. Images, videos, and effects can slow down your website when overused, so use them sparingly. Also, resize your pictures to the actual size they appear on the screen, as raw images take up significant space and can slow down your website.
Install Speed-Boosting Plugins
You can install specific plugins to boost your WordPress site’s speed. Some examples of speed-boosting WordPress plugins include:
- Cache plugins – Cache plugins like WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache can speed up your website by caching every aspect of your site and reducing its download times.
- Lazy loading – Plugins like Lazy Load loads elements only when they are visible to the user. Therefore, content does not load until the visitor scrolls to its section. Many themes come preinstalled with Lazy Load, so check first before installing it.
- Image compressor – Plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, Smush, and Optimole automatically optimize your images for better speed and performance.
Keep Your Site Updated
Developers release frequent updates for WordPress that include new features, security updates, and bug fixes. Keep your WordPress website and its plugins updated to keep your site fast and protect it from security vulnerabilities.
Optimize Your WordPress Website
Speeding up your WordPress site will prevent you from losing visitors and potential customers. A slow website also hurts your search engine performance (SEO), making your business display less often in search engine results.
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