Do you have problems with your WordPress site not loading or loading too slowly? These are the sorts of problems you don’t want to have when you are trying to promote your brand on your website. WordPress is a popular platform and web host. This may be one of the reasons it is also slower than it should be.
Gregory Ciotti recently did a big write up on not only why it’s important to have a fast loading site… but also some of the best working methods to speed things up. Within this article, he reported some harrowing statistics: Just a 2-second longer delay in page responsiveness reduced user satisfaction by 3.8%. It also increased lost revenue by 4.3% and reduced clicks by 4.3%. (Microsoft Bing search team)
- Just a 2-second longer delay in page responsiveness reduced user satisfaction by 3.8%.
- It also increased lost revenue by 4.3% and reduced clicks by 4.3%. (Microsoft Bing search team)
These facts are significant in that they directly affect your outcome so you should set about to decide how to handle this fact. Google also ranks you partly on speed so that gives you another reason to make sure your site picks up speed.
To make this process as easy and fast as possible, we’ve created a list of what you can do to speed up a WordPress site and make it more compatible with your users’ devices. Implement each of these methods into your website today, then run a speed test to see how the improvements have helped with the loading speed of your site.
Choose your web host carefully
Understanding the technology that is behind the platform is a big part of the battle. One of the biggest contributing factors to having a fast loading WordPress site is choosing a fast and reliable web hosting provider. You can see a full list of recommended hosting solutions here — from over 80 different site owners and bloggers. When choosing a web hosting platform, be sure to keep an eye out for plans that are focused strictly on WordPress usage. This will allow for much faster speeds than if you try to use an outside server running too many resources.
Use a simple theme
Use a cache plug-in
The W3 Total Cache WordPress plug-in works as you browse and keeps your visitors from having to wait on your page loading. It works by keeping your cache clean on your site so that users aren’t having to wait on the technology, no matter what type of platform or device they are using.
Install a content delivery network
For even faster loading, use a CDN to cache your the static files you have on your site and lets the download happen sooner. This keeps users from having to wait inordinately long on the download process and keeps them from bouncing off your page too soon.
Optimize your images
By optimizing your images and making them a compressed size, you will greatly increase the speed of your customer’s download. Make sure and use a WordPress-friendly plug-in such as WP-SmushIt or another plugin that is made for WordPress.
Optimize your homepage
For this one, you may want to borrow from the minimalists in home interior design. Think, “less is more!” By getting rid of some of the bulky files and add-ons that add to your site download time, you will decrease the amount of time needed to load your page.
Remember the key is to keep people on your page long enough to let your page load quickly, let them explore your site, and hopefully, click through to your offer or at least your sign-up page. If you do not get them to one of these, you have really done nothing more than led them through an art exhibit of your site and they left the gallery without buying anything.
Backlinks are a good thing that drives traffic back to your site. But if you have a bunch of dead links or links that don’t work well, you may be defeating the purpose. Check your backlinks or hire someone to do this so that you know which ones are working well. Then delete and eradicate any non-working links that do not lead customers to your site.
Think carefully when planning new links so that you can maximize the impact they have on your site and bring in targeted traffic without impeding your progress.
In addition to using these tips, you will want to learn how to analyze all of the data that you get in from your Google Analytics reports and other sources. No matter what tools you use, make sure that you know which ones to use to keep your customers coming in to your site in a timely manner without holding up the ballgame, so to speak.
Try out your site yourself on various devices. All of the big technologies companies are doing this now. Before they put out a product to market, they test out their app or software on every type of devices imaginable. Why do they do this? Because they know that they can not predict which type of device will be used when searching or landing on your site.
This is true of any site, not just a WordPress site. WordPress, in general is mobile-friendly and responsive but, as mentioned before, it can be slow due to the lack of compatibility across some devices or platforms and the sheer number of people on the server at one time.
Creating Responsive Websites
Make the technology work for you, not against you, by getting to know what works and what doesn’t. Experiment with different ways of speeding up your pages so that they meet the needs of your customers as they come in. This is the essence of creating responsive websites and you should always strive to do that, whether you are on a WordPress site nor not.
Always Tweak and Run a New Speed Test
A final tip that we will leave you with is to always experiment with one thing at a time. Don’t try to apply all of these techniques. Just try one at a time. It becomes a confusing and unscientific experiment when you try to alter too many things at once. Instead, work on focusing on the results of one change at a time.
Also, communicate with your potential customers and ask them what they think. Another word for this is “lead UX.” When you are wanting to try something new, you should always get an impression from your targeted audience before you invest more time and money into the idea.
Remember, it’s your site. You owe it to yourself and your customers to get your site in the best possible shape so that you can create the best possible experience for your visitors and turn them into customers and brand ambassadors.
If the page won’t load, they’ll never make it through your sales funnel!