Have you ever clicked on a website link and waited so long for the site to load that you gave up and moved on to something else?
That’s exactly what happens when you have a slow loading website. If you found that frustrating, you can imagine how bad it will be for your business.
People really do not have the patience to sit and watch a site load for over 3 seconds. Yes, you read that right. About 40% of visitors to your site will not even wait for your site to load if it takes longer than 3 seconds.
That means you would have lost 40% of potential customers just because your site took too long to load. Tragic.
You may think what’s more important is having an eye-catching, well-organised website, but the truth is, who’s going to wait to see it if it takes too long to load? That’s right, only you.
The importance of website speed cannot be overemphasised as a slow site largely limits your business and could be the reason your sales and reach are poor.
Plus, you can bet that the customers that do stay and wait for your website to load will complain of poor user experience, and eventually you’ll lose those “loyal” customers too.
In fact, you will have 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction when there is a 1 second delay in loading your page. The truth is, 1 second really seems to drag on when a page is loading.
In this fast-paced world, we all want a faster internet connection, faster cars, faster apps, so is faster website speed too much to ask for? I think not.
Why Is Website Speed Important?
In general, website owners aim to get higher Google rankings and basically anything you can do to be in Google’s good books is a must.
If you have a business website, it is very important that you maintain high Google rankings, otherwise, your business will not thrive online.
Website speed is actually one of the most significant factors that contribute to Google rankings.
Basically, if your website is slow, Google will not rank you favourably but if your website loads really fast, your Google rankings will increase, resulting in more traffic to your site, which really is what you want!
Besides impressing the boss (Google), it is also important that your users actually have a satisfactory experience on your site.
You don’t want your customers spending several minutes on your site just to process one order.
Not only will this discourage them from seeing the order through but it will also make them think twice about visiting your site again. So, a user-friendly site is very important.
Also, user-friendliness does not only refer to desktop users but also mobile users. In fact, over 51% of internet usage is on mobiles.
You really should be looking at how to speed up your WordPress website especially for mobile users.
In addition, speeding up your website may give it a boost in search engine optimisation.
3 Ways To Improve Your Website Speed
Now, to the main reason, you’re reading this article – how to speed up your WordPress website. This may not be as hard as you think.
Simply try out these three ways and you should notice an improvement in no time.
1. Enable Caching
This is easily one of the best ways to speed up your WordPress website.
Caching is a technology that makes it easier for your site to load certain pages that are frequently accessed by users.
This means that because certain parts of your site are constantly being loaded by users, these are saved in the cache so that the next user doesn’t have to wait for the whole page to load.
Instead, the system pulls up the saved version from the DISK or RAM which means it appears at lightning speed to the user.
This is great for product pages but not recommended for pages that contain sensitive data or personal information to prevent one user’s information from being displayed to the next user.
For optimum results, you can use any of the best cache plugins below (paid and free):
i. WP Rocket (Premium)
Great quality often comes at a cost. This plugin is so simple to set up but is also one of the best in making your website rocket fast.
It offers support for object caching, multisite compatibility and allows you to preload cache. Plus, it has both page and browser caching.
WP Rocket also allows you to lazyload your media and optimise your database. Cloudflare Compatibility is another of its awesome features.
ii. WP Super Cache (Free)
Since most WordPress website owners wouldn’t want to pay anything to improve a website that was free in the first place, WP Super Cache is one very popular plugin, but not just because it’s free.
This plugin stands out because it has three modes, although the most commonly used mode is Simple Mode which of course is much simpler to use and less risky.
A more advanced mode is called Expert Mode and this is suitable for advanced developers.
iii. W3 Total Cache (Free)
This plugin has the popularity to its name and millions of installations to boast of. W3 Total Cache is great for both mobile-friendly sites and desktop sites.
It is also compatible with several hosting options including shared hosting and clusters.
2. Optimise Your Images
A major reason your website takes so long to load is because of the images on it. These are often unnecessarily large and this negatively affects website speed and performance.
To optimise your images before upload, do not upload large images as they are, instead resize them.
For images that are already on your site, the best option is to use a plugin that will optimise the images by removing unnecessary background data that was saved with the image such as GPS location.
Here are 3 of the best plugins you can use:
reSmush.it is by far the best image optimisation tool you can find. Not only does it allow you to optimise images just as you upload them, but it also allows you to choose the optimisation level.
WP Smush is another great plugin that quickly optimises images on upload and can optimise up to 50 images at once using its bulk feature.
iii. EWWW Image Optimiser
This Image Optimiser is both simple to use and also allows the user to optimise old images in bulk. Of course, it automatically optimises new images on upload.
This way, any data that the computer does not need to understand the code is removed, such as whitespace and code comments.
Website Speed Matters A Lot
Yay! You’ve made it to the end of this article. If you’re not convinced that website speed really matters then you probably need to read through again!
Rest assured you have learnt the best ways to improve your website speed and can try them out right away.
Don’t ignore website speed in whatever you do to improve your Google rankings. Believe it or not, it could make or break your online business.
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