Web-users all prefer to visit a website that has faster loading speed, and we have many tools that can help to analyze the performance of your website in that aspect. The rate at which your website loads has a direct effect on the number of visitors you get, and how you convert them to your customers. When your site loads faster, your visitors can connect more with your contents. With that also, speed is another factor that Google considers when ranking website. Survey has shown that users abandon websites that take more than 3-4 seconds to load; they then move somewhere else to seek the information they need. Websites with slower loading speed lead to high bounce rates, low conversion rate, poor user experience, and low ranking on SEO.
To increase the speed of your website on WordPress, it starts with the hosting itself. It is not in any way different from the process that is used in optimizing a website hosted on a server. Because of this, some of the points here are also applicable to websites hosted on a dedicated server. If you refuse to optimize the speed of your website, you are offering a reduced user experience, and visitors will leave the site even before it loads. So if you have a website that is taking forever to load on PC, phone or tablets, you may have to work on reducing the loading time. What are some of the things that can cause WordPress to have a slow loading time?
- Having too many plugins
- Poorly optimized images
- Using substandard hosting
- Overloaded server
- Poorly written plugins
So how do you work towards improving the speed of your WordPress website?
1. Get yourself a better web host
Like I said earlier, the first thing to take note is the web host. No amount of on-page optimization will make for a bad web host, so avoid this by selecting the best hosting provider for your site. You may get a host that will offer you lower prices, but the problem with them is that they cram their server with so many websites, giving them all a small fraction of their resources to access. Note that having a good website starts with the host you decide to work with. With the right foundation (host), every other thing will fall in the right place.
2. Uninstall unnecessary plugins
Using plugins are just ways of adding extra functionalities to your website, but these also, in a way, slow down your website. I won't say you should uninstall all your plugins – that won't make sense, because some of them have the functions they perform in ensuring that your site works well. We find it surprising when we see the number of plugins we have installed on our WordPress, although there are no restrictions to the amount you can have installed. The right thing to do now is going through the list of plugins you have, uninstall those that you not necessary.
3. Optimize your Images
This one should be an easy task. Most websites are fond of using large, unprocessed images. There is a way by which you can compress your images without having to change the image itself. Also reduce the number of copies you upload on your site, having too many pictures will reduce the loading time of your website. The aim is to reduce the size of the images without compromising on the quality. Using tools like Photoshop and the likes will slow down the process. Some plugins can be used to optimize your images:
- WP Smush
- EWWW Image Optimizer
4. Optimize your homepage
This is one other thing that you should do to ensure that your page loads faster. Doing this is one of the most important things to do, since people they land on your page most.How to do this:
- Reduce the amount of post on each page
- Remove irrelevant widgets from your home page
- Uninstall all inactive extensions and plugins that are used
- Show snippets instead of full posts
In summary, a clean homepage will not only make your page look attractive, but it will also make it load faster.
5. Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
People also access your website from other locations in the world, which means the loading speed of the site will be different for someone accessing the site at a place far from where your website is hosted. Hence the use of CDN that will help to keep the loading speed of the site to a bearing level for users in different locations. The primary function of a CDN is to provide the website to a user from a nearer location. Some of the popular CDN includes; MaxCDN and Cloudflare.