In this day and age of businesses going online, a good user experience is crucial for improved customer interaction and conversion. Along with user experience, a good website design boosts engagement, as well as, search engine ranking. A fast-loading website is the answer to a successful business website. After all, a website hampers not just user experience but might also result in customers abandoning your site. If your website takes forever to load, it can be fatal in the long run.
In this article, we will cover the importance of website loading speed and tips to optimize your website.
Why is speed important?
One of the factors impacting user experience is website loading speed. Fast loading websites perform better – be it user experience, engagement, conversion or generating revenue. As per studies,
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less – Neil Patel
- 53% of people are likely to abandon a mobile website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load – Google Global Data
It is therefore important that your website is both responsive and fast loading. In fact, website speed is also a critical factor measured by the Google algorithm, which ranks pages based on their speed.
How to monitor site performance
If you’ve built your website, then testing it for speed on your system might not give accurate results. Simply put, when you build your website, and visit it on a web browser from time to time, the browser stores data in its cache, and thus, your website loads in no time.
A simple way to test your website in real-time is to run it on different browsers and devices, and benchmarking the results. Although this method gives you accurate results based on current speed, it might also be time-consuming.
One of the simplest ways to monitor your website’s performance and page-load speed is to run a speed test. There are several tools available online that run your website on different browsers, and provide a detailed report viz. time taken to load, what works well, what needs to improve, and so on.
Some of the recommended free tools are PageSpeed Insights by Google
and IsItWP’s website speed test tool especially for WordPress websites
Tips to optimize your WordPress website
- Opt for a reliable web host
A reliable web hosting service ensures that your website is secure and accessible round the clock. If your website suffers from constant downtime it might negatively impact the user experience. A good web host makes sure that your website is up and running all the time. Moreover, in case of some error or data loss, it recovers quickly so that you don’t lose your audience.
WordPress Hosting from Bluehost is a recommended web hosting service from WordPress. It comes with in-built security features like firewall, SSL certificate, virus scan, backup, and much more to keep your WordPress website secure, and running all the time.
- Up to date software versions
Whenever there is a new version available for your WordPress, theme, plugins, and more, make sure that you update them immediately. Along with the added functionality, a revised version also fixes the bugs and issues the previous version has. This helps keep your WordPress website secure, fast, and optimized for search engines.
- Delete unnecessary plugins
Although plugins easily add functionality to your website, too much of anything can hamper the speed of your website. Every plugin is of some MB and takes up space when it is installed, if you aren’t using a plugin or feel like you can do without it, it is best to delete that plugin.
Take note that deactivating a plugin isn’t the same as deleting, as it still consumes disk space.
- Compress image size
This is one of the easiest hacks that you can use to optimize your WordPress website. Large image file size can reduce your site’s loading speed significantly. Another downside of using high-resolution and large file-size images is that if your server is slow, the text on the webpage may load but the images might not. This can have an adverse effect on your user experience and drop conversion rates, especially if you’re running an online store where product images are crucial to the buyer.
However, you must make sure that you do not manually reduce your image size as it may impact the quality of your image. To overcome this, you can use any professional software or plugin to automatically compress your images before uploading them to your website.
- Optimize your website pages
A clutter-free web page can improve customer engagement, as well as, optimize your page load speed.
Some of ways you can optimize your individual website pages are:
- Using excerpts instead of a long copy
- Clear view of CTAs and buttons
- Remove unnecessary pop-ups
- Add social share buttons at the right places
- Limit the number of images of the page
- Reduce external linking to other pages
A fast loading website not only helps with optimizing but also boosts the search engine rankings.
- Install a caching plugin
Integrating caching on your website boosts your page load speed. WordPress websites are dynamic in nature with multiple plugins and a theme to make it stand out. Every time a page loads the website copy needs to be fetched from the server, this can reduce your page load time. Moreover, the page load time may increase if multiple users are trying to access the same page at the same time.
To overcome this, a simple solution is to install a caching plugin. A caching plugin creates a copy of your web page the first time it is loaded, and every time a user uses the same browser to load that webpage, the cached page is loaded. This reduces the page load time significantly and serves your customer the web page faster than it would have taken to load. Some of the recommended caching plugins are W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, and more.
Optimize for Speed
As important as the design of your website is, the performance of your website largely depends on your page load speed. A fast loading website can help rank your website better and promote it to increase your user base.
We hope that these tips will help you optimise the WordPress website for optimal performance, leading to an improved conversion rate and engagement. So, what are you waiting for, monitor your website and optimize it today!
If you want to learn how to build, grow, and maintain your WordPress website, get professional WordPress Support from our experts. For more information and tips, head to our WordPress Category page. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to drop them below.