Has your WordPress website started running slowly and you are seeing your conversion rates quickly decrease? Website page loading and conversion rates are closely related so it really does pay to have a faster website. If you’re not sure how fast your web pages are loading then you can quickly test them using a performance testing tool, where you literally just copy and paste your page URLs into the tool. You don’t have to pay for them and they are really quick and easy to use.
Research shows that 53% of mobile sites are abandoned if the page takes over 3 seconds to load. So get your site tested and see how your results compare to this stat and if your pages are taking longer than 3 seconds then it is probably a good time to start looking at ways to speed up your website. Here are 7 that you can try:
Your web host plays a significant part in how fast your website loads and if you change to a faster hosting plan then you can often see instant results. Have a look at the different ratings for each different web host to see which one is the best in terms of performance and matching your overall requirements.
Plugins are brilliant but if you have too many of them they can actually harm your website by slowing it down. So if there are any plugins that you aren’t actually using, make sure that you disable/remove them. It can be tempting to have loads of different plugins but you should try and keep them to a minimum and only choose to install ones that are adding a lot of quality to your website.
Images are a great way of bringing content to life and making your website look attractive but if you don’t optimise your images, they could be significantly increasing your loading times. You can get plugins that will optimise your images automatically or if you have image editing software you can optimise your images before you upload them. Look at the file size of an image that you upload to check it isn’t a really large file.
We recently published a news article on our website with further information on how you can optimise your images.
Your homepage is the first page that most people will visit so making sure that it isn’t slow should be a big priority. Many website owners make the mistake of putting too much content on the homepage to try and impress their visitors, they are too keen to show everything that their company offers. A simpler approach and design will allow for a much faster loading speed.
You can reduce the amount of time for content to download through plugins that create a static copy of your website pages that will load quicker. Some plugins even work in cooperation with server software to provide more speed. They state that you can see over 10x improvement in site performance through using these handy little plugins.
Both WordPress and different plugins get updated by developers with various changes which can include ones that will affect your website speed. So staying up to date with the versions of WordPress and the different plugins will definitely help. It also means that you have the latest security updates too which is obviously very important to any website.
There are all kinds of choice when it comes to WordPress themes and developers are introducing new ones all of the time. Most developers will rigorously test their theme to check the performance is up to the required levels but this is not always the case. Sometimes a theme that looks really amazing persuades people to select the theme but you should also take the performance into account. Lightweight themes are the best option for a top performing website. You can take a look at the different reviews for each theme you consider and see what people are saying about the performance before you commit to getting that theme. And you can always swap themes if you are not happy with the one you have already chosen although care has to be taken to ensure you don’t lose any theme related features.
If you’d like to know more we at Somerset Web Services can help so please contact us and we’d be happy to give you any advice and help we can.