If your site is slow when loading, you will lose a huge number of visitors. Loading time has been identified as the biggest factor for page abandonment, with the average user abandoning pages that do not load within a few seconds. The phenomenon is the same for both mobile and desktop users, with users of each device expecting quick load times.
Improving your page load speed is important because it attracts new users to your site, and prevents any losses resulting from slow loading pages.However; you need to make sure that you have a problem before looking to address it. You could consider checking your site’s performance through GTMetrix and other tools, and comparing it with the performance after applying the tips listed below.
Choosing a Good Webhost
You may want to optimize your WordPress site for speed but it might be challenging to improve a site when your web server makes things slow for new users, it is okay to buy unlimited page views hosting that is advertised for WordPress. However, when your site receives massive traffic, these hosts may require you to upgrade your site to a higher plan or limit your site to slow loading.
Unlimited hosting also attracts a number of other consequences. This type of hosting features many websites which are hosted on the same server and may be accessible through the same IP address, your SEO rankings can be affected by any negative action on the part of any site that shares hosting with your own. If one site is flagged, it could affect the rankings of all the sites that are hosted by the same server.
Hosting is important or all WordPress sites. While the unlimited hosting can be great for new sites, premium hosting will ensure that the long-term projects are secure and optimized.
You may also consider Do-it-yourself hosting for total control of your server.
Choose a great WordPress theme or framework
Many free themes add unnecessary code on your WordPress site, and do not usually follow the WordPress theme guide, which means they could affect the load speed of your site. Inconsistent themes and frameworks make persistent calls on the server and database, which affects performance. Some premium themes may also increase unnecessary weight by providing unused features and other similar functions. To overcome this, you should consider using themes that are well coded, customized to offer the exact features that you are looking for and can be tweaked to suit your site perfectly. You could develop your own code, or look into a number of default WordPress themes such as Generate Press for an elegant, lightweight and customized theme.
Use a content delivery network
Cloudfront is a great CDN service at an affordable rate. It is also easy to set up.
Optimizing your images
Optimizing images reduces their size, which improves the overall load time. Images are the biggest part of most websites, and may carry up to two thirds of the total size. You could reduce the size of the images by compressing them. You may need to find the best tool for you, which does not affect the quality of the image even as it reduces it in size. A lighter website will be more likely to load faster.
You may also consider using Lazy load to reduce the impact that images have on your site’s ability to load by presenting only a few images at a time. Lazy load prevents images outside the scope of display of the user from loading. This reduces the size of the loading page, which will also cut down the time required to display it.
Choose a great Caching plugin
Cache refers to a copy of your site, which is stored in a static form within a separate folder, and reduces calls to the site’s server. Users who have visited your site before will be shown a cache version of the site when they make a new attempt to visit the page, instead of making requests to the server to show them the original page. This will reduce the total number of database calls, HTTP requests and PHP requests, all of which may affect the total load time.
You may consider using cache plugging such as WProcket
A sitemap could help streamline traffic
This list of all contents available on your site is a great tool for search engine indexing, and will help guide interested clients to the right parts of your site. A sitemap will reduce traffic on the home page, and help users navigate through the site without needing to explore your homepage first.
Regular testing could help find faults
A slow website could lead to loss of traffic, potential clients and credibility. If your site doesn’t run properly, you may also give your competitors an advantage. Regular testing will help you identify problems early, and guide you to correcting them. This will ensure that you do not face any loss in revenues or traffic that may arise from a slow or unresponsive site.
Testing can be a difficult process. You will need proper testing tools, some of which could be premium, as well as a process check-list to ensure that your test is thorough. You may need to seek professional services to help you keep your WordPress site functioning effectively.
These tips should help improve the response time for your WordPress site. You may need to consider your current plugging before replacing them with any mentioned in the article. Some of the options may also require technical skill to perform effectively. If you are not able to handle the implementation of these tips, you should consider hiring out the work to specialized optimization service providers such as WPfixs.