Launched in May 2003, WordPress is an open-source web development platform based on the PHP framework. With more than 800 million websites, it’s the most popular content management system around the world.
One of the reasons so many companies choose to create their brand websites through this software is the thousands of WordPress themes and plugins in the official library.
But sometimes, your website may not have good traffic and customer engagement even after using the best CMS. A major reason behind that might be the lousy speed and performance of your website, which can be detrimental to the user experience.
So in this blog, we have shown how you can check the speed of your website and specified why it’s important to boost your website’s performance. Moreover, we have listed a few WordPress tips and tricks to improve the loading speed and performance of your website.
Why Improve The Speed Of Your WordPress Website?
When you create or maintain a website, two of the most significant factors you have to keep in mind are speed and performance. That’s why Google and other search engines regard these factors among the most significant ones in their search and crawling algorithms.
So if your website is not opening and rendering well and quickly, it may attract multiple “downvotes” from the search algorithms, resulting in a negative impact on the rankings of your website and pages on the SERPs.
Then there’s the user experience. There’s a good chance there are hundreds or even thousands of websites with offerings similar to yours.
If your website takes too long to open, your customers will have a bad experience and move on to your competitors’ websites. So speed and performance are significant for a positive user experience.
Now, you may be wondering, “What’s the optimum load speed for a website?”. There is no simple answer to this question.
The loading speed of a website depends on a number of factors, including the amount of transit bandwidth, page elements (like images, infographics, videos, written content, etc.), type of device, hosting server, page design, browser, etc. But the optimum loading speed of any website should be around 2 seconds or less.
So check your website’s performance regularly and take the necessary steps to resolve the issues.
How To Check The Speed & Performance Of Your Website?
One of the benefits of using WordPress to create or maintain your website is that there are several tools and software compatible with this platform. These software can help you check the speed and performance of your website quite effectively.
So let’s check out the tools and plugins to help you monitor the performance parameters of your website:
Google PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool by Google, and it helps analyze the performance aspects of a website. On this tool, all you need to do is enter the URL of your website and let the PSI work its magic.
Not only does it help you identify the performance issues with your website, but it also provides you with suggestions to resolve them.
GTmetrix is one of the most popular performance monitoring tools on the internet, used by thousands, if not millions, of websites around the world.
Similar to Google PageSpeed Insights, you have to enter the website’s URL in this tool, and it runs a comprehensive performance check on the website to identify any issues that may exist. Finally, it provides recommendations to resolve these issues and boost the website.
WebPageTest is a free tool to check every aspect of your website’s performance. It analyzes everything from the content to the images and sees if the webpage can ensure a good user experience.
With WebPageTest, you will be able to see how each element of your page or site is loading. So if there are any significant issues, you can take the necessary steps to rectify them.
There are several other tools that the best WordPress development companies use to check and ensure your website is working well.
If not, it’s important to take heed of the detailed reports provided by these tools and perform the necessary resolutions. Otherwise, your customers will continue to have a bad experience, and it will have detrimental consequences for your website.
How To Fix A Slow-Loading Website?
As mentioned earlier, a slow-loading website may cause a negative user experience and would mean your website achieves a lower ranking on the SERPs.
So let’s check out a few ways you can fix a slow-loading website:
1. Use a reliable hosting service provider
One of the most important factors that impact your website’s speed is a good hosting provider. Hosting providers provide the websites with space for their files.
A few of the significant things your chosen hosting provider should offer are data transfer bandwidths, a free domain name, inherent site builders, adequate disk space for storage, proper security against cyber attacks, 24×7 support, etc.
There are hundreds (even thousands) of hosting providers that offer fast and reliable services specifically optimized for WordPress. But make sure you do proper research and choose one that provides all the things listed above and more.
2. Use a fast, lightweight theme
As mentioned before, there are over 800 million websites based on WordPress, and when you create a new website on this platform, it assigns a default theme.
So possibly, there are thousands (or even millions) of websites with the same look and feel. WordPress themes can help resolve this issue quite effectively. But choosing poor-coded and heavy themes can slow down your website.
So it’s important you choose a lightweight and optimized theme to ensure a reduced number of requests to your server.
That’ll help speed up your website. So look for the themes with positive reviews and ratings and check their performance numbers before installing them on your website.
3. Image optimization
Images and videos are critical to the positive user experience of any website. But media files, especially large and unoptimized ones, can slow down or crash your website.
But don’t worry; you can optimize the images by reducing their file sizes (without having an impact on the quality) before uploading them to your website.
Moreover, you can opt for techniques like lazy loading, which means the videos and images won’t load completely unless necessary. This technique ensures the website won’t have to bear a load of all images and videos all at once.
4. Install caching plugins
There’s always some pages your users visit frequently. Requesting them repeatedly can put additional unnecessary load on the server. So you may implement caching.
Caching is a process of storing frequently-visited pages and resources on the server or in the client’s browser. So your users can access them easily without putting unnecessary load on the server every time.
Caching helps reduce loading times, making the website faster and more responsive. There are several plugins in the official WordPress repository, like WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, etc., that can help you implement caching on your website more easily.
5. Minimize the use of plugins
Plugins are one of the best features of WordPress. There are over 60K plugins in the WordPress official repository, which can help improve every aspect of your website, from appearance to performance, features, security, etc.
But installing too many plugins on your website would mean more requests for your server to handle. That would effectively slow down your website.
Moreover, out of the thousands, there are some plugins that are not well-coded and are of low quality, which can be detrimental to the performance of your website.
So make sure you analyze the quality and features of the plugins in detail before installing them on your website.
If you already have too many plugins on your website, make sure to go through each of them and uninstall the ones that are unnecessary.
6. Minimize HTTP Requests
HTTP requests are among the most crucial factors in the loading times of a website. When loading a page, it sends separate HTTP requests for each file, such as an image or a script, required to render the page.
The more requests, the slower the page loading time. So by minimizing the HTTP requests, you can improve your website’s loading speed and performance.
The first thing you can do to minimize HTTP requests is to combine multiple files into a single one. You can also minimize the number of images used on the images. For instance, you can opt for CSS3 effects and styles rather than images to reduce the number of HTTP requests.
Finally, try enabling browser caching (storing the frequently-visited pages on the user’s computer so that they can access them more easily) to reduce HTTP requests.
Reducing the number of HTTP requests will help you bring down the loading time, making your website faster and more responsive, which would improve the user experience.
7. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN is a network of distributed servers working as a bridge between the main server and the user to ensure accurate content is delivered to the users every time, based on factors like users’ geographic location, content delivery server, and the web page origin.
CDNs can be especially helpful when your target user base is far away from the location of your website’s server. It uses edge servers to ensure the website works as intended.
A few of the best plugins on the WordPress plugin repository for CDN are Jetpack, Cloudflare, Sucuri, Cloudways CDN, Google Cloud CDN, Microsoft Azure CDN, etc.
8. Optimize the website for mobile usage
Did you know more than 60% of the website traffic comes from mobile devices? So if you haven’t optimized your website for mobile usage, these 60% of users will find it slow loading, which will ruin the experience.
So make your WordPress website more mobile-friendly to ensure that mobile users have a better experience, resulting in more traffic and sales.
9. Upgrade WordPress
WordPress is an open-source web development platform, and there are thousands of contributors making changes and improvements constantly.
But if you don’t upgrade WordPress to its latest version, you won’t be able to benefit from the new features for the best website performance.
Similarly, you need to upgrade the plugins installed on the website to ensure all of them work as intended rather than slowing down your website.
10. Monitor the performance of your websites regularly
Earlier, we listed a few tools and software that can help you monitor the speed and performance of your website, including Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, WebPageTest, etc.
These tools can help monitor your website and show what kinda issues it is encountering. They can even provide recommendations on how you can resolve the issues and improve the speed of your website.
Most of these tools are free to use. So all you need to do is run these tools and check the status of your website’s performance regularly to ensure everything is in order.
These are just a few tips that can help open and render the website and all its contents quickly and well. But the last tip is a must-follow.
If you follow and work on the first 9 tips only once in a few months, the website will slowly go down the SERPs and lose customer engagement as well. So repeat these steps regularly and enjoy a fast, responsive website.
WordPress is an excellent web development platform with millions of websites to show for its credibility.
But even though it can help you create a fully-functional website of the highest quality, you may struggle to achieve better traffic and a higher ranking on the SERPs. That may be due to poor speed and performance of your website and pages.
Nowadays, with the 5G internet, people have lost the patience to wait for even 5 seconds for a website to open and render. If your website performs poorly, even your loyal users will move on to a different website without batting an eye.
That’s why we have listed out 10 WordPress tips and techniques to improve the speed and performance of your website, enhancing the website rankings on the SERPs and the user experience.
But if you are not sure about the implementation process of these techniques, hire a professional WordPress developer. Their developers have the necessary skills and years of experience in developing and maintaining WordPress websites.
About the Author!
Archit is a Content Writer & Digital Marketing Expert at WPWebelite. He has deep knowledge and interest to work with new marketing strategies. In his free time, he loves to watch Cricket, read spiritual and marketing books, and play music.
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