We all know how hard it is to get traffic and attention on your website, to get your target audience to read the content you’re giving out. In fact, studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds.
So, looking at the facts, you must captivate your audience in just 7 seconds, showing users in a very short amount of time your content, and convincing them to stay on your website. In exactly 7 seconds. Really tough huh? Now, imagine the struggle if you’re dealing with a slow website, this means potential users will probably leave before it even starts loading, if it takes your website more than 7 seconds to load. A rookie mistake is believing your website is fine just because it doesn’t feel slow on your computer.
This is a huge mistake, and its due to you always logging into your website, which makes cache servers and other modern browsers to automatically pre-fetch the website address. For someone who is visiting your page for the first time, they are unlikely to have the same experience. So, if you want more traffic, subscribers, and revenue from your website, then you must make your WordPress website fast, ASAP. So how can you check your WordPress speed?
How can I check my WordPress speed?
You can test your website speed using several tools like Pingdom. It’s a free online tool that allows you to test your website speed from different locations. A good page load should be of 2 seconds. Remember, 7 seconds tops, if you want traffic on your website.
It’s important to speed up your WordPress site because fast-loading pages improve user experience, which will also increase your page views.
What are the main causes of a slow website?
After you take the speed test, it’s common that those online tools might want to give you some advice, but for beginners, some tips might not even make sense. That’s why understanding what slows down your website its key to improving traffic and making long-term decisions.
The main causes of a slow website can be:
- Web hosting: If your web hosting server isn’t properly configured it might damage your website causing it to slow down.
- WordPress configuration: Perhaps your WordPress site isn’t serving cached pages, causing an overload on the server and making your website slow or even crash entirely.
- Page Size: Usually happens if images aren’t optimized for websites.
- Bad Plugins: Using a poorly coded plugin can significantly slow down your website.
- External scripts: External scripts like as ads, font loaders, or others can also cause your website performance to decline.
Now that you’ve learned what can cause your website to slow down or even crash, let’s look at all the solutions to your problem.
How can I boost WordPress performance and speed up my website?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a tech geek to make changes on your website configuration, and there is no coding required, just follow these simple steps:
Install a WordPress caching Plugin
: As you may know, WordPress websites are dynamic, meaning they are built on the go every time a user visits a post on your site. WordPress follows a process which is basically finding the required data and then displaying it to the user to build your page. This complicated process involves several steps that can damage your website speed when you have multiple users visiting your site at once. The reason why we recommend using a caching plugin, making your site 2 to 5 times faster. Instead of going through the whole page generation process every time, your caching plugin makes a copy of the page after the first load and then serves that cached version to every other user.
Optimize Images for Speed:
Images give your content the life it needs, and graphics can help you out boosting engagement with your audience. Several studies have detected that using colored visuals makes people 80% more likely to read your content. Now the problem, if your images aren’t optimized, they could be damaging your site more than helping it by making it slower. In fact, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues with inexperienced websites. So, to give you a way out, make sure you use a photo editing software before you upload a photo directly from your camera in order to optimize your images for web view.
In their original formats, these photos can take a great deal of space, but if you compress them you can take out 5 times the space of it in your site. Beginners usually use PNG or JPEG formats, and most of them don’t even know the difference between both. PNG image format is uncompressed. When you compress an image it loses some information, so an uncompressed image will be higher quality with more detail. The downside is that it’s a larger file size, so it takes longer to load. On the other hand, JPEG image format is a compressed file format which slightly reduces image quality, but it’s significantly smaller in size. So, which one should I use? If your image has a lot of different colors, then use JPEG. If it’s a simpler image, then use PNG.
WordPress Best Practices Optimization:
You’ll notice your site loading faster after all these tips, but it you really want to keep improving then you’ll need to use the best practices list. These tips aren’t too technical, so you don’t need to know any code to implement them. But using them will prevent common problems that will slow down your website.
Keep your WordPress Site Updated:
By default, WordPress displays the full content of each article on your homepage and archives. This means your homepage, categories, tags, and other archive pages will all load slower. Another disadvantage of showing full articles on these pages is that users don’t feel the need to visit the actual article. This can reduce your pageviews, and the time your users spend on your site. To speed up your loading times for archive pages, you can set your site to display excerpts instead of the full content. You can navigate to Settings » Reading and select “For each article in a feed, show: Summary” instead of “Full Text.”
Never upload videos directly to WordPress:
Hosting videos will cost you bandwidth and can also increase your backup sizes hugely, making it difficult to restore WordPress backup. Reason why you should use a video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, or any other, letting them take care of the hard work with their own bandwidth instead of you getting charged for it.
Use a theme Optimized for Speed
: Highly recommended to go with a simpler theme and use quality plugins to get the features you need. You can use tools like StudioPress, Themify, and Array Themes which offer themes that are well coded and optimized for speed.
These tips can be really helpful, and you can get a new target audience and more traffic on your website. Just remember to follow the steps above. See? You don’t need to be a tech expert to show the world your content, and this way you can even have more spare time for your site!