Slow loading speed can have detrimental consequences for your WordPress website and it can badly affect the whole user experience. A website that takes a lot of time to load can lure the visitors away from your website, ultimately damaging the credibility of your online presence. The low page speed issue of the WordPress website can turn out to be a big downside for the content creators if not resolved appropriately.
Therefore, the WordPress website optimization becomes more important and is now an integral part of the post website creation process. In the article, we’ll be sharing some useful tips that can significantly help you increase the loading speed of websites on the WordPress CMS. Effective implementation of the crucial tips and guidelines can enrich the user experience and in turn, drive more traffic to your page.
Importance of WordPress Site Loading Speed:
It is safe to say that around 40% of all the web traffic is now managed through the powerful content management system of WordPress platform. In recent times, it has gained a lot of traction and is now a fundamental part of digital content creation procedure.
The main landing page of your website offers you the chance to captivate the attention of visitors. They can find your website more intriguing if it opens smoothly and quickly. A lagged loading speed can deter them from staying on your website. As a result, the bounce rate of the website will jump and people will instantly walk away.
Maintaining the ranking on Google search engine is also strongly linked with the load speed of WordPress website. Fast loading means that your website has more chances of getting ranked higher on Google as compared to the sites that load slowly.
Online visitors have a less attention span and want the website to load quickly. In order to cater to their requirements, it’s essential to improve the loading speed. If you own an Ecommerce business website then it can also start generating a positive ROI due to a satisfied online audience.
Common practice also suggests that the WordPress websites that take around 2-3 seconds to load end up giving more conversions. On the other hand, a page speed of 5-10 seconds can start annoying the visitors and negatively impact the conversions.
How To Check Website Loading Speed?
You need to check the current speed of the website in order to develop a better understanding of the ways to improve the loading speed.
For that purpose, some of the most commonly used speed testing tools are:
All you need to do is to enter the website URL in the search bar. You’ll get detailed analytics,tips and suggestions plus the tweaks that can improve the speed of your WordPress website.
PageSpeed Insights tool by Google
Essential Tips of Increasing the WP Website Loading Speed:
Following are some of the crucial tips and suggestions that can increase the website load speed and help you present valuable content to the web audience by keeping them hooked to your WordPress site:
- Selection Of Right WordPress Hosting:
One of the basic mistakes that people often make is to pay less attention to the selection of the hosting provider. Shared hosting may seem an attractive option because it can offer access to unlimited bandwidth, emails and much more. However, one major drawback of shared hosting is that if a website draws heavy traffic during peak hours, it can cause a burden on the working of the server. As a result, your website can slow down because of overloading on the server.
Some of the recommended hosting providers for the hosting of WordPress websites are:
These well managed hosting providers offer fully optimized server configurations that enable you to run the WordPress website smoothly and also improve the speed of the site.
- Implementation of Caching Rules:
The process of caching is regarded as one of the most effective tips to boost the website speed so that all the elements on the landing page display quickly. Before implementing the caching for your website, it’s important to understand how it works.
To comprehend the caching, let’s consider it as a short-term memory of a website. Whenever a site is accessed for the very first time on the browser, a copy of all the files requested by the user are stored.
In this way, the site files don’t need to be fetched from the server every single time. It not only saves time but also greatly reduces the burden on the server. Whenever a person opens the website, stored cache files are displayed.
Although the caching can be more technical for a layman, it’s quite easy to implement on the WordPress platform. Experts recommend the use of certain WordPress caching plugins that end up increasing the loading speed of websites.
WordPress Cache Plugins:
Some of the most commonly used WordPress caching plugins are:
WP Rocket Caching Plugin
All of these plugins act in a similar fashion and generate a copy of the page whenever the user lands on the website for the first time. These plugins boost the website speed without making things more complicated for the website owners.
One big advantage of using the managed WP hosting is that the cache plugins are built-in. So, you don’t have to install them separately to implement the caching process.
- Optimization of Images:
Images on a WordPress website bring more vibrancy in the content and also keep the users engaged. People prefer to read content that includes images that aptly describe the whole website.
However, the use of images can also slow down the loading speed and compromise the quality. HTTP archive report suggests that images make up around 21% of the total website weight.
To keep the user experience optimal, it’s pertinent to optimize the images. But here comes the main dilemma. If we reduce the image size, it can drastically affect the picture quality. On the other hand, large and heavy size images are also not acceptable because they increase the loading speed and frustrate the visitors. This is where image optimization (reducing the size of image without affecting its actual quality) comes into play.
Photos in their original format have huge sizes. You need to choose the right tool that possesses the best compression engine. By following this procedure, you can find th2e middle ground and reduce image size by maintaining the actual quality of image.
The image size can be reduced up to 5 times depending upon the image format (JPEG, PNG) and the compression that you select.
The question that arises here is that how should we choose the right format for an image?
- If our image is full of different colors then JPEG should be used
- If it’s a simple image or we are looking for a transparent image then PNG should be our go-to option
Compression vs Image Size
By setting a low compression rate you can get a high quality image, but the major drawback is the large size which makes it a non-viable option. However, if we set a high compression rate, our image size can be reduced, but we’ll receive a very poor quality image (as explained below).
Lossy vs Lossless Compression
Another key point to consider is that the images can be compressed in two ways:
Lossy Compression: It cuts out some of the data in image and may make the image pixelated at times. However, it plays its part in reducing the image size to a great extent.
Lossless Compression: It compresses by removing the supplementary metadata of the image. But it doesn’t end up reducing the file size significantly.
You can conduct thorough testing to see which compression type suits best on your image. However, the most recommended type is the lossy compression because it enables you to compress images up to 70% without affecting the real quality.
The main goals of image optimization are the following:
- Lowering the image size
- Maintaining the actual quality of image
Image Optimization Plugins
To achieve the image optimization goals, we can take help of some of the renowned tools and plugins:
These plugins offer varying degrees of optimization options to the user. Among these, the Shortpixel plugin offers you the chance to optimize images automatically after uploading them on the WordPress site. It has gained popularity also because it can compress your existing images as well as saving the bandwidth.
This critical step of image optimization results in improved SEO ranking along with an influx of web traffic. User experience improves considerably and people start spending more time on your WordPress website.
- Usage of CDN:
A website is easily accessible for people across the world belonging to different locations. As we mentioned above, the web hosting providers host a WordPress website. The location of the hosting provider impacts the loading speed of the website.
Let’s suppose, if your web hosting provider has servers in Canada then it’s more likely that the people living in Canada will experience a faster loading speed of your website than those who browse your site in Turkey.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a whole network of proxy servers that are spread all across the world. These servers store the static files which are then used to make your whole website.
Therefore, the CDN presents a webpage to the online visitor from the nearest location. It saves time and greatly increases the loading speed of the website. Some of the highly recommended CDNs for WordPress websites are:
- Don’t Miss Out On The Updates:
Being a diverse content management system, WordPress requires to be updated all the time. If you have an update pending then don’t ignore it. Take every WordPress update seriously as it may offer new security features and even fix bugs that hamper the overall site performance.
Keep a close eye on the updates related to your WordPress site, themes and even the plugins. You can put your website at risk by not paying attention to the updates and this can also slow down the loading speed.
- Upload Media Files Through Audio/Video Hosting Service:
Although, you have the facility of directly uploading audio and video files into the WordPress website. But this can be a costly move as your page speed can slow down. If the media files are large then more bandwidth will be consumed and you can be overcharged as well by the hosting provider.
So, you need to take help from various platforms such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo and SoundCloud and let them handle the rest.
Luckily, there’s a built-in video embedding feature inside WordPress. All you need to do is paste the audio/video URL and it will embed into your website.
- Delete Unwanted Plugins:
Make sure that you delete all the plugins that are of no use to your website. Don’t just keep on adding the plugins from the WordPress repository. Unnecessary plugins can put strain on the server and decelerate the website speed.
So, it’s always better to delete the unwanted plugins and only focus on the ones that are of some benefit. Another crucial point to consider is that the plugins that are poorly coded also slow down the WordPress website. Therefore, it’s important to read the reviews before installing the plugins.