Customers are leaving your website for a reason you didn’t expect.
It’s too slow!
Amazon found that every 100ms of latency cost them 1 percent in sales. Google found an extra half-second in search page generation time reduced traffic by 20%!
A little boost in speed makes a big difference in conversion rates, and the profitability of your online business.
Plus, did you know fast sites rank higher in search results?
If you use the popular CMS WordPress, you’re in luck. There are plenty of plugins that make optimizations without the need to change any code on your site.
I recommend that you start with simple solutions, and test the results.
You can get a comprehensive list of suggestions from tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. However, looking at it all can be overwhelming when you’re learning the ropes. Save that for the next round.
So, let’s get to it. Here are the changes you can make to speed up your WordPress website!
1. Upgrade Your Website Hosting
Moving to a better hosting provider or upgrading your plan is one of the most effective steps.
That’s because you’re increasing the horsepower of the hardware that hosts your website. Thus, it ensures that you get the most out of every other tweak you make to obtain improved site speed.
There are three key hosting options:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS)
- Dedicated server hosting
Although inexpensive, you pay the price by sharing resources such as RAM, CPU, and disk space with many other customers. There’s no guarantee how much of those resources go to rendering your pages.
With a VPS you’re allocated a set amount of system resources by your hosting provider. It provides a nice middle-ground between shared hosting and a dedicated server. This option is well within reach for SMBs, yet it gives you an edge in performance over competitors using shared hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting
This is the best option if you’re getting enough traffic to justify the price. The entire machine at a hosting facility is at your disposal.
Moving Up to a Faster Hosting Plan
In many cases you don’t need to change the type of hosting you have. Rather, you can upgrade to a plan with better hardware, or a greater allocation of it.
The more RAM the hosting plan has, and the faster the CPU, the better. Additionally, make sure you have enough disk space for your needs, plus a healthy cushion. This will not only leave room for growth, but also allow for optimal performance.
2. Optimize Images… Automatically
When you upload an image to WordPress, it generates versions of that image at different sizes. You then pick the appropriate size for the application.
It’s a good system out of the box, but you can go one step better.
If you want to crunch the size of your images more aggressively, plugins like Imagify can also apply lossy compression.
3. Use Website Caching
Web browsers store files from websites such as images in the cache. This way users don’t need to keep loading content such as your logo every time they view a new page.
By leveraging an advanced caching system on your WordPress site, you can cut down the amount of content users need to load ever more.
If you have a VPS or dedicated server, you can choose to set up caching at the server level. This approach makes sense if you manage many websites on the same server as it’s a universal solution. The drawback is getting it set up can be complex.
4. Optimize Your Website’s Code
These files are loaded every time someone visits your page. So, if there are inefficiencies in the code, it will limit the site’s overall speed.
Luckily don’t need to put your site under the microscope, looking for any tweak that will reduce the file size while giving you the same result. Again, there’s a plugin for that!
Autoptimize is a WordPress plugin that makes optimizing your site easy. It will aggregate, minify and cache scripts and styles to reduce the time it takes to load your pages.
5. Cut Down on Redirects
Redirects are commonly used to hide the final destination of a link, and to collect data about your user’s actions.
You may have noticed how long it takes to load when a site redirects you to a few different URLs before reaching the next page. HTTP requests created by website redirects slow your site down, so it really needs to be justified.
Find all the redirects on your site with a free online tool. Run an audit, and determine which ones are necessary, and which redirects that can be eliminated.
6. Decrease the Number of Plugins
There are so many incredible WordPress plugins that expand what your site can do. It’s addictive!
Just keep in mind that each one adds a degree of bloat to your site. And some plugins require more server resources than it’s worth for your specific application.
First things first, deactivate or delete any plugins your site currently isn’t using. Next, get rid of any plugins that do something you can easily accomplish by making changes to the site itself.
Lastly, deactivate the nice to have, but not necessary plugins. Now, see if your site is a bit snappier. You may find you won’t miss them a week from now.
A faster site translates to higher conversion rates for your business. It also creates a great experience for your customers so they keep coming back.
The solutions covered here may be simple, but they’re highly effective. And it’s a great place to start your optimization journey. In fact, if you take all the steps here, you’ll be well on your way to making your website speedy.
Want to take the next step and comprehensively optimize your site so it’s as fast as it can be? Contact us today, so your business gets the results it deserves!