Have you been struggling to speed up your website and wondering how you can improve it? Well, you are not alone, many web masters are facing the same problem.
You have come to the right blog post. I’ll cover some of the most important things that will help you speed up your website.
I believe you’ve also experience the same difficulty on another website other than yours. You get to this websites and you so want to view read through the info and leave.
But you get there and the site takes time to load. What do you do? You leave right?
Well that’s what most people could do on your site. They will leave if it takes forever to load.
Users tend to measure the web performance with the page loading time. This is the lapse time between the moment a user request a page from the browser and the to when the page is fully loaded.
Three reasons why you should speed up your website:
Google — The first reason is that, Google once admitted that web page speed is part of their ranking algorithm. What is an algorithm? An algorithm is the way that google calculates its search rankings. It takes multiple factors to determine which web page should be at the top or at the bottom.
This does not apply to Google only, even other search engines will penalize you if your site loads slow.
Users — The second reason is that people in general prefer fast loading web sites. The slower sites always get rejected by users.
According to a research done by Kissmetrics more than 40% of your site visitors will leave if your site loads. Surely you don’t want to be one of those who make the bad statistics. That should give you enough reason to increase your website speed.
Mobile Devices — And the third reason is that the world has gone mobile and mobile devices need fast loading websites, you need to optimize your site for mobile devices. In 2017 there were 5 billion people who were using mobile devices already.
That number is growing every day. Now that we can track our websites through Google Analytics. Can you image how many visitors you will lose if your site does not load fast on mobile devices.
I’m sure it would demoralize you to see those users hit the back button and not coming back.
Avoid bad user experience
You should avoid bad user experience by all means. When people want to view your site and it takes longer than 2 seconds to load, they will leave. The chances of them coming back are very slim.
One of the big companies in the world Amazon did their page speed test. They said that for every one second their site takes to load they could lose $1.6 billion a year.
Picture your small site that it still growing, how much could you lose for every second. It might not seem much at first but over a certain period it could be a lot.
So you need to improve your user experience by all means. It is said that if your web pages take more than 10 seconds to load people will get impatient with it. So your site loading speed should not more than 10 seconds.
Two seconds has become the average page loading speed standard so you should get closer to 2 seconds. If it takes that long to load don’t worry, you can work on it and improve it until it loads extremely fast.
How does page speed affect seo?
A website speed affects the sites performance and the user experience. Search engines like Google will also penalize a slow loading site. Is hard for those websites to to reach page one on search engine results page.
Your websites speed also determine your organic traffic. The higher your website on Google get more organic traffic. Keep on testing your web pages loading speed
Testing your website loading speed can help you speed up your website faster. You need to keep on testing your site loading speed to check whether is loading fast or not.
The easy way to go about this is to start with your home page first. Rectify the mistakes provided and move one to another page.
Find tools that will help you identify the problems in the pages and deal with them one by one. There’s too many tools that will help you test your website loading speed.
Tools that can help you analyse your website speed:
Google PageSpeed Insights
Another great tool is the Google Speed Insights, it will show you how your website will display both on mobile devices and desktop computers. This tool is not gonna help you speed up your website. But is going to help you test your web page loading speed then give you a score.
This google tool is free it will show you how fast your website is loading. Google PageSpeed Insight gives you the page speed score for both mobile devices and desktop computers. It will break down everything you need to fix in order to improve your websites speed.
The Pingdom tool is one of the websites that will give you a report on your web pages loading speed. It will also recommend what you can do to improve your sites speed.
You can just type in you url and see how many seconds it takes for your site takes to load. If your site take at least 5 seconds to load that means you are close. But you can still improve to 4 seconds or even 2 seconds.
This is like the God of website analysis. It will give you all the statistics of your website, where are your visitors coming from, what device to they use, which browsers do they use and so on.
And also your website speed is recorded you can check it and improve it if your site is slow.
What do you need to do to speed up your website?
Compress your images
You should compress your image every time before you upload them. Images tend to consume more disk space and slow down the website speed.
You can either compress your images manually or through the online free sites or use a plugin.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
You can use this plugin to compress your WordPress images to the size required by wordpress. Or you can use this plugin called Compress JPEG & PNG Images.
As the name state this second plugin can only be used to compress the jpeg and png images. Is free but you can only optimize up to 500 images per month.
If you want to optimize more image you can upgrade your account or wait until the next month. You can optimize bulk images with both of this plugins.
Apply the service of CDN on your website
Using a CDN can help you speed up your website. CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. What it does is saves your web pages in different severs in different countries.
This is to help cache web files to different severs so that it brings them closer to people who might be searching for your site.
Let’s say your website is hosted in a server in South Africa, and someone in Canada wants to access it. CDN will replicate your website files and put it in a server in Canada close to that person.
This way it will make your site load fast for people in Canada or anywhere in the world as well.
Some of the well known companies that provide the service of CDN is Akamai and Amazon. This companies have huge servers around the world, their services might a bit expensive though.
But guess what? There are some plugin that have the features of Content Delivery Network in them. You just install and activate the plugin and also the CDN.
Free WordPress Plugins that will help you increase your website speed include:
There are many WordPress Plugins that can help you to test or increase your website loading speed. We’ll list a few of them to help you increase your website speed.
WP Super Cache
This plugin turns php files to html files this helps reduce the file sizes. You don’t have to know too much about the technical stuff of the plugin though.
Everything is already been taken care off by the developers. To install the plugin go to your WordPress Dashboard and go to Plugins on your left screen then click on Add New.
Then type in WP Super Cache on the search box. Click on Install Now to install the plugin then click on Activate to activate it.
It is recommended that your turn the plugin on in order for it to work. To turn it on click on Settings on your left screen then click on WP Super Cache.
Then select “Caching on(Recommended)”, click on the Update Status button. This plugin can also help you compress your files. To do that click on the Advance tap and select the compress files option.
The WP Super Cache plugin has the features of Content Delivery Network. You can incorporate the CDN alongside cache. Another great feature of WP Super Cache is the Mobile Device feature which allows the caching on mobile devices.
W3 Total Cache
One of the most trusted WordPress plugin to increase your website speed is W3 Total Cache. It has a lot of similar features with WP Super Cache.
This plugin also has the CDN integration feature and page caching. An additional feature is Minify which allows this plugin to remove white-spaces and make them smaller.
You can either choose this plugin or the one above to speed up your website, they work the same.
Optimize your website for Mobile Devices
You can just install the Accelerated Mobile Page plugin, which can help you increase speed on mobile devices.
Another free wordpress plugin that you can try is Autoptimize. You can just install the plugin on your dashboard and go to setting and to set the plugin.
Beware if your web hosting company
Some web hosting companies have a lot going, they might be the ones slowing doing your website. Avoid unknown web hosting companies or cheap hosting.
Find a well known hosting company with a proven track record and customer support.
One of the reliable hosting companies is Namecheap. I’ve had a good experience with them so with my two blogs.
Another hosting company that you can use is BlueHost, which is recommended by many top bloggers, click here to sign up for bluehost.
Make your favicon the right size
A favicon is that small image that displays next to your page title on the browser. A free tool that you can use to resize your favicon is Iconslate. You can resize your favicons and touch icons with it. Is easy to use an saves time.
Clean up your WordPress Database
After sometime your wordpress database will collect data that is not required or wont be necessary any more. Things like trashed posts, spam comments, pingbacks can over weight your database over time.
So install plugins like WP Optimize to clean up your database ones in while. You can install the plugin after it does it job, then install it when you want to use it.
Reduce your images and video size
Find ways to compress your images before uploading them on your website. Images play a big role in website speed, the larger images take a lot of space and also slow down the loading speed.
P3(Plugin Performance Profiler)
Install the P3 plugin, this plugin gives you information about how much other plugins are using space. After P3 gives that info you can decide on which ones you can replace or remove all together.
Remove plugins that will slow down your website
Uninstall plugins that you only use once after a long time. You would rather download those plugins and save them on your computer. Then upload them again when you need to use them. Some plugins might take a lot of storage so reducing them might speed your website.
I hope you learned something about ways to speed up your website you will improve your site.
Is very important that your website loads fast so that you can get organic traffic. And also you can have a good user experience.
I would like to hear from you, if you have questions you are welcome to ask. Or perhubs you have something to share you are also welcome.