Today’s digital world demands speed, efficiency, and innovation from each business website. Out of all the deterring factors, website speed has the biggest impact on any business. Since everyone is in a hurry, they don’t want to wait for the website to load. Having a slow website will not only decrease your chances of gaining new customers but also will push the existing customers to leave you. Therefore, it is imperative to build a business website that is efficient and optimized. Today most business websites are running on WordPress. By far the platform has been used to create more than 75 million websites. Most businesses owners would hire a WordPress development company to build their website. As they don’t involve in the process, chances are that the website will lack the necessary features. Therefore it is important that you know what slows down your website and how you can improve the speed of your website.
Therefore in this article, we will discuss why should you improve the loading speed of your website and how can you achieve it.
Why Improve WordPress Website Speed?
The image of a dial-up modem showing that your page is loading is nothing more than nostalgia. This is ancient technology as we speak. Now consumers expect web pages to load efficiently. Most users will abandon the website if it is slow. The best thing for your business to do is to have a fast WordPress website. Following are some of the major reasons why you should optimize your website speed.
- Search Engine Rankings: Most search engines like Google and Bing rank fast-loading websites higher as opposed to slow-loading websites. In order to improve your ranking in the SERPs, it is vital to have a fast-loading website.
- Bounce-Off Rate: According to research, 47% of users will bounce off a website if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. This clearly shows that you will lose almost half of your customers if your website is slow.
- Waiting Time: We all know that online buyers are the most impatient when it comes to customers. So if your store is slow, you might just lose most part of the customer base.
These and many other factors indicate how important it is to have a fast-loading WordPress website for your eCommerce business.
Ways to Improve Page Loading Time
There are a number of basic methods you may apply on your own to help these tools create a speedy WordPress site. Caching your site is one of the easiest methods. Below are a few points to consider in order to increase website speed.
Opt for a Better Web Hosting Provider
The factor that impacts your website’s speed the most is the hosting provider you are using. At first glance, it may seem like a good idea to host your new website as a shared hosting service. As they offer unlimited bandwidth, space, domains, and much more. The biggest downfall is that shared hosting will increase loading time at peak hours. This will hugely impact the performance of your website.
Since the hosting is shared, you cannot be sure how many users are utilizing the same hosting. Moreover, you don’t know for sure how well optimized the servers are. All this makes shared web hosting least suitable for eCommerce businesses.
Much to business owners’ delight, there are several choices for website hosting. The prices are affordable with more features. This makes it easy to have a dedicated website hosting service for your business website.
Remove Unused Plugins and Themes
We all know that you should keep all your plugins and themes up-to-date. Another aspect of this is to remove unnecessary plugins and themes. These plugins and themes will consume space, will take time to load, and will increase the overall time required for loading a web page. They can also create security vulnerabilities and in turn, detract your WordPress website performance.
The removal process is quite simple. Login to your admin panel, deactivate the plugins or themes you want to remove. Once deactivated, you can safely delete them.
Reduce Image Size
In most cases, the reason for a slow website is the use of images that are heavy in size. The trick is to use reduced-size images while not compromising on the quality. You can manually optimize the images with tools such as Chrome PageSpeed Insights extension or Adobe Photoshop. This will take too much time and will require the knowledge of using these tools. Instead, you can use image optimization plugins. Plugins such as Optimole and WP Smush will make it easy for you to optimize your images.
Clean Up Your WordPress Database Regularly
This may not seem much of an issue to some. With that being said, if left unchecked for a long period of time, your database will become a cluttered mess. This unnecessary data bloat will slow down your website eventually. Through regular cleanup, you can keep it in check. One of the most common factors is post revisions. One post revision can take up to 100 KB of space. With 5 revisions it turns into 500KB of data. With a snowball effect, this will transform into a large chunk of unnecessary data. This data will for sure slow down your WordPress Website performance.
You can clean your database manually through phpMyAdmin. Though it can be difficult if you are not familiar with the technical side. Therefore using a plugin to carry out the task is the safer and more efficient way to go.
Minimize JS and CSS Files
Running your website through the Google PageSpeed Insights tool will most probably tell you that you need to minimize your JS and CSS files. Reducing the size of these files will reduce the time to load the CSS and JS of your website which will make your website load much faster. If you have a technical background, you can easily alter necessary files in the WordPress themes. If that is not the case, you can utilize plugins to reduce file size. The most widely one used is Autoptimize to reduce file size.
Lazy-Load Lengthy Pages
This feature helps speed up the loading process of one-page sites and sites with a large home page. It is called lazy loading because elements below the fold aren’t loaded until the user scrolls down in order to view them. This prevents your website from loading all the content of your big page at once, enabling your site to render faster.
Reducing the load time of your WordPress website will improve performance, enhance user experience, and will increase revenue. Whether on mobile or desktop, having a fast-loading website is a necessity. Moreover, it will also improve your SERPs ranking. With dedicated hosting and a reduced size of images and files, you can optimize the loading time of your WordPress website.