Why Speeding Up your WordPress Site Matters
A slow loading WordPress site can cause serious issues for any online business. This will result in losing visitors and customers. It will also cause your whole “image” to appear slow and give an appearance of not quite running smoothly. It can have a strong effect on potential clients visiting your site. The most important part of any site design is speedy load times and ease of visitor navigation.
There are several checklists to go over that will help you with speeding up your WordPress site:
- Are you using too many plugins?
- Process of elimination
- Cache plugin
- Using large images
- Your WordPress hosting provider
Too many Plugins
There can be a tendency for WordPress sites to use too many plugins because of their easy installation and setup process, a large number of features and added functionality of a site. However, it is easy to end up with too many plugins. Many are known to slow down a site, even those that are running on some pretty beefy hosting plans. A plugin can easily provide a snazzy feature to a site here and there, but it can quickly add up causing the user experience as a whole to diminish significantly. Too many plugins will make it impossible to speeding up your WordPress site.
Process of Elimination
Another tool for speeding up your WordPress site is the process of elimination. This can help in determining what part of a site’s code is slowing down the site. Disabling a plugin one at a time and testing the site’s speed can determine if a plugin is slowing things down. This is also one of the main reasons why it is very important to make sure you use a plugin that is from a trusted and reputable source.
A good online tool for testing website speed is WebPageTest.org which tests the speed and performance of your WordPress site. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can analyze your site and offer suggestions to improve page load times. W3 Total Cache is a good plugin for speeding up your WordPress site.
Script Loading Hierarchy
The top sections of pages have many scripts in place. The browser a visitor uses reads the top of the page and works it’s way down. Adding several scripts at the top of a page results in nothing else getting loaded such as text and images until the scripts are done loading. Visitors want to see visual content first, and everything else can come shortly after.
In addition, social media scripts can easily slow down a site, again depending also on where the script was obtained. There may be a faster and simpler script you can use.
As mentioned previously, simply uploading large images can certainly slow down a page load time. This holds especially true if a visitor’s internet connection is slow. This can be especially problematic if your visitors are using a smartphone over a cellular connection.
WordPress does automatically compress images but the compression ration may not be optimal, efficient or may cause images to look too compressed. It’s generally better to use image editing software to handle the compression first before WordPress attempts to. If for some reason no compression is desired, the PNG format can be used and WordPress will not compress the file. This may be important if a particular image needs to have a high-quality look to impress visitors. If this is the case, however, bear in mind that the other images on the same page certainly need to be optimized for faster page loads. The GIF format is ideal for images with lots of text or all text. Like PNG, the GIF format also allows for transparency.
A simple method to lower image size is to simply resize the image. Many times, images are much much larger than they really need to be. There is no need for several very large images on websites that are then simply scaled down.
WordPress Hosting – The Hard Fix to Speeding up your WordPress Site
Last but not least, your hosting provider may the reason for slow performance regardless of your optimization efforts. If your host is slow your WordPress site will be slow as well. This will make it impossible to speed up your WordPress site. This will be a definite hard fix to make since you have no control over this part of your WordPress site. However, moving to a new host should not be difficult and good WordPress hosting providers will be able to provide this service for you. They should also be able to migrate your WordPress site to the new hosting plan.
Speeding up your WordPress site is important for current and returning visitors. There are several checklists to go over as outlined previously. They will help you with speeding up your WordPress site. Are your images too large? Are there too many plugins? Does a cache plugin help speed up your WordPress site? Has the process of elimination helped find slowness problems? Going over these pointers will help with speeding up your WordPress site.