You can not afford to waste even a single second on the internet. Speed matters, when it comes to improving website loading speed. In fact, if your WordPress site is lethargic and forces the audience to wait, then you will have to face the negative impact right away. You can notice an increase in the bounce rate, poor search rankings, and decrease conversion.
Fortunately, you have too many solutions to tackle this problem. WordPress as a platform offers you several options for optimizing your site and making it faster and more responsive because faster websites improve user experience, increase your website traffic, and help with SEO.
Why is Page Speed Important?
Studies show that from 2015 to 2020, the average human attention span has dropped from 15 seconds to 12 seconds.
When the audience lands on your site for the first time, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention and make them brood over your website. If your site is not loading properly, the dashboard might become difficult to handle affecting your work and efficiency. Besides that, the visitors will leave your website giving negative feedback and never come back, and they will never recommend anyone to visit your site. This will lead to a big loss for your site.
Not only that, but Google also includes site speed in the ranking algorithm now which means the speed of the site plays an important role in search ranking.
So if your website takes too much time to load, it means you are losing your audiences and rankings in search engines too. Search engines rank websites that have great loading speed. So if you want to improve your position in the SERPs improving the speed should be your first priority. Studies have shown the site that takes more than 3-sec to load, results in almost 47 percent of the audience bouncing off. Thus, to keep your visitors on your site, speed is very important.
Source: Think with Google
Today online buyers are so impatient that they can not wait even for a second to load the page.
Hence, if you are running an eCommerce site on WordPress then you better get ready to make major improvements to make your business more profitable and efficient. To sum it all up, if you want more traffic on your website, subscribers, and revenue, then you must work on making your WordPress website FASTER!
How to Check Your Website Speed?
Often everyone thinks that their website speed is okay just because it does not seem slow on their computer.
Since you are visiting your website, browsers like Chrome, store your website in the memory, and as you search, it automatically fetches the site as soon as you start typing the address. This makes your website load instantly on your computer.
However, a normal user who is visiting your website may not face the same things. The audience which is of different geographical locations will have a completely different experience. That is why we recommend you check your website speed. After doing your website speed test you will come to know what good website speed you should aim for. A good website load time is under 3 sec.
However, the faster the time of loading a page the faster revenue you will get. So, it is very important to check the website speed.
Note: You can also visit Bitcatcha to speed test your website.
4 Free Tools to Check WordPress Website Speed
1. Google Pagespeed Insights
Page Speed Insights is a tool by which we can analyze website performance and the content of web pages on both mobile and desktop devices and provide suggestions to improve our site.
It gives you both debugging performance issues (A lab test) and real-world user experience (Field data) which help you to solve the problems and make your site faster.
Here is the page speed result of a Website.
2. Pingdom tools
We know that nobody likes a slow-speed website. To help you with analyzing your website speed, you can use this tool called Pingdom.
This process allows you to test your website loading speed. Plus, it rates your website based on several metrics. For example, it shows what number of requests were required and what number of redirects were performed.
It is cost-effective performance monitoring for your website. Using this, you can monitor your website uptime, performance, speed, and reliability for a better user experience. To check the performance, enter the website URL in the field on the main page, select the location, and then start the test. Maybe you have to wait for some time depending upon how many people are performing the test. And when the test is complete you will be given results.
Here is an example of how Pingdom shows the speed results and suggestions.
Since the results will be different each time, you will have to do this several times to get an average figure. This will give you a more comprehensive overview of how well your site performs and provide graphs into what areas of your site need to be improved.
Pingdom tools are an excellent way to check the performance but you can also try GTMetrix. This is another free speed checking tool that can be very helpful for your website. It works much like Pingdom, but it provides more in-depth information. It offers you better optimization and suggestions based on results.
You can start the test by entering the URL on the page and then clicking on the test on your site. Since it is performed thoroughly, it can take more time to complete. When the test is completed, you will get access to a lot of data. You will see how quickly your site loads, as well as other data, including the overall size. It shows the most basic information for making your site load faster. Depending on your theme, the images you uploaded, the plugins you’re using, and many other settings, it optimizes your site totally and gives you results to make your website work better.
Here is an example for your better understanding in the image given below:
4. Google Analytics
It is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports all the website traffic. This tool is not only for marketing or SEO experts, it is a tool that helps you in gaining serious insights about your website.
Google Analytics gives you complete information about the performance of your website. It accesses all of Google’s unique insights and machine learning capabilities to improve your data. And also helps you in improving your user experience.
It offers you a range of marketing tools that will help people in ranking their website and making high revenue. This is designed to help you in tracking the overall performance of your site.
Listed WordPress Plugins To Improve Website Loading Speed
You have several plugins that will help your website load faster. Here are some free plugins that you can use for better website performance.
10 Ways To Reduce The Page Loading Time Of The WordPress Website
Till now you came to know why speed is important and how to check the speed of the site. Now I’m going to share what more you can do to increase your website speed.
1. Choose the Best Hosting Plan
Hosting is where your website exists. Your house furniture is like a website and your house is like a host. If your house is not built on a good foundation then your furniture could fall right through the floor.
Picking the right hosting plan is one of the first and most important steps for making your website performance better. It might seem a good idea to select the hosting provider which has unlimited bandwidth, unlimited space, emails, domains, and more. What we fail to understand regarding this offer is that shared hosting fails to deliver good loading times on a high audience. When audiences access your site, your hosting provider will determine how quickly the information is passed to them.
Some are simply slow. So we can say that it is up to your server what speed they are giving to your audience. The reason behind this is a poor selection of hosting providers can nullify your efforts. Even when you optimize your site speed, it will not make much difference if your server is slow.
For example, You can take a look at the InMotion hosting provider.
InMotion provides faster uptime, speed, and support and other built-in speed optimization tools such as caching plugins for the better performance of your site.
Some more added up features of InMotion are:
- It seamlessly handles up to 10X traffic without slowing down the speed.
- When you are having high traffic and it is putting a stop by slowing down our website, sit back and relax as your server will automatically adapt to your resources with its burstable RAM.
2. Use WordPress Caching plugins
Caching plugins highly improve the user experience and make your website work faster. Thus, we can say one of the most important features to speed up your website is using a cache plugin.
Caching is important for your website because it allows you to skip most of the steps and instead of going through the whole process every time, it makes a copy of the page just after the first load and then keeps that cached version for future visits. So, this is the reason why we recommend cache plugins to every WordPress site owner. This can make your website much faster and more efficient.
Let’s take a look at various cache plugins that you can use to boost your WordPress website:
We can also use monitoring plugins for WordPress which can be super helpful.
WP Umbrella is a comprehensive monitoring plugin for WordPress. It constantly checks website uptime and performance and alerts you if something goes wrong (downtime or traffic spike). The plugin provides you with essential information about load times from all over the world such as time TTFB, TCP, TLS, and DNS.
The thing that I like about WP Umbrella is that they also monitor WordPress PHP errors which can prevent poor performance and security. It’s a plugin that you have to install if performance matters to you!
3. Choose A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN is also an important factor for speeding up your WordPress site. The main feature of CDN is that it offers you the best loading time for your website no matter what kind of site you run. The main purpose of CDN is to provide high availability and performance by distributing the service across different geographical locations ( i.e. servers) which work together to provide fast delivery of internet content.
Various other features of a CDN are:
- Improves speed.
- Makes the server uptime better.
- Helps in SEO optimization.
- Improves user experience.
- Saves you money.
Let us take an example:
Suppose the user visits your website and his request is redirected to the main server. It means every user who is visiting your site redirects to the main server. Hence, if multiple users try to visit the site at the same time, it results in server overloading and makes your website speed slow. So, this problem can be solved by CDN.
4. Always Keep Your Plugins and Theme Updated
These days the majority of people are very conscious of updated software and devices. We understand that it’s easy to become numb to those messages, especially when the results of the required updates are so often invisible to the typical user.
However, when it involves WordPress, you ought to always update every aspect of your site as soon as possible. It’s essential not to ignore updates once they become available, whether they’re core updates for your WordPress installation or new versions of your WordPress theme or plugins. The foremost important reason for this is security as new updates will make sure that your site is safe against the newest threats.
However, keeping your site updated will make sure that it remains as fast as possible. WordPress developers are always trying to improve and update the core software to be faster and better optimized. By updating, you’re ensuring that each aspect of WordPress is running at peak performance.
5. Delete Unused Theme and Plugins
As you came to know, choosing the best theme and plugins and keeping them updated is the best method to gear up your WordPress site.
Another thing that can be taken care of for optimizing speed is to delete the unused themes and plugins that are not in use. This is the site maintenance task that you should perform regularly. Because themes and plugins that are not active on your site will take some space on your server. Keeping unnecessary content around can confuse administrators and audiences.
There are two principles you should take into account:
- Do not activate the plugins which are of no use.
- You should be very careful while installing plugins because some plugins can badly trouble you.
If you will go through all the plugins of your website, you will come to know that there are some plugins that are of no use. For example, if you are using WordPress SEO by Yoast, you do not need an XML sitemap plugin.
Also, you need not download the plugins for checking the broken links of WordPress websites. You can easily check this online using the W3C Link Checker.
6. Reduce Server Response Time
Slow server response affects performance. Hence, it is very important for you to understand how fast your website is loading because it has a direct impact on the traffic of your site. The faster the loading time the more the audience will engage on your site. As we all know, page loading time and server response time are important factors that will help your site to rank on the primary page.
To improve your site, it is very important to reduce the server response time because if you do not reduce response time, your site may take more time to load which results in an increased bounce rate i.e. (the audience will simply leave your site before your site even finishes loading).
Google PageSpeed Insights recommends TTFB( Time to First Byte) should be less than 200ms as a good server response time. TTFB which stands for (Time to First Byte), is a measurement of how much time the browser is taking before receiving its first byte of data from the server. The longer time it takes to fetch that data, the longer time it takes to display this on your page. You can use various tools to check this. I have taken the result of the WP Swings website in TTFB testing tools.
7. Image Optimization
Your images can have a great impact on your WordPress site speed. The image brings a spark to your content and makes it more engaging for the viewers. From my own experience, I can say that the content which has colorful images is more engaging than lengthy paragraphs.
However, if your images are not optimized, they can harm you instead of benefiting you. Even we can say that the non-optimized images are the main reason behind the slow speed which the beginners face.
A website with non-optimized images is going to trouble your precious bandwidth, it also slows down everything and ruins the user experience.
So, before uploading the image whether you are uploading from mobile or desktop, make sure to optimize the image.
Compress and edit the image using Photoshop and Gimp. Use the JPEG format to upload the image. Stop using big images that have larger sizes.
We also have some other best practices recommended by Google that will help you in optimizing images:
- Use image CDNs
- You can replace animation GIFs with videos
- Do not use lazy loading images
- Use WebP images
8. Always Clean your Media Library
As your site starts growing, your media library is filled with images, documents, and other files. It is usual for long-running sites to contain hundreds and thousands of image files. Even if you use image optimization, many files can start harming your server resources. A fair amount of such files might not even be used anymore.
Identifying and deleting these media files can be an incredible pain if done manually. Fortunately, there are plugins that can help you out.
Source: Media Cleaner Plugin
In this case, we recommend that you should use the Media Cleaner Plugin to clean the media files.
9. Cloud Hosting Provider
The traditional form of web hosting is shared hosting. In this, one server handles the site of multiple customers which results in a system crash. We also have other hosting providers such as VPS and Dedicated hosting. But cloud hosting is the best of all.
Today 90 percent of the users use cloud hosting services for their websites.
Cloud hosting is a type of hosting provider that hosts the website on its own premises, a part of which can be purchased by anyone.
Before starting the WordPress site, it’s recommended to ask your WordPress managed host provider about their product and compatibility with WordPress. They can give you the information and ideas of making your website work faster. This will help you spend less time getting more information and also help you better in optimizing your site speed.
These rules come forward when PageSpeed Insights detects that the size of one of your resources can be reduced by minifying the JS and CSS code. You can make your website smaller and faster by minifying these codes. This removes redundant and unnecessary data like white space, stripes comments, combines files, and optimizes the various program patterns.
You can use many resources for minification.
- For the minification of CSS, you can try CSSNano and CSSO.
Speed is an important factor in running a website. It is key which helps you to rank higher on search engines. Even a second is very important when it comes to loading your site. The faster your website will load, the more audiences you will get.
Another big advantage of decreasing the loading speed is that it will tremendously help in improving user experience, no matter what device your visitors are using i.e. (mobile phones, tablets, or PCs).
So, if you want your WordPress site to reach the level of performance perfection, just follow these steps. It will enhance the speed and performance of your website and make it more user-friendly.
At last, I just wanted to say, if you liked my article or you have other ideas on how to improve the loading time of your WordPress site, don’t hesitate to share your views in the comment section below.