Have you been struggling to increase your website loading speed? Well, you are not alone, many webmasters 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 experienced the same difficulty on another website other than yours. You get to this website and you 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 requests a page from the browser and the time 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 websites. 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 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. 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 imagine 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 come 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 is 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 be 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 site’s performance and the user experience. Search engines like Google will also penalize a slow loading site.
Is hard for those websites to reach page one on the search engine results page.
Your website’s speed also determines your organic traffic. The higher your website on Google gets, the 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 it 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
This tool is not gonna help you speed up your website. But it 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 website’s 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 site’s speed.
You can just type in your url and see how many seconds it takes for your site to load. If your site takes at least 5 seconds to load that means you are close. But you can still improve to 4 seconds or even 2 seconds.
Google offers top free marketing tools and Google Analytics is one of many. 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 do 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 states 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 images you can upgrade your account or wait until next month. You can optimize bulk images with both of these 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 on different servers in different countries.
This is to help cache web files to different servers so that it brings them closer to people who might be searching for your site.
Let’s say your website is hosted on 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 are Akamai and Amazon. These companies have huge servers around the world, their services might be a bit expensive though.
But guess what? There are some plugins that have the features of Content Delivery Network in them. You just install and activate the plugin and also the CDN.
We’ll highlight them later in the plugin section.
Free WordPress Plugins that will help you increase your website speed include:
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 these plugin.
Everything has already been taken care of 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 you 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 plugins 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 settings and to set the plugin. You should really pay attention to mobile seo optimization so that your site can be found on mobile devices.
Beware if your web hosting company
Some web hosting companies have a lot going, they might be the ones slowing 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 with my 2 blogs. You can choose the best hosting company here
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 and saves time.
Clean up your WordPress Database
After sometime your wordpress database will collect data that is not required or won’t be necessary any more. Things like trashed posts, spam comments, pingbacks can overweight your database over time.
So install plugins like WP Optimize to clean up your database once in a while. You can install the plugin after it does its 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 altogether.
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.
I hope you learned something about ways to speed up your website and 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.