There are over 60million websites currently using the WordPress platform and content management system (CMS). This number includes sites hosted on the actual WordPress site, as well as those that use external web hosting but continue to use the WordPress CMS.
Despite there being hundreds of custom WordPress themes, plug-ins, applications, and various other features that users can take advantage of to make their site unique, the fact remains that most of the time, it is extremely easy to tell if as site is a WordPress site or not. If it is, then there is nothing wrong with that. However, all site owners, not just WordPress customers, are always looking to have the quickest, best performing site possible.
The Power of Speed:
Various pieces of research suggest that three seconds is how long your site and its pages should be taking to load. Given that different research has shown top sites like Amazon and eBay to fall well outside that, we’ll take that with a pinch of salt. At the same time, you have to know that big brands are going to be given more slack by browsers. If your small business WordPress site is slow, there’ll be no sympathy.
Here are some tips for speeding it up.
Look at Your Server:
Is your site on a U.S. based server, but you’re actually targeting browsers in the UK? If so, you’re experiencing a familiar problem, one that is slowing down your site and undermining your objectives massively.
Ensure your server is based where the majority of your customers are, so that they’re getting the experience they should be whenever they head to your site.
Compress All Images:
Some guides such as this one are saying, “Remove your images,” but where would the sense in that be when web design is focused on visuals more than ever?
If you’re using your website for blogging, images will make it more engaging and attractive, too.
The answer is simple: keep the images, but compress them, before you upload them. You do this because even if your site automatically reduces the actual size, the file size remains the same. Image Optimizer is a great tool for doing this, and can reduce file size by up to 80%.
Using Minify in addition to compressing images yourself will make your site even quicker, as it streamlines everything so your server can load it quicker.
A note of caution, however; don’t believe that, because you’re using Minify, that it is okay to load up your site with heavy functions and applications. All that will do is give back the performance gains you’ve earned, and possibly make your site even more of an ordeal for browsers. Rather than seeing Minify as an opportunity to make your site more complex, see it as your chance to make a simple site even better.
Take Advantage of the Cache:
You’ll need to use a WordPress caching plug-in for this feature, but it’ll take a significant chunk of time off your page loading times. Caching works by storing your data externally, so that repeat users can get data from there rather than having to put pressure on your server each time they land on your site. If you have static web content, this will massively reduce loading times of pages, and your servers’ workload, as browsers will just get the same data repeatedly from the cache.
The Big Impact:
If you put all of these ideas into practice together, you can expect to see an improvement in page loading times of up to 65%. In a world where time really is money and people want data immediately, can you afford not to be doing more to get your important information in front of your customers’ eyes quicker?
Image credit: Unsplash