Is your site speed really slow? Did you know that if your site takes longer than 4 seconds to load, then people will leave? If your site is taking too long to load, it’ll not only impact on how many leads you get but also your SEO.
When you have a WordPress site that is loading slowly, this can cause
- Higher bounce rates (people get bored waiting for a website to load and click off)
- Lower conversions (a direct result of higher bounce rates)
- Have an impact on your SEO (Google includes site speed in ranking factors)
Ultimately, this can end up with your customers going to your competitors and not coming back. With this beginners guide, you’ll know how to speed up your site and the tools you need to get it faster.
Beginner’s Guide to Boosting Your WordPress Site Speed
3 Site Speed Tools
It’s essential to know where you currently stand. Let’s start by conducting a site speed test. Fortunately, there are several user-friendly tools available to help you with this task.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google gives you a tool, for free, to check your WordPress site page speed. It provides a score along with recommendations for improvement.
Google PageSpeed evaluates:
- Page load times
- Rendering issues
- Mobile and desktop performance
The tool assigns a performance score ranging from 0 to 100. This score is based on metrics First Contentful Paint (FCP), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
GTmetrix is a web-based performance analysis tool. It’s designed to evaluate the speed and performance of websites. Helping website owners understand how quickly web pages load and identifies areas for improvement.
One of GTmetrix’s key features is the waterfall chart, which visually displays the loading sequence of resources on a webpage. This chart is valuable for identifying bottlenecks and understanding which resources may be causing delays in page loading.
GTmetrix provides specific recommendations to optimize webpage performance. These recommendations are customized for each page and help users make improvements. Improvements such as:
- Image optimization
- Leveraging browser caching
- Reducing server response times
Overall, GTmetrix is a valuable tool for website optimization. They offer actionable insights and recommendations to create faster, more efficient websites that enhance the user experience.
Pingdom Website Speed Test
Pingdom Website Speed Test is an online tool helps website owners assess the speed and performance of their websites. It measures the loading times of web pages and identifies potential performance issues.
Key features of this tool includes measuring the time it takes for a webpage to load and providing a breakdown of the loading process. Users can see how long it takes for various elements like:
Overall, Pingdom Website Speed Test is a valuable tool for website optimization. They help website owners create faster and efficient websites that enhance the user experience.
These tools and resources are invaluable for conducting a thorough assessment of your website’s speed and performance. By utilizing them, you can gain insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your site’s speed. Thus enabling you to make informed decisions and prioritize optimizations that will enhance user experience.
Remember that site speed is a critical factor in retaining visitors.
4 Tips To Fix A Slow WordPress Site
Even though I cannot guarantee instead results. Each of these tricks to fix a low WordPress site is worth trying. Recommended is that you give each one a go. See what impact they have on your WordPress site speed and then move onto the next trick.
Shrink Your Images
Images on your WordPress site could possibly be too large. Image compression is your clear first trick to speed up your WordPress site. Small images are best for WordPress sites. Smaller images take up less memory space. Large images take up a lot of space. So your WordPress site has to work harder to load up.
You can resize images by clicking on images you already have on your WordPress library.
Next you want to edit the image and scale it. This is done by changing the pixels width.
Don’t know what your pixel’s width should be? Check out this user guide to images for WordPress sites.
Clean Up Your External & Internal Links
External and internal links are great for SEO and Google rankings. Google loves the user experience a WordPress site gives. External and internal links improve on the user experience. But beware! External and internal links need to be kept up to date and audited regularly. As sometimes, a link can lead to a page or post that no longer exists.
Clearly, this itself would lead to a poorer user experience and higher bounce rates.To help you fix these links that are broken, I recommend that you install the plugin ‘Broken Link Checker‘.
After you install and activate the plugin, it will appear on your dashboard. On your dashboard, you can see if there are any broken links. From there you can check the broken link yourself and see what issue you can resolve yourself.
Optimize For Mobiles
Clicking on your mobile to a website, you see that the layout is different. Navigation is different and popups are different, for example. To optimize your WordPress site for mobile, you need a plugin that can do this.
The plugin that I recommend for optimizing your WordPress site for mobiles is AMP for WP. Throughout your time using a WordPress site, you’re going to have various needs.
To use AMP for WP plugin, firstly install and activate it. Next, go to the settings and choose what you want to be optimized.
For example, I have posts and pages optimized. Plus, I have the plugin working alongside the Yoast SEO plugin. This helps with the SEO, which as I ‘m sure you know is vital for website traffic.
Clean Up Your WordPress Plugins
Deactivate and delete any WordPress plugins that you are no longer using. By removing plugins you’re no longer using, you free up space. Remember a WordPress site that has too much going on, take longer to load.
Longer to load equals higher bounce rates and lower conversions. Remove those WordPress plugins completely that you no longer use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Improving site speed is essential for enhancing user experience, SEO, and the overall success of a website. It involves technical optimizations, content management, and efficient coding practices. Website owners often use tools and services to assess and enhance these performance metrics, striving for faster loading times and better user engagement.
Site speed directly affects user experience. Fast-loading websites provide a better experience for visitors, keeping them engaged and reducing bounce rates. Slow-loading sites frustrate users and drive them away, potentially causing them to seek information or services elsewhere.
Ideally, a good site speed should result in web pages loading in 2 seconds. Research has shown that users tend to expect and prefer websites to load quickly, and they are more likely to abandon a site if it takes too long to load. This is particularly true for mobile users, who often have even less patience for slow-loading pages.
Several factors can contribute to slow site speed, and identifying the specific causes is crucial for optimizing website performance; web hosting, large media files, excessive http requests, no caching, not using a content delivery network (CDN), and mobile responsiveness.
Site speed can indeed affect Quality Score, but it’s not a direct or explicit factor in Google’s Quality Score algorithm. Quality Score primarily pertains to the quality and relevance of your ad campaigns, keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. It influences how your ads rank and the cost-per-click (CPC) you pay in Google Ads.
Don’t be intimidated by the technical aspects of site speed optimization. Start with the basics, use the tools mentioned in this guide, and gradually implement improvements. Remember, every millisecond counts when it comes to site speed, and small changes can make a big difference.
By following the steps outlined in this guide and regularly monitoring your site’s performance, you’ll be well on your way to creating a fast-loading and SEO-friendly WordPress website that keeps visitors coming back for more.