Slow and steady may win the race in some aspects. But if your site is slow, you don’t only lose the race, but you’ll also lose your business. That’s because speed is everything online.
In a recent study, it showed that individuals don’t complete their online purchase because the site loads slow. That said, make sure to speed up your site and optimize its performance at all times.
But before you can tackle how to improve its speed, let’s take a look at the two factors that cause a slow website.
Large number of unoptimized images
Full-sized photos consume a lot of bandwidth when loading. That said, make sure to resize your images. Adjust the image tag and set the right height and width.
Images aren’t part of the page file but inserted in a page when a browser views them. That said, a page with one image has two files, i.e. HTML and image file.
When scaling the images, make sure to do it proportionally so that they won’t stretch or skew. Changing its image format, like GIF or PNG, may also reduce file size. Consider reducing its quality by tweaking simple settings without making the images look bad.
The use of Flash can slow down a site significantly. That’s because it’s big and bulky. Furthermore, it’s not compatible with mobile devices. So, if your audience is mostly mobile users, then they can’t access it. Because of its effects on websites, Adobe is pulling the plug on Flash in 2020.
A slight lag in loading can still discourage people from visiting and re-visiting your site. And it doesn’t stop there. Google abhors slow website, and it may penalize it. Because it discourages visitors, your site gets low average conversion rate.
What can you do?
Use modern theme
But make sure that it’s simple.
A WordPress theme may consist of several files and functions. Thus, they affect your site’s loading time.
If your site has a complicated theme, it’s going to take longer to load than a basic theme. Opt for themes with features that you need and not those templates filled with functionalities that aren’t even useful for your site. Choose a theme with simple yet elegant coding.
Make use of a caching plugin
Cache is a part of a computer’s memory that stores recently used information. Things move in and out of this memory without you noticing them.
To make this concept work for your site, choose to install a caching plugin if you’re using a WordPress site. This plugin allows quick pulling of data out of a local cache so the site loads faster because it doesn’t reload fully each time a person visits it.
W3 Total Cache is a popular plugin for this purpose. It’s free to use but if your site is large, opt for its paid add-ons.
As mentioned earlier, unoptimized images can make your site suffer. To resolve that, make sure to reduce their image quality by using an image optimizer plugin. It compresses image file sizes as soon as you upload them.
This kind of plugin uses an algorithm that strips off hidden details of images. That’s why images remain the same while shrinking the file size.
Another thing you can do is to use a plugin that doesn’t load images unless they become visible on the screen. With it, images won’t load until it recognizes that the user scrolls down. As a result, it won’t waste loading time.
Pingbacks and trackbacks allow interaction of a WordPress site with other blogs. They’re useful because they let you know what blogs are linking to your site.
But most of them are spam. Keep in mind that trackbacks can increase spammers’ rankings.
So, turn off pingbacks and trackbacks.
Be vigilant always
Your site may be loading fast now, but you must remain vigilant. Thus, check it regularly by using free tools or plugins.
Use PageSpeed Insights of Google in assessing your site and knowing how to improve its grade. Some of its suggestions would include optimizing your images, which we discussed earlier.
If your WordPress site still suffered from slow speed, the main culprit would be the plugins. Use another plugin to see which ones consume most of your site resources.
Remove those plugins that are taking a large piece of your resources, if your site could still function without them.
Analyze your code
Some codes are bulky, and they can cause roadblocks for your site. CSS codes, for example, utilize white space to make pages readable. But too much white space could affect site’s performance.
The good thing is that you can eliminate much of it without compromising readability. So, remove excess spacing, shrink file sizes while maximizing your site’s speed.