Congratulations! You already have your WordPress site up and running. But here is one thing you need to remember.
How fast your website loads is crucial to your own success.
According to Microsoftt Bing, a 2-second delay in page responsiveness reduced user satisfaction by 3.8% and increased lost revenue per user by 4.3%, and a reduced clicks by 4.3%.
Even if you got a beautiful website design and contents, if your site runs like a snail, you will turn off your readers and scare them away.
Site load time affects whether or not your visitors would remain in your site. Your visitors (like yourself) are a bunch of impatient people. A site that loads slowly wouldn’t stand a chance in this fast-paced world.
When your visitor leaves your site because it loads slowly, your drop-off or bounce rate would spike and your site rating would come down, too. A high bounce rate is a big turn – off for Google. Expect your search engine ranking to be affected when you have a high bounce rate.
Therefore, It is very important for you to spend time and effort to tweak and improve your website speed. Survey shows that 4 out of 5 visitors leave a site if it is slow. That’s a whooping 80%. Improving your site load time should be your priority.
You can visit Pingdom and check your own loading speed to know how fast is your website compared to the rest of the sites in the internet.
So I head over pingdom and check SellOnlineWithStyle loading time.
I got a loading time of 1.51 seconds which is faster than 81% of the tested sites. Not bad!
1.Thrive Themes + Less Plugins
There are so many beautiful WordPress themes available in the market. However, some wordpress developers go for beautiful designs at the expense of speed.
I use thrive themes and all its plugins. The good thing about thrive themes, it was designed by Shane and his team with speed and conversion on their mind.
Using thrive themes WordPress themes and plugins also helps me use fewer plugins since most of the plugin functionalities are integrated on the thrive theme designs. The best part, thrive themes look good too.
However, If you are just starting and budget is tight, go for simple designs. You can try Franklin WordPress theme.
You also need to remember that less plugins means faster website. Be deliberate in cutting the number of plugins you are using. It is tempting to load a sophisticated themes for your site with all the bells and whistles. It is also tempting to add as many plugins as possible to make your site look great.
But remember at the end of the day, a slow website is a big NO for your online business.
2. Choose a Good Web Hosting Provider
A site’s performance is affected by your web hosting service.
I had my own share of bad experiences when I bought a cheap Webhost package last year. I bought Ipage Webhost service for $65 for 3 years to host several of my WordPress sites. I thought I got a very good deal. I thought it was a steal!
However, my sites are loading so slow. Waiting for them to load feels like eternity.
So I decided and moved all my websites to a better Webhost at the last minute. Goodbye $65.00. This is a classic example of you get what you are paying for.
At the moment, I know of 4 webhosts that are optimized for WordPress sites. The 3 comes with very expensive monthly prices so I decided to go for the 4th one.
WPEngine webhost costs around $250/month. Pagely webhost costs around $149/month. Pressable webhosting costs $90/month.
I did not use any of the 3 wordpress-optimized webhosting service because it will significantly increase my monthly operating expense. I found another one that comes at at lesser price but at a better performance.
I am using their webhost service and I love their performance. You can check out the webhost service I am talking about here.
3. Optimize Your Images
A site without images is plain and boring. Try reading a flood of contents without pictures. Yucks! Tiring to the eyes. So if you want to improve your contents you need to add images.
“Indeed, a picture is worth a thousands words.”
However, images take up more space and bandwidth compared to text. They can dramatically slow down your website.
For my part, thrive themes do the image compression automatically during the image upload.
If you don’t have thrive themes, use an image optimizer that will automatically optimize your images and reduce their size without significant reduction in your image quality.
You can use WP-SmushIt and Lazy Load JQuery.
WP-SmushIT compress your image size for faster loading. JQuery plugin loads your image in the upper portion of your contents first. Then as your reader scrolls down the page, your images on the lower portion gets loaded.
These 2 plugins will help you optimize your images for faster load time.
4. Disable Hot Linking
What is hot linking?
Hotlinking happens when another website displays an image of your site by linking to it directly rather than saving a copy of it.
There are 2 issues with hot linking.
First, copyright issue. Hotlinking allows other websites to show your own image without your own permission.
Second, bandwidth thief. As other sites link directly to your images, once their readers view their site, your website will be the one to load the image. This causes your own site to use up your own allocated bandwidth with your own webhost server. This slows down your site. Hotlinking increases your bandwidth server usage that could make you pay more for the webhost bandwidth you have never used.
Solution: Disable hotlinking in your website.
If you are an advance user, you can do some .htaccess programming to disallow hot linking. Just make sure that you allow your own site to link to your own images. Otherwise, your images will not also be shown in your website posts.
I use WP Security plugin to disable hotlinking on my site. I just choose the option disable hotlinking and disable iframing.
5. Use WP Cache Plugin
What is WordPress Cache?
Cache is a computer term for storing important files for faster loading time or retrieval time.
One of the things that WordPress cache do is to generate static html files based from your dynamic WordPress files. Html files load faster than WordPress PHP scripts.
You need to find a good WordPress cache plugin to do the job for you.
I use WP Super Cache. There are other good wordpress cache plugin that you can also use like W3 Total Cache.
6. WP Database Optimization
WordPress uses PHP (programming language) to store and retrieve data from the database. The information stored in a WordPress database includes your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, custom fields, users and site urls.
Remember that during the WordPress installation, you provided for your username and password?
WordPress uses the information to create tables and store default installation data inside those tables.
After the installation, WordPress runs queries to this database to dynamically generate HTML pages for your website or blog.
This is what makes WordPress extremely powerful because you don’t have to create a new .html file for each page that you want to create. WordPress handles everything dynamically.
But after a while, your files in the database becomes fragmented.
You will need to defragment those files to speed up your wordpress site.
Fortunately, you can optimize your WP database easily using WP-optimize.
7. WordPress Revisions
Did you know that WordPress store every revision you make when writing down your post by default?
So, if it took me 10 revisions before I publish this post, I would have all versions saved in the database.
This takes up unwanted space. You can speed up and improve your WordPress performance by controlling the number of revisions you are keeping.
WP-optimize can also help you with this issue.
So that’s it!
There are many factors affecting your website load time but the main problems could be addressed if you start doing those 7 things. You don’t need to be web techie to start implementing those items.
So do them now and tell us your results.
Did your website improve in speed? Share it on the comments. Got questions? Add it also. I’ll do my best to help.
Hi there! I hope you found what you were looking for within this page. I'm Jeff and I own Sell Online With Style. I first started my online business 2009. I was making money online by promoting health products and stock market newsletter. I spend most of my time now teaching others to sell online. What's the FIRST STEP to succeed online? Visit my #1 Recommended training course and create your FREE account today!.