How to speed it up and why it matters

How often have you visited a slow website and given up before the page fully loads?

How many times have you gone to a competitor on the simple basis that their website loads a lot faster than your original choice?

In our fast-paced world, we expect websites to load instantly or we move straight on to the next option on the list. We have high expectations on the content we access online and refuse to wait for longer than necessary.

Whether it’s down to a bad hosting provider, poor code or too many unoptimised images, there are many reasons why a WordPress website is running slowly. As faster websites result in a better user experience, it’s worth the time and effort in investigating how to speed up your WordPress site if it’s become sluggish.

You may be thinking, “My website loads in a few seconds, that’s okay. Right?” But recent surveys by Akamai and Gomez.com have revealed that nearly 50% of web users expect a site to load in just 2 seconds. And even more concerning, they will abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Just imagine the potential traffic you could be losing as a direct result of a slow website.

Not only does a faster website lead to a greater user experience, it also helps to ensure your business maintains a high search engine ranking. Google’s search algorithm to determine how well websites rank depends on a variety of parameters, including page load times so it is an issue not to be ignored.

Here are the top three most common reasons for a slow WordPress website and how to fix them.

Poor hosting performance

It’s possible that where your website is hosted is unable to handle a large amount of traffic, particularly if you are using a shared hosting provider where you’re sharing a server with multiple other websites.

A great starting point is to find out whether you’re using a good hosting provider. Simply, contact the company directly and ask for names of other websites they host and see for yourself the length of time it takes to load. If they’re all slow, you can be fairly certain this is your problem.

The following tools can help you evaluate the performance of a website:

Inefficient code and plugins

Inefficient and excessive code can also slow down a WordPress website. This is one of the reasons why you should only use WordPress themes and plugins from trusted, reputable sources.

When coding your WordPress site, you may include lots of white space in order to make pages more readable, but removing line breaks and excess spacing can do wonders for condensing your code, shrinking file sizes, and maximising speed.

By disabling the unnecessary plugins you can also enhance the performance of your site. Always test a plugin before you decide to use it to see how it affects loading times. If you find it slows down your website, try to find a different way of fixing the issue the plugin was supposed to help you with.

Large, unoptimised images

Large images have the potential to really slow down a website which is why you should always resize each image you intend to use. Compressing images could make them smaller by 30% – 80% without any noticeable difference to the visitor.

Using the right image format can significantly reduce the file size and increase the site speed. File formats for images used for the web are JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG so make sure all your image files are uploaded in this format.

As image optimisation can have a drastic effect on the speed of your WordPress website, you’ll thank yourself later for learning how to put this into practice.

How WP Tech Support can help

Every second counts when it comes to page speed especially when speed can directly affect the user experience of your customers and your search engine ranking. Slow page loading times are common for WordPress websites and it can take time to figure out where the problems lie.

We can tune up your site to speed up page loading times and provide weekly WordPress Core, Theme & Plugin updates to keep your site in tip top shape. We will also carry out an initial SEO audit of your website to improve your search engine visibility.

A WordPress Support plan will optimise your site to speed up page loading times and provide a pleasant user experience for your visitors. As speed can directly affect your sales by increasing conversion rates, it is vital to keep your WordPress site working efficiently.

Take a look at our monthly plans to find out more. It is simple to sign up for single or multiple sites and there are no long- term contracts – and if you’re not 100% happy with our service then we will happily refund your monthly plan payment.

Don’t let a sluggish site lose you customers!