Your website speed is a factor that matters greatly. Why? If your website loads really slowly at a speed above 3 seconds, there is a very high tendency of you losing potential customers. Why? Today’s website users are easily put off by a slow loading website. It may seem like a fickle thing but statistics have shown this to be true.
A website with a slow load speed loses conversions, decreased bounce rates and even ranks low on SEO.
What is Bounce Rate and Loading Time?
This refers to the number of website visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page. In simpler terms, it means that when people visit your website, do they leave immediately after only seeing one page (maybe your homepage) or do they spend time on that site, exploring other pages?
Why is your Bounce Rate important?
I don’t have to tell you that a high bounce rate is good for sales, advertising and many more. Imagine if you have a restaurant, designed with beautiful chairs, elegant decors and staff, good music and good food but people only order for food in takeaway packs. Nobody sits down to eat or even just spend time in your restaurant. Wouldn’t you wonder why people don’t feel welcome to sit and eat? It’s the same thing as your website. Your website is your online office and if people just come, look at the front desk and leave, you will wonder why right?
What is Website Loading Time?
This refers to the time it takes to display all the contents on a website’s page. Research has shown that 47% of web visitors leave a website that does not load in 2 seconds or less. Web users today expect a very fast loading time and rightly so. Even search engines prioritize a fast loading time when assigning SEO rankings.
If you have gone through the trouble of designing a website, buying a domain name and hosting plan, you should also ensure that your website loads faster. It is like one renting an office space, hiring staff, only to have a bodyguard that chases customers away. It should be noted that while a 10 second loading time may be seen as average and moderately acceptable, most companies are opting for faster loading times especially as Fortune 500 companies are always ahead of the game by making sure their company’s website loads at least 2 seconds faster than the average loading time.
As more and more people move away from laptops to mobile phones when visiting websites, it has aslso become imperative that websites are tailored to mobile phone requirements.
Reasons Your Website may be Slow
Sometimes, a website would be badly built either by an amateur web developer or one in a hurry. Maybe the developer did a bad job because he/she felt underpaid. Whatever reason, a website that was poorly built will have loading problems.
Your Hosting Plan
If the hosting plan you bought is too small to carry the weight of all the contents of your website, your website would experience loading problems. In choosing the right hosting plan for your website, there are several factors that must be considered.
Secondly, choose a hosting provider who is efficient, reliable and quick to handle issues, just like Broaddrive. Some web owners may not be aware of some bad elements that may affect their website performance but a good hosting provider will spot problems, predict issues, fix them before they occur and even give you tips and strategies you can use to optimize your website.
When your website has so many visitors, it can make your website become slow, especially if your hosting plan or provider is not sufficient or not able to handle your site traffic. You should also avoid having many people using the back-end of your website at the same time.
Testing Your Website’s Speed
There are tools available for testing your website’s speed and performance, even free ones. Make sure you perform these tests multiple times so your result will be accurate. Ensure that these tests are done regularly.
To use this too, simply visit their website, input your website URL on their homepage and click on Analyze. This site gives you in-depth information about your website so it may take a while to load. It will even show you your number on the queue of analyzing requests on the site. Run this test severally so you can get a fairly accurate report.
All you need to do is visit their website, type in your website URL on their homepage and wait for the results to be delivered to you. This tool can show you other factors aside from loading time, including your site’s redirects, requests, and performance as compared with other sites.
10 Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Website for Speed
1. Update Your Site
It can be tasking when you get those notifications to update a particular theme, plugin or even WordPress itself. Don’t forget that an update means that errors have been fixed, the software is more secure and several other benefits. Updating your software keeps your site faster.
2. The Right Hosting Plan
When choosing a hosting plan for your business, it’s important that you pick a plan that will support all the contents of your website. Chose a hosting plan that accommodates all your HD pictures, videos, and content. Ensure that the servers are fast. No matter how much you optimize your page for speed, if the plan is too small or the server is slow, it won’t work.
At Broaddrive, we have several plans that are tailored to your needs. You can choose a shared plan, a cloud plan where your website is hosted on the cloud or a VPS/Dedicated hosting plan where one server is dedicated to your website and none other.
3. Image Optimization
Remember when we talked about HD images, videos? Using High-quality media for your website is very important but the down factor is that the files are usually too large. Before long, your bandwidth is full and you will have to update your plan or face slow loading time and issues.
However, you can optimize your media files to make them smaller without losing their quality. Use tools like TinyPNG which is free and easy to use. ShortPixel is a WordPress plugin that automatically optimizes images when you upload them to your site. You can use it to optimize even the previous images you may have uploaded on your site, saving your bandwidth and server space.
4. Content Delivery Network
You can use the Content Delivery Network to ensure fast delivery of your site in any part of the world. A CDN is a network of servers all over the world. This is how it works: You save a copy of your website in these servers and they will deliver your website to visitors around the world. You can use a WordPress plugin called Cloudflare to achieve this.
In terms of caching, please ensure that it is enabled for your website. Caching simply means that when a person visits your site for the first time, a copy of your web page is saved so that when they visit again, the saved page(s) is displayed. This means faster loading time as the user does not have to wait for the website to download from the server anymore. Don’t forget to clear your cache particularly as your website and its plugins, themes and integrations are updated. You can read all about caching here.
6. Optimize Your Databases
Just as you clean up your house when it is scattered and dirty, you should also clean up and organize your website database so you can throw away unused themes/plugins and create more space for new content.
The WP-DBManager is a plugin that can be used for this. It will repair, optimize and delete all unused themes/plugins for you.
Please create a backup for your website as an added precaution especially if you want to manually organize your website using PHP or cPanel.
A fast website brings great results. Contact us. We are always happy to help.