How often have you been frustrated at the slow loading speed of a particular website? Now, imagine the shoe on the other foot – the reaction that you had to the slow loading speed is exactly the same as the ones your customers have, when faced with the issue of your slow WordPress website speed. It is one thing to be just cursing out but the issue is that slow load speeds can often lead to web abandonment. And that is precisely the reason that you need to read the rest of the article so that you can understand the issue of WordPress website speed better.
Google has made page speed a ranking signal since 2010; it had finally taken note of the sheer frustration experienced by countless users on coming across the “page loading” notification and had decided to make it a ranking signal. Essentially, this basically means that those pages that load fast enough will get ranked higher than pages that load slower, as long as the page is relevant, spot on and not filled with some gibberish. In simple terms, as long as your page is relevant to your website and is filled with coherent information, then it will get ranked higher provided the pages load fast enough. This should be reason enough for you to start using your plugins and try and improve the speed of your pages. It is important that you utilize all the help you can get to improve the speed of your pages so that you get to rank higher. And this is exactly the reason why you need to go all out to ensure that the pages to your website loads at optimal speeds, so that you can rank higher than your competition and take advantage of the same. It is important to stress that Google does not reward low quality pages so make sure that your pages are relevant and provide the necessary information that an online user may be looking for.
One of the interesting things is that when it comes to e commerce, various studies have found that a sharp increase in the page load times often lead to more conversions and sales. And what more do you need to convince you to speed up those pages? When customers shop online, they often expect instant gratification which is why a “page loading” notification is bound to frustrate them and turn them away from your website. And this is precisely why you need to make sure that your WordPress website speed is at optimal levels. Moreover, this is bound to boost their user experience and as a result, they are bound to return back as well. And of course, they are more than likely to spread the word about your website as well. And that is why it is essential that you ensure that all your pages load at optimal speeds so that none of your customers go dissatisfied. Remember that you are running an online business and it is on you to ensure that your visitors’ user experience is good enough to get the t return back and this should, in turn, help boost up that conversion rate as well. To help put it in perspective, Mozilla enjoyed 60 million more firefox downloads after they boosted their speed by 2.2 seconds, and that’s a phenomenal number. This is why it is critical that you improve your WordPress website speed, especially if you are running an ecommerce store.
One of the other reasons that you may want to consider increasing your WordPress website speed is on account of the fact that most online users tend to check websites out via their phones and other hand held devices. The first thing that you need to ensure is that your website is mobile friendly. That being said, with mobile devices seeing greater traction, you need to make sure that your prospective customers can review/ check your website and access its functionality without a hitch. And if your pages load slowly enough, they are not going to stick around for long. Most online users have a short attention span and there is no reason to believe that the same logic does not apply to mobile users either. Given the short attention span of mobile users, this is the reason why you need to ensure that your pages load fast and immediately, without causing the user to experience any loss of functionality in any form or the other. And that is why you need to use plugins to ensure that all your pages can be viewed right away without any loss of functionality in a mobile phone or any hand held device as well. Just remember that most mobile users may even grade your website or review the same, so it is in your interest to make your website mobile friendly and fast loading at the same time.
How to improve your speed?
When it comes to improving the speed of your website, there are a few things that you need to do, it would be a good idea to prep a checklist so that you can cross each item as you come across it.
1. Migrate from shared hosting to VPS:
As your website becomes more popular and as you install more user centric applications on your website, it maybe time for you to move away from shared hosting to a more dedicated form of hosting, such as VPS.
2. Optimize your content:
You need to optimize your content to make your pages load faster; and that means making your large images smaller. There are various plugins that you can use, that can help trim those images so that your pages load faster.
3. Caching plugin:
There are quite a few reasons as to why you want to use caching plugin; for starters, it can help you cache content which you can then display to visitors and for another, it can help your pages load much faster than before.
GZIP is a handy tool that helps to compress the content; with it, you can go for lossless compression without any negative impact on the quality of the image itself. Given this, you may want to install GZip on your website, at the earliest.
This is why you need to pay attention to your page speed at all times. And you may want to keep in mind that as you run more widgets and user centric applications on your website, it is bound to cause your speed to drop quite a bit. And that is why you need to carefully review all the applications and widgets you are currently running on your website, especially if you hope to improve the speed to optimal levels.