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Has your website been performing slowly lately? It’s a frustrating thing that can lead to fewer users visiting your site, which means fewer sales and leads. Improving website speed enhances the user experience, increases pageviews, and positively impacts WordPress SEO. This article will provide the most effective tips for optimizing WordPress performance and speeding up your website.
Website speed is crucial in converting customers and keeping potential clients on your website. Your website's speed affects many different aspects of your presence online and is important to focus on for several reasons.
Slow-loading websites can be frustrating for users especially because attention spans have dropped to less than 7 seconds. A slow website can lead to a high bounce rate which means people will simply close your website and go somewhere else if it doesn’t load fast enough.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engines take website speed into consideration when ranking your website online. Fast websites are likely to rank higher, bringing in more organic traffic. Google places a high priority on speed for all web products, with Matt Cutts (formerly the head of web spam at Google) confirming that fast load speed is viewed as a positive ranking factor by the company. However, it's important to note that Google does not recommend sacrificing content quality or relevance in order to achieve faster web page speeds.
Mobile First Experience
With the meteoric rise in smartphone usage over the past 15 years, a mobile-first approach has been adopted placing a higher weight on mobile optimisation. With the majority of page views coming from phones, it is extremely important to optimise a page to load fast on these devices.
In many cases, people think their website is fast just because it loads fast on their connection. This is not the case sometimes. If you visit your own website frequently, modern browsers like Chrome will store the website in the cache and prefetch it as soon as you start typing the address, making it load quickly.
But, this may not be the case for first-time visitors or those accessing the website from different geographical locations. The experience of these users can vary greatly.
Use Good Website Hosting
Using a good website host may sound easy but it is a little tricker than some people think. Good hosting means that performance is put first and extra steps will be taken to ensure the speed and security of your website.
The Get Noticed team can help you secure good website hosting and ensure the necessary steps are taken for the site to be set up and securely correctly.
Keeping Your WordPress Site Updated
As WordPress is an open-source project, it undergoes frequent updates, which not only provide new features but also address security concerns and fix bugs. Your WordPress theme and plugins may also have regular updates.
As the website owner, it's your responsibility to keep your WordPress site, theme, and plugins up to date with the latest versions. Neglecting to do so can result in a slow and unreliable website, as well as leaving you vulnerable to security threats.
Using a Caching Plugin
WordPress pages are dynamic in nature, which means they are constructed each time someone visits a post or page on your website. To construct these pages, WordPress must go through a process to gather the necessary information, combine it, and display it to the user.
This process involves multiple steps and can significantly slow down your website if multiple people are visiting at once. This is why using a caching plugin for your WordPress site is highly recommended. Caching can increase the speed of your WordPress site by 2 to 5 times.
There are a lot of good caching plugins out there but highly recommend using a premium plugin such as WPRocket which is super easy to set up and use.
Alternatively, premium caching, along with a range of other services, is included as standard when your site is managed and maintained by the Get Noticed team.
Optimising Images For Fast Loading
Images add vibrancy to your content and enhance engagement. Research has shown that the use of coloured visuals increases the likelihood of people reading your content by 80%.
However, if your images are not optimized, they can do more harm than good. Non-optimized images are a common issue that affects the speed of many websites.
Before uploading photos directly from your phone or camera, we suggest using photo editing software to optimise the images for the web. Original photos can have large file sizes, but through the right file format and compression in your editing software, you can reduce the size of your images by up to 5 times.
We recommend using jpg or png formats that are compressed using a service such as ShortPixel. You can even go one step further and use new image formats such as webp, which is becoming widely adapted online.
If You're Using a Theme, Choose a Good One or Don’t Use One At All
When choosing a theme for your website, it is crucial to consider speed optimization. While some visually stunning themes may look impressive, they can often have poor code and significantly slow down your site.
It's generally better to opt for a simpler theme rather than one that is filled with intricate designs, flashy animations, and other unneeded features. You can always enhance your website with these features through the use of quality WordPress plugins.
In saying this, if you do want your site to perform the best it can, we recommend not using a theme and instead using a lightweight page builder. Get Noticed does not use themes in any way at all, instead, all our websites are built using industry-leading and lightweight solutions which have minimal bloat and are built with performance in mind which means your website performs better.
Speak with us about having your site built or rebuilt using our industry-leading solutions.
A website should not be treated as a one-off project, it isn’t a set-and-forget situation. When a website is built, it should be maintained to ensure the performance stays optimal.
We offer a Maintenance & Upkeep package to ensure your website stays performing at a high standard. We include industry-leading plugins and systems built into the price to ensure performance is maintained and to avoid any additional subscription and management costs on your end.
We provide an all-in-one solution for keeping your website performing how it should be the day it is launched. Speak with us about how your website’s performance can be optimised and get ahead of your competition.
Ready to start a project? Brief in our team and let’s get started.
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