Two main reasons why you should worry about your site speed –
- Around half of the web audience expects a site to get fully loaded within 2 seconds. And about 40% of your traffic will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. You would never want to risk such a high traffic loss, would you ?
- Search Engines will rank you lower if your site does not perform well on the speed parameter. Google takes into consideration a site’s speed when it calculates its rank in the search results.
A delay in seconds could cost your site a lot of business.
If your WordPress website is running slow, here is a list of 7 of the most common mistakes that you may have committed.
1. Have you used freebies on your site ?
It is so difficult to resist a good looking free theme – Even if it is developed by a third party that you do not know much about. Often such themes contain unnecessary codes that run in the background and cause more loading time for the site.
If you use free themes or plugins at your WordPress site, you must ensure that the developer team behind these themes or plugins is trustworthy.
2. Do you really need all the plugins that you have installed at your site ?
Is is important to install only the required plugins at a site. Every time you load a site, all the plugins installed at the site are loaded. Unnecessary plugins mean poor loading times. You must remove the plugins that you no longer need on your site.
3. Got a Stuffed homepage ?
Every site owner wishes to have an impressive homepage. People often commit the mistake of adding a lot of widgets to the homescreen. While such settings add more visual appeal to a page, they result in the site taking longer to load.
Minimalist design is the key to creating effective homepages. Use only the required widgets.
4. Does the problem lie with hosting ?
Ask yourself if you have settled in for a cheap hosting plan. The success of a site depends very highly upon hosting. If you are really serious about your site, you must buy a respectable hosting for it. Shared hosting comes at discounted rates but you have to compromise with the site speed.
Bluehost powers millions of website all over the world. Another very tempting reason to sign up for Bluehost is that you receive a free domain with the sign up. If you are planning a new site or are looking to migrate to a better hosting service, Bluehost is a great option to consider. Click here to sign up for Bluehost.
WP Engine is another very powerful hosting service. You have to shell out a lot more money for getting this service as compared to the other options, but this may not matter much if your primary concern is getting the best security, support and stability for your site.
You get a 60-Day money back guarantee with WP Engine. Click here to sign up for WP Engine.
5. Does your site lack a caching plugin ?
A cache plugin maintains cached copies of the site pages. When a request for any of your pages is received, a cache plugin refers to the cached copies and delivers the requested content from the cached pages instead of the trying to retrieve the content from the server. This is very effective in improving a site’s performance.
6. Have you considered a CDN ?
CDN is short for content delivery network. A CDN is a network of servers that are spread across the globe. A cached or zipped version of the web pages is stored on the servers in a CDN. Depending upon the location of the visitor, a content deliver network uses a server that is placed closest to the server to deliver the requested content. This helps in eliminating a lot of lag introduced due to the distance between a visitor and a server.
Cloudflare provides complimentary CDN with each setup.
7. Ignoring images ?
Using high quality images could be disastrous for your site speed. You must optimize these images so that they cause the least impact on your site loading time.
Smush.it – This is a tool by Yahoo. It is a popular image optimization tool. You could use it to remove any extra bytes from an image. Smush.it provides loss-less optimization – that it, there is no loss of quality in the optimized images. The same visual quality as contained in the original image is maintained.
Tools that will help –
Google PageSpeed – This tool identifies all the areas of your website that can be optimized for better performance. It scores your site on the performance practices that you have used at your site.
PageSpeed gives suggestions for improving your site’s performance. It also provides a set of optimization tools that can be used to automate the process of employing all the suggestions that it gives.
In addition to analysis, YSlow also provides suggestions for improving a web page’s performance.
Pingdom – Pingdom provides a set of free analysis tools. These tools can be used to perform a thorough analysis of a site’s performance on various critical parameters like speed, size and load time.