In our society, when we want something, we want it fast and we want it now. Speed is the key to success in just about anything you do. In the World Wide Web, a single second can mean the difference between success and utter failure. It’s scary to think about, but I’m here to help you better understand WordPress optimization.
We’re going to look at all the ways your website loading speed affects your success and your SEO. After that we’ll look at a powerful infographic filled with ways you can speed up your site. Finally, I’ll offer some tips of my own for putting the pedal to the metal.
How to Speed Up Your WordPress Website (Infographic)
Why Your Website’s Speed Should Matter to You (And Your Optimization)
You may look at your website and feel like it loads pretty fast, but pretty fast isn’t good enough.
Here’s the deal:
The speed of a website matters to both search engines and to people. As we know, anything that matters to them, matters to us. Let’s go back to 2010 for a moment.
It was during this year that Google posted an article on their Webmaster Central Blog where they stated that the speed of a website is used in determining a website’s search ranking.
If speed is a ranking factor, then the SEO guru inside of you will most certainly be interested in how you can improve it. Beyond this fact, Google also provides a few tools for measuring and improving your website’s speed. Combine these tools with others to measure and understand where you stand.
- PageSpeed Insights – used to see a score based on your website’s desktop and mobile speeds and how to improve them.
- Google Analytics – you will find site speed reports within this handy tool as well.
- Pingdom Website Speed Test – this handy tool will give you a technical breakdown of how fast things are loading and where you’re being held back.
Awesome, so now we have all these tools for measuring speed, but beyond SEO, why should you be concerned with how many seconds it takes to load your website?
Check out these statistics:
- A one second delay in your loading speed results in an 11% drop in page views and a 7% drop in conversions, along with a 16% drop in customer satisfaction, according to the Aberdeen Group.
- Findings from Econsultancy research showed that 47% of consumer expect to wait no longer than two seconds for a web page to load. In addition 88% of consumers will shop somewhere else and tell their friends about the bad experience if the load times are too long.
- Findings on NeilPatel.com revealed that 18% of mobile users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in less than five seconds. If that number jumps to ten seconds, then 30% will abandon it completely.
- To put things in perspective, a one second delay in loading time would cost a company like Amazon $1.6 billion in revenue per year!
I know that’s a lot of information to digest, but let’s put it all into perspective.
What Factors Affect Website Speed?
Let’s answer the question on everyone’s minds right now:
What affects my website’s speed?
Here’s the breakdown of the most common factors that can help (or hurt) your loading times.
- Your Hosting Provider
That’s right, the problem can run deep. In some cases, a slow website isn’t your fault.Instead, the servers that are hosting it on the internet are to blame. For example, there’s a wide range of shared hosting options out there, but by the very definition of shared hosting, you are splitting resources from the same server with multiple websites.
Depending on how well this is managed, and if there’s the presence of CPU throttling in place, being on a shared or even VPS hosting plan can slow your website down. Dedicated hosting is one solution, but this isn’t a viable option for many small or medium-sized websites.
Look for shared hosting plans that promise speed in the form of features like a content delivery network (CDN) which will deliver content to users based on their geographic location.
- Your Website’s Technology and Coding
The way your website (and by extension your plugins) are built can drastically alter how they affect your loading speed as a whole. The reason I usually recommend WordPress is because they are one of the top content management systems that contribute to an efficient and fast loading website.
What it comes down to is that the foundation of your website and the way your subsequent plugins are coded will directly affect if they benefit or drag down your website’s speed.
- The Content on Your Website
I know what you’re thinking:
How can words slow down my website?
It’s not the words you should be looking at, but everything surrounding them. Many website owners don’t realize that images, widgets, and even background analytics on your pages can cause slowdown.
That’s why I always recommend compressing your images using a tool like Optimizilla. Not only is it free, but it drastically reduces the size of your image files without sacrificing quality. You can also use plugins like the ones mentioned in the infographic for caching, compressing, and otherwise optimizing your website for SEO.
WordPress optimization is about more than your website’s speed, but almost everything you do in your optimizing will contribute to a better, more powerful, and faster version of your WordPress website. Knowing how to keep your website running fast and which plugins to help you do it will give you invaluable knowledge that will bring you one step closer to success.
Thanks for reading and be sure to let us know how you were able to optimize your WordPress with this information in the comments!