WordPress is one of the most popular web development platforms due to its huge array of plugins, fantastic support, and simple approach to web design. Millions of businesses create their websites using WordPress but a common issue found is page loading speeds.
Oftentimes WordPress websites can feel a little sluggish and take longer to load even simple HTML pages. Why is this and what can your business do to avoid these pitfalls? We look at optimization techniques below and why they are important.
The Importance of Speed for Your WordPress Site
So why is speed important for your WordPress site? There are two reasons – for user experience, and for SEO.
Firstly, no one wants to waste time waiting for a web page to load! We have much shorter attention spans these days and instead of waiting for your site to load, many customers will simply click off and go elsewhere! Fast loading times help customer retention.
Secondly, Google favors websites with fast loading times and optimized pages. It isn’t a major factor compared to keywords and optimized content but every WordPress SEO consulting company knows slow sites = poor SEO.
Five Ways to Boost WordPress Site Loading Times
The great thing about WordPress is that it is highly customizable and there is many tweaks and changes you can make to improve site loading times including:
1. Optimize Images
Images are one of the main causes of slow loading times. It is vital that you optimize all images on your WordPress theme and each web page. You can use tools like Tinypng which uses smart compression to reduce the file size of your web images without a huge decrease in quality.
2. Utilize a Caching Plugin
Did you know that each time a WordPress page is loaded it is effectively dynamically created on-the-fly? This can cause slow loading times due to the processing needed to formulate and display the code each time. You can use caching plugins that help with this and allow for page content to be cached for quicker repeat loading.
3. Choose the Right Hosting Plan
WordPress is the web development platform but you still need a hosting package from a third-party provider. If you find that loading times are slow, it could be a hosting issue. This is common if you use a shared hosting package where you are allocated space on a server and not guaranteed bandwidth.
4. Make Sure WordPress and Plugins are Updated
Over time WordPress receives updates and this is true for any plugins you use too. Outdated plugins or using an older version of WordPress could result in loading issues. For example, the latest version may fix bugs that affect loading times. Always keep your WordPress version and plugins up to date with the latest patches.
5. Split Customer Comments Into Pages
If your web content allows customer comments this can greatly affect loading times. Having comments and positive customer engagements is great for SEO, but you need to manage them effectively. A great idea is to split your comments into pages – such as 10 comments per page. This reduces loading times as WordPress will only load the first 10 comments unless a user clicks on the next comment page.
Boost Your WordPress Site Performance for Better SEO Today
There are many other tricks and optimization hacks you can use to improve loading times but the above five pointers are a great starting point. Don’t forget to use tools like PageSpeed Insights from Google that will highlight errors and parts of your WordPress site that is causing loading issues.