If your WordPress site loads slowly, you’re losing readership. People get impatient. For every tenth of a second before a page comes up, some readers will give up and try something else. Besides, search engines give a lower rank to sites that load slowly, so fewer people will find it in the first place. A fast-loading WordPress site will bring more people in, and it will leave them with a good impression so they’ll come back.
You’ll see lots of tips on the Web on how to improve your loading time. Not all of them make enough difference to worry about, and some don’t matter at all. Focus on the key points, and you’ll get more return for your effort.
The most important factor is your site’s host. If you choose the least expensive hosting, you get what you pay for. A business site is important enough to invest some money in.
A good host has high uptime, a fast Internet connection, reliable support, and enough processing power to handle all its sites comfortably. A poorly run host doesn’t do so well on these points. In addition, it may have badly configured DNS records, so that it takes time for browsers just to locate your site on the Internet.
Our services include hosting on a dedicated server with very fast server response time. Plus our team provides all of the server maintenance, security, backups, performance tuning, and more. Sign up for our WordPress hosting services here.
Don’t run to excess with plugins. Each one adds some overhead, and some impose a significant burden without doing anything especially useful. Review your plugins and decide whether you can do without some of them. Ones that operate on the database or pull in content from other sites are especially prone to slowing a site down. Deactivate or delete the ones you don’t need. (Hint: Nobody needs the “Hello, Dolly” plugin.)
Large images and autoplay videos can drag a site down. Background videos are a dubious luxury. If you have one that really enhances your site, it may be worth it, but don’t add one just for the sake of having a video.
Try to keep image files under 100 kilobytes. You can reduce bigger ones either by changing the pixels dimensions or by giving up a little JPEG quality. You might be able to replace a PNG file with a JPEG that looks the same but is smaller.
Downloadable fonts may look nice, but they add to the time it takes to display text. Sometimes the right font is important, but consider whether standard fonts will make just as good an impression with less overhead.
If you have a blog with pictures, use the editor’s “More” button to limit the amount of each post that’s shown on the main page. Some pictures are nice, but too many will seriously slow down the loading of your main blog page, where you’re hoping to pull in new readers.
Some plugins actually speed up performance. Caching plugins, such as WP Super Cache and WP Total Cache, will improve delivery of pages and posts. WordPress generates all its content with PHP code, rather than storing it statically. This allows parts of the page, such as widgets, to look different each time. Unfortunately, that’s inefficient compared with a page that’s always the same.
Caching plugins strike a compromise between dynamic updating and efficiency, delivering saved content when there are multiple requests for a page or post in a short time. The more heavily used your site is, the more benefit you get from caching. Check whether your caching plugin is compatible with your hosting environment. It may have its own cache and not work well with other caching software.
If you have a high-volume site with wide geographic distribution, a content delivery network (CDN) can improve your speed. A good CDN has a high-capacity infrastructure and multiple access points at which it caches content. This can lower the burden on your host and give your readers quicker views.
A site that has a good host (check out our hosting package on dedicated servers) and is designed for efficiency will load significantly faster than a poorly designed one on a cheap server. Pressed Solutions provides efficient and attractive WordPress sites that will draw in more website traffic.