Speed and visual attractiveness are two top qualities that draw users to your WordPress website. Wisdom dictates that you should be certain your site addresses both. On the other hand, to ignore these vital factors proves detrimental to your site’s traffic and, therefore, your company’s growth. There is no hiding the impact of the Internet on businesses. A quality web presence is one of the most significant strategies in building a company. The opposite proves true as well. A poor, inadequate or slow site diverts traffic elsewhere, primarily to your competitors. Fortunately, with a little attention, there are many ways to improve the speed and appeal of your WordPress site. On your own or with help, you can boost traffic with a few simple changes. Consider these ten ways companies using WordPress can have faster and better sites.
Speed and appeal come first and foremost at the hands of your web hosting provider. Both shared and cloud hosting options exist with advantages and disadvantages to each. While cloud-based hosts tend to perform better, their price tag runs higher. These sites may require you to build a website from scratch.
Get the Facts About Unlimited Data
With shared options, the offer of “unlimited” data and more comes with hidden limiters. The traffic hosted during peak hours makes it difficult for strained servers to provide full loading speed. Consider then that “unlimited” means unlimited in what is offered at a given time. Additionally, hosting options come as self-set up or click and launch. Be aware of your capabilities and the type of hosting package when purchasing. The frustrations of setting up, slow loading times due to shared servers and inadequately optimized servers must be considered along with the cost for the wisest investment.
Keeping current with WordPress updates improves website speed and functionality. Developers provide updates to increase security and offer new features or improvements to the software. By delaying or ignoring updates, you miss out on these valuable functions.
Change is Good
Security enhancements, featured improvements, bug corrections and increased compatibility accompany updates to WordPress. These changes lead to speed and efficiency enhancements. In other words, updates ensure that your site reaches maximum performance. Regularly or automatically updating WordPress proves prudent. A faster website draws users. Yes, we all love a site that performs well and does not delay to meet our hurried schedules. So, log in and update WordPress today.
Web searchers and surfers want to feel valued. It stands to reason that if you desire to appeal to users, your website must respect their time with valuable content. Gimmicky, self-promotional or irrelevant pieces fail to accomplish this end.
What Is Quality Content?
Quality content incorporates information which proves useful to readers. Does the verbiage offer a solution to a problem or an answer to a need? Can the user find practical help which addresses their unresolved issues?
A checklist from the Content Marketing Institute recognizes creative, valuable content as being:
Creating content which speaks to and benefits users increases the appeal of your company’s website. Content marketing teams and writers offer support in this arena.
Using the default WordPress theme fails to set your site apart in design aesthetic. Popular among DIY developers, this generic website theme is recognizable, but not in a good way. Within your WordPress dashboard, you have access to hundreds of free themes. Make use of them to create a unique, attractive site.
When choosing a theme, be sure to consider those with fewer dynamic elements and smaller pages sizes. While these features appeal visually, the toll they take on speed loses guests before they experience the cool factor. Look for lightweight themes that attract and maintain speed.
Mixing it up with creative typefaces brings a unique appeal to your website. With the passing of web safe fonts due to the creation of CSS3, designers are no longer limited in options. The standard, common serif, and sans-serif fonts face new competition from Merriweather, Playfair Display, and others.
Create an Attractive Aesthetic
Google Fonts offers endless options for header and body content personalization. Beware of over enthusiasm. To draw the eye of users, intentionally choose two to three fonts with a specific purpose on your page. While not hard and fast, this rule creates an attractive aesthetic.
Attractive, high-quality images draw our attention. Including these icons on web pages breaks up wordy content for ease of reading and encourages readers to continue. Plus, a well-chosen, well-placed image speaks more efficiently than paragraphs of words. Remember to add value for users with high-quality, relevant images.
Reduce the Image Size
While keeping the quality, reduce the image size. This may be tricky, but worth the effort. Images prove to significantly increase the size increment of your web page. Less size or weight tends to move with more agility and quickness. In other words, to increase page speed, decrease image size without sacrificing quality.Chrome PageSpeed Insights and Photoshop offer tools to optimize images. However, WordPress plugins such as WP Smush do so with less time and process. Give one of them a try.
Giving your website a custom look is simple in WordPress. Displaying your company’s unique personality engages users.
Encourage Visitors to Know You Better
A personal, professional feel to a website welcomes visitors to stay awhile and get to know you. A few ways to customize include:
— Replacing “meta” widgets with your own.
— Removing unused or overpopulated widgets.
— Changing up the menus to fit your page and business.
— Creating a personal logo.
Purchasing a custom domain also boosts credibility and appeal. With a minimal monetary investment, registering a new custom domain name removes the “.wordpress.” Sometimes the presence of this extension deters serious visitors due to the reputation associated with things which are free. For greater speed, keep your customizations simple. Eliminate unwanted or needed widgets, menu items and the like. These simple adjustments benefit your site in both appeal and quickness.
Critically evaluating to identify and rid your site of unneeded, poor or irrelevant information and content creates an attractive user experience. Internet users with little time and quick search habits do not wade through paragraphs of text or irrelevant blurbs to find what they are looking for on a given visit. Regularly viewing your site as a guest and cleaning house helps.
A Clean Sweep Matters
Also, making a clean sweep of unwanted data from the WordPress database, unused plugins, and extraneous external scripts removes hindrances to your site’s speed. Removing old content drafts, spam comments, and unused themes help as well. Think of it like taking unneeded clothing from your travel bag. It’s easier to move when the load is lighter.
Clean, easy-to-use and navigate pages appeal to users. Keep this in mind when you customize your site. Other factors, such as line-height and white space, create a simplified look as well.
Adjust the Space
Attractively adjust line-height or the space above and below each line of text. The eyes require text that is not squashed or too spaced but just right. This spacing allows for a natural flow in reading without losing place. A body line-height set to 150 percent is a good aesthetic. However, the font type may affect the look, requiring an adjustment to this percentage.
Add White Space
Negative space or the unmarked area between elements on a page raises the elegance and professionalism on your site. This white space improves legibility and comprehension (by 20 percent, in fact), increases interaction with fewer distractions and creates balance. In short, white space clarifies communication.
Simplifying behind the scenes increases the speed of your website. Consider the compressing files using GZIP compression and disabling pingbacks and trackbacks. Do not allow comments to run on general pages. And keep WordPress plugins and themes updated.
Ask for Needed Help
Improving WordPress sites for appeal and speed may fall outside of your comfort zone. Fortunately, you do not need to journey this road alone. Finding knowledgeable, helpful WordPress designers brings expertise and results to you. Services may include custom theme and plugin development and overall custom web development.
Delivering web content all over the world in usable formats and user-friendly speeds cannot always be controlled from your desk chair either. Using one of the many content delivery networks (CDN) reduces your website loading speed for users afar. This service works to move your web page to a guest from the closest location possible. Less distance equals quicker speed.
Increasing the speed of your WordPress site rewards you. Google and other search engines move fast-loading sites up the rank ladder, a worthy goal. On the other hand, loading speeds greater than two seconds deter 47 percent of site traffic. Online buyers expect less than one second of wait time. In other words, faster website loading speeds increase appeal. Now is the time to make the necessary changes to your WordPress site.
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