When I visit a website, I leave that website immediately if it takes more than 3-4 seconds to load.
Do you do the same too?
If I do that, then, I am sure most of your visitors will be doing the same thing if our website takes too long to load.
Nobody likes to wait!
According to Google Lighthouse, 53% of site visits are abandoned if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load and users spend 70% more time, and have 60% more page views, on a website that loads quickly.
If you are serious about gaining more visitors and subscribers then you should think of ways to speed up your website.
Apart from that, now Google also agrees that they consider website speed as a ranking factor. Google doesn’t penalize slow loading websites, however, they prioritize fast loading websites.
Anyway, website speed affects your SEO.
As website speed affects your blog in so many ways you can’t ignore it.
So what to do to make a website load faster?
In this article, I will provide you with effective ways to speed up your website. So without any further delay let’s dive into the topic.
Ways to Speed Up a Website
Test your website speed first
Before taking any step to speed up your website you should know the current loading speed of your website.
Both of them are free and effective.
Just head over to any of the above website and type in your website URL and run the test.
It will then analyze your website and fetch the result which looks something like this.
It also recommends various tweaks to speed up your website, which are a bit technical but it’s great if you can work on them.
If the test shows that your website takes more than 3-4 seconds to load then you seriously need to consider speeding it up.
Reduce Image Size
Large images are one of the main reasons for a slow loading website. The larger the image the longer it takes to load.
So whenever you upload an image, make sure that it is perfectly scaled and optimized.
And the best part is you can hardly differentiate the original and the compressed image.
Both these tools are free. They do have paid plans but I don’t think you will ever need them.
Just upload the image to these websites and they will compress it automatically, then, you can download the compressed image and use it in your website.
Quite simple! Isn’t it?
Use a Lazy Load Plugin
Let me tell you that this single step increased my website loading speed significantly.
When you visit a website the browser tries to load the website completely and if that website uses a lot of images then it takes time to load fully.
A Lazy load plugin delays the loading of an image which is outside the viewpoint until the user scrolls down to that particular area where the image actually exists.
As a result, it reduces the page load time.
There are several tools available for WordPress users but I use a3LazyLoad. It works perfectly for me. You can try it if you want.
Use a Cache Mechanism
Before diving into caching let’s first understand how a website works.
Every time someone requests for a webpage it involves the above steps, which is time-consuming.
In the case of server caching, the server stores the end results for a request and sends the stored files directly to the browser when that particular request is made.
In the case of browser caching, the requested page gets stored in the browser as a cached file and gets served directly from the browser when the user requests the same page next time.
Both the above methods eliminate the steps in between and as a result, increases the loading speed.
I use W3 Total Cache for all my websites as it works great for me. Just install the plugin and enable the features that you think your website needs.
Disclaimer: Don’t change the settings that you are not sure about instead, ask your service provider for recommended settings and I am sure they will help you out.
Use a CDN
CDN or Content Delivery Networks store your website’s content on different servers around the globe.
As a result, when a visitor requests your website instead of the original server the request gets sent to the nearest physically located CDN server and it serves the requested web page.
As the webpage is delivered from the nearest location it takes less time to reach the end user.
It also reduces the load on the original server, as a result, it can handle a huge amount of traffic at a time.
I personally use Cloudflare because its free version is just enough for a small website.
Recommended Article: What is a CDN? and How it improves a website’s performance.
Purchase a Premium Lightweight Theme
A theme is an important aspect of your website. Not only your website’s structure and looks but also its performance depends on the theme.
Not all the good looking themes are well coded and as a result, it hinders your website’s performance.
A well coded lightweight theme can increase the website loading speed significantly. Not only that, but it also makes your website less vulnerable to different security issues.
For a non-coder, it is difficult to tell if a theme is well coded or not. That’s I recommend using Genesis themes.
They are well known for their minimal & professional look, speed, and tight security.
Use Less Number of Plugins
WordPress is well known for its plugins. It has a plugin for almost every task you could think of.
It is great that WordPress offers us such facilities, however, using a lot of plugins can reduce the website loading speed.
If it is not completely necessary then don’t use a plugin.
There are certain tasks such as adding codes to the header, editing the CSS etc. which people can perform by themselves without the help of a plugin but they choose to use a plugin just to avoid putting some extra effort.
I highly recommend doing them manually in order to minimize the number of plugins.
Recommended: Must Have WordPress Plugins for Beginners
Delete Unnecessary Data
Knowingly or unknowingly we often clutter our website or hosting space with unnecessary things that no longer serve us.
Things like unused themes, plugins, pictures, post revisions, spam comments, trashed items etc. unnecessarily take space and affect the website’s performance in a negative way.
However, after deleting them you will not notice a huge difference in your website’s speed but it helps your website perform better.
Recommended: Essential Settings After Installing WordPress
Choose a Better Hosting Platform
Hosting plays a very important role in your website performance and speed is just one of them.
Even if after taking all the above steps your website speed doesn’t change then you should consider contacting your hosting provider or changing it altogether.
You don’t need a VPS or dedicated hosting if you are not getting millions of traffic per month.
A good shared hosting like Bluehost can manage all your hosting needs.
I recommend using Bluehost because it is reliable, fast, easy to use and cost effective. Bluehost is also recommended by WordPress itself.
You don’t need to worry about switching your host as Bluehost takes care of everything. you just need to Signup and contact them.
With our link, you can get Bluehost for as low as $3.95 per month.
Additionally, you will get
- One free domain
- Free SSL certificate
SignUp now. You can cancel at any time within 30 days and you will get a full refund on your hosting plan.
Speeding up your website is important, as it affects your website in so many ways. With a slow loading website, you are not only losing visitors but also leaving money at the table which can be gained with those visitors.
If you are serious about running a successful blog and making money from it then you should take the above steps right now.
Feel free to ask me if you have any doubts, I will be glad to help you.
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