Suppose you order a pizza to have it delivered and the pizza arrives late, cold or wrong? Chances are, the customer will give the restaurant a bad Google or Yelp rating and that will impact their search rankings and drive potential customers away from the business.
Having a slow or poorly performing website can also drive your future customers away. This can also negatively impact a website’s search rankings (or SEO) and conversion rates. Websites that load quickly will typically receive more traffic and have better conversion rates.
There are many reasons why your website is slow performing but the main causes contributing to a slow WordPress website are:
- Web Hosting – If your web hosting server is not properly configured it can hurt your website speed.
- WordPress Configuration – If your WordPress website does not use a cache plugin, it can overload your server and cause your website to be slow or crash entirely.
- Image Size – Using images that aren’t optimized for the web.
- Plugins – Bad plugins can significantly slow down your website.
- External scripts – Ads, font loaders and other scripts can have a huge impact on your website performance.
There are many online providers who offer website speed tests and basically, to start the test, paste the URL of your website into the provided field. In addition, they will tell you HOW to improve your overal website speed and performance.
Free Website Speed Test Tools
We have used this website to test many websites and found this testing tool to be very accurate and quick. We can highly recommend this website testing tool. GTMetrix will tell grade your website and give you its findings as well as tell you HOW to fix it. They also have a blog that contains informative articles to help you improve your website speed and performance.
WebPageTest is another online tool that we can recommend. It will test your website’s performance using different scenarios.
Can I Install Plugins To Help Speed Up My Website?
Yes! There are many plugins that will help to speed up your website with no coding or technical knowledge.
A “cache” is a collection of temporarily data stored in a temporary storage or memory file. This solves the issue of processing frequent requested information quickly instead of storing it on a computer and then waiting to retrieve the information thereby making your website load faster. Check with your website hosting provider as many web hosting services automatically have caching included with your hosting package.
- WordPress Rocket
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
Keep your website updated with the latest WordPress, theme and plugin updates. This will help keep your website running smoothly and mostly importantly, keep it secure. Many updates contain new security coding to prevent your website from being hacked and enhancements or bug fixes with the software that you are using.
Images are an important part of your website. However, if your images are not optimized, you could be slowing down your page speed with extremely large graphic files.
You can either use photo editing software to optimize your images before you upload them or use a plugin that will optimize your images as you are uploading them to your website. Listed below are WordPress plugins for Image Optimization:
- EWWW Image Optimizer
- Compress JPEG and PNG Images
- Kraken Image Optimizer
There are many other steps you can take to optimize your website’s speed and we’ve listed just a few. The main point is that if people have to wait for website to load, more than likely they will leave and you lose business.
America First Hosting provides our clients with fast, optimized webhosting services. We automatically install and set-up your WordPress website with helpful and popular plugins, including W3 Total Cache and Wordfence Security.