A website can be a big part of your business. It is the virtual representation of your company, and it might be drawing in a large portion of your customers. For this reason, it is important to take the time to make your website as close to perfect as you can. This includes making sure to double-check the site speed and verifying that it is fast enough to satisfy your customers.
Importance of Site Speed
A business owner needs to be in the customer’s mindset when considering the user-friendliness of their website. Customers will not want to wait forever for a web page to load. Rather, they will navigate to a different site to make their purchase. This is also true if a customer is trying to find the ‘contact us’ section of your website. If they cannot get in touch with you quickly and efficiently, they will not place an order. On average, a web page should load within three seconds or less to maintain the customer’s attention.
Another reason that a website should have fast load times is to improve your SEO ranking. Search engines will rank fast websites more highly because those are the sites that users will want to visit. If your website is slow, it might be being pushed down to a much lower rank, which will affect your visibility with clients.
How to Improve Site Speed – Change Web Hosting Providers
The first thing that you should examine is your web hosting provider. Many people do not realize that the web hosting provider that they select will impact certain aspects of your website, including the speed. Your WordPress hosting provider should be maintaining a speed that will keep your customers interested and coming back. To test your speed, try asking your friends and family to go onto your website and report back to you. If they have negative results, start looking into a new provider.
Change Web Hosting Plans
If the provider is not the problem, it may be the case that you need to upgrade to a new hosting plan. Often, businesses will start with a shared hosting plan because it is one of the cheapest options. Shared hosting plans involve hundreds of different websites sharing the same resources, which can result in reduced loading speeds. If you are getting more online traffic, it might be time for you to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated hosting plan. A VPS plan will still involve websites sharing a server, but there will be more resources available for your site. A dedicated hosting plan will result in your website having a server of its own, so this will give you the fastest speed.
Another method that you could try is compressing your text and images. It is a good idea to scan your website for any unnecessary text, videos, or images that are not benefiting the company. Removing those will speed up the load times. If it is not possible to remove them, try resizing or resaving them instead. If you have a lot of PNGs, you can resave them as JPGs to save space. JPGs are smaller because they lose some of the image’s data, but it is not easily detectable to the human eye.
Use a Video Hosting Platform
If you have a lot of video content on your website, this may be the cause of your slow loading times. You could consider using a 3rd-party video hosting platform for your content, such as Vimeo or YouTube. Some of these platforms will charge a fee while others will not.
Enable Browser Caching
A third way to increase speed is by enabling browser caching. This is when all your website’s information gets stored on a visitor’s device in a cache or a temporary folder. This is beneficial because the next time that the visitor comes across your website, the information is already there. There is no need for the server to receive another HTTP request, and the load times will improve.
Check for Unused Plugins
WordPress comes with the option of installing thousands of different plugins. While some of these may benefit your website, others may be slowing it down. You may be overloading the available memory of the site by attempting to install too many plugins. Take a look at the ones that you have installed and deactivate whichever ones you don’t need anymore.
Use a Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network, or CDN, will improve your loading times. This process will host your website files across servers all around the world, not just the ones that are close to you. This way, users from other countries will be able to access your website quickly and easily.