From online transfers to online payments, everything happens in a fraction of seconds today. Amidst all this, what if a site loads at a slow speed? You’ve guessed right! It’ll definitely be a turn off for any person visiting the site.
A site that loads slowly will drive away potential traffic and affect the goodwill too. Every person wants a quick response; the same is the case with site loading. There are ways to ensure your WordPress site loads faster for better views and greater traffic. With faster loading, readers spend more time on the site. It’s a sure-shot way to turn your site into a successful one.
The most important thing for a website is engaging its users; a faster site does half the job for you. WordPress sites work on a content management system. CMS system is effective and powerful but it can be slow at times too.
Why a great loading speed is important for your WordPress website?
If you click on a website and wait for it to load for a longer time, you are bound to feel frustrated, as it’ll consume a lot of your time. Clicking a website that opens in a fraction is far better than a slow loading site.
According to a survey done by Akamai.com, 47% users expect a web page to load in two seconds. If there is a delay of a second, then the conversion rate decreases by up to 7%. The page-views also decrease with conversion rate. Even in the case of shoppers, they only shop from the site that is faster in loading speed.
Reasons Why Your WordPress Website Is Slow (And How To Fix It)
Reason #1 – Installed WordPress Plugins
There are many WordPress plugins available if you would want to optimize and customize your WordPress site. But, did you know that installing unnecessary plugins affect the loading time of your WordPress site? That’s right! Each plugin that you install whether free or paid takes up your load time. Some plugins also cause double loading time on the site. You need to deactivate all the plugins that you don’t use and test your site for page speed and loading using tools like GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights.
You can also test for a particular plugin for loading time. If a particular plugin takes up more time, simply replace it with a lighter plugin option. Better still, you can also opt for a coding option on the site. It’s important to know about a plugin that takes up your site’s loading time.
If you want a great loading time, then stick to the essential WordPress plugins on your site. Or there are plugins that offer multiple features too, you can opt for those as well. Page builder plugins offer a host of features that you can use on your WordPress site.
Page builder plugin features slider option, contact form options, multiple themes. By choosing one plugin, you’ll simply eliminate the need for other plugins on the site. So, do test your site and delete plugins that are not in use to load your page faster.
Reason #2 – Unoptimized Images
Any website is incomplete without the use of images. An image is a visual representation of the site. It helps in user engagement and increases SEO functionality of the site. Most websites use 5000px by 3000px image for framing purpose, but this also affects the page loading time.
A desktop screen is about 1920px wide and a mobile screen is about 700px wide. So, there is a difference in screen size that affects the website. Resizing the image according to a website or mobile version is important. Publishing images that are half the page or that take up the entire site can also cause slow loading time. Resize each image according to each page. Photo editing software’s and image compressors plugin like Compress JPEG & PNG can help you to resize your images.
A picture that you resize should fit your ideal file size too. The width and height of the image should be perfect. You can also use DPI that is ‘DOTS PER INCH’; it’s a great way to get your image size down. A standard DPI for an image is 300 for print, but for mobile optimization, this is excessive. A DPI of 72 is an ideal size for web format. It helps to optimize the load time for most images.
You can use a plugin WP Smush that helps to compress your images to a size you need. Its automatic compression feature compresses your image the minute you upload it. It also allows you to compress images that are already uploaded on the site.
Reason #3 – Page and Post Redirects
Making frequent changes on your WordPress site can affect the loading time. If you delete pages from your website or make a major change to your site, all these things are directly linked with page speed. As search engines have your old URL’S, it affects the page redirects.
With every redirect in WordPress, the URL’s will point out a dead page (404 error) or a notification like ‘301 moved permanently’. The server of your page has to go to these pages before the actual live URL of the website page. This whole process affects the loading time on the page.
You can easily fix this issue with editing your site or opting for external links. Simply remove the old pages or links from your site. You can also add a redirect code to the site. Or, bring the pages back to the main URL.
If you feel that your site is not loading properly, then you need to test your site for this issue. Even the slightest change on your site affects the performance and speed of your WordPress website. Thus, maintaining your WordPress website is important to keep these issues at bay.
Reason #4 – Slow Server Response
Do you know that slow server response can also affect your site’s speed and loading time? Well, if you have a site that has a slow speed because of this reason, it’s simply not your fault as an owner. This is to do with your web hosting company.
If your website has a Shared hosting service, which means the server hosts multiple websites at a time including yours, at peak time, your website has a competition with all the other sites that are hosted on the server to increase traffic. This hosting is not safe as there is a threat of hacking too. Choose a Shared host that provides you with quality features. But, Shared hosting services can affect the loading time.
If your website is fully managed that is on a single server, then its dedicated to your site. The processing power, speed, and resources are dedicated only to your WordPress website. In this case, your site will load faster and it’ll also be more secure. It’s important to check for a server response to know about the speed loading time.
CSS is important for site loading as it sets the tone or instruction for the browser. The colours, font size, header, footer, table code, and menu are all set in CSS tone. There are files that may have hundreds of different codes with dozens of long pages. Many of such files have line breaks, extra spaces and other information that is not required for a site to load. It depends on the extra bits and the appearance on the site. This directly adds to the loading time of the site.
Now, by eliminating extra bits you can speed up the loading time of your website. If you have time, you can manually eliminate extra bit from the files, but again this can be time-consuming and risky. A wrong deletion can also crash your WordPress website. It’s better to minify the CSS file instead.
WordPress plugin like WP Super Minify can help you with the task of minifying the CSS file and eliminate the bits that you need to remove. You can also use a CSS Preprocessor, but you need a technical background for this. After you remove the bits, do test your page for speed improvement.
If a browser attempts to render a particular page and comes across a script to be executed before the loading time, it affects the website. It causes added load time making the website loading speed slow. If the scripts are external, the load time is affected for a resource to download.
This actually forces the browser to load more than once or several times. These types of scripts also include external widgets like Facebook or Twitter or embedded scripts. The best way out is to add only a few code snippets, but then again each website is different.
Reason #7 – Outdated WordPress Version
Why do you think it’s important to update your WordPress site when the update is available? Many factors affect the update. From security features to installation of new plugins, updating WordPress is important. An update is also important for your site speed or loading time.
WordPress core update also updates themes, plugins, features, and CMS. Even, if there is an update on a weekly basis, you should not miss it. If you don’t update your WordPress on a regular basis, it can cause incompatibility and affect the speed of your site.
Outdated tools on your site often cause slow response. A simple update button can fix this problem. Most updates either fix bug issues which is important for WordPress security or upgrade the features of the website. There are updates that also affect the normal speed of the WordPress website.
But, along with the normal updates, you also need to update the plugins of the site. If the new version is available, it’ll update your site in no time. After the update, run a speed test for your site and see the difference. An updated WordPress site will load faster than a site that is not been updated.
WordPress mostly dominate the internet space as a CMS platform. To engage your user and to drive good traffic to the site, it’s important that your website loads faster. A faster loading time affects SEO as well as the overall usability of the site.
Faster site loading creates happy site users. Even, if you are adding elements and plugins to your site, don’t compromise on the speed. If your site’s loading time is slow, you can simply check for the factors that cause this. Rectify your errors and you’ll see a quick improvement in the loading time.
About the author: Sudhir Bhushan is a Tech & Social enthusiast. He is also a Web Entrepreneur by Profession and loves to write about the latest trends on Social Media & SEO. You may also follow him on Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest