Page bloat slows down your website considerably and makes users bounce before they’ve even had a chance to get to know you. In fact, over 40 percent of people will exit your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Couple this with the fact that a slow, under-performing website will push you down the search engine rankings, and you begin to see the risk of not optimizing to speed up your WordPress site.
This blog will investigate the most effective tactics to boost your website’s performance and user experience. But first, let’s highlight the reasons a website might be bloated:
- A glut of pages with unoriginal content
- Overly complex coding
- Ineffectual management of content and assets
- Mistakenly indexed search pages
- Redundant pages that generate low traffic
- External scripts such as ads and font loaders
- Badly designed plugins
Now onto the good stuff!
Check your WordPress site’s loading time
An optimum load time is around two seconds — anything more can result in huge losses for your business. A case in point: a Strangeloop case study researched Amazon, Google, and similar websites, concluding that even a 1 second delay in page loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a staggering 16% decrease in user satisfaction.
Before all else, check how fast your page is loading, and keep checking as you optimize to make sure your tweaks are boosting speed and performance. A free online tool like IsItWP’s WordPress speed test is especially handy to help you speed up your WordPress site.
Be responsive to responsiveness
With users gravitating away from their desktops and moving over to smartphones and tablets at an exponential rate, it’s crucial your WordPress site is compatible with mobile devices. Additionally, your pages have to load quickly and be glitch-free on these devices to keep potential customers scrolling. Anything less and you’re in danger of turning them away in droves.
Compress, optimise and resize your images
Those beautiful images you so carefully designed and curated? More than half of your page bloat is probably due to their size, essentially grinding your page speed to an admittedly visually appealing halt. An effective way to deal with this issue is to use PNG files. This format is highly compressed, doesn’t require as much memory and can help hasten page loading times. Additional tips:
- Upload image collages rather than single files
- House your video content on YouTube
- Experiment with image resolution until you find a happy medium
Clean out your WordPress databases
You know how an attic can become cluttered and cobwebbed over time if left to time’s devices? Well, that’s what can happen to your WordPress database if you allow redundant themes and unused, old plugins to build up over time and weigh down your website. Problem is, disabling these files won’t solve the problem — you’ve actually got to delete them. This can be done manually via accessing the MySQL database, but to be honest, this process may be a little too complex for casual users.
Thankfully, there are a number of plugins designed specifically for this. For example, WP-Optimize is an intuitive plugin that you can install to delete any old files from your database to free up space and speed up your WordPress site.
Cache in on a caching plugin
Because WordPress pages are dynamic, there are a complex bunch of processes whirring in the background every time a user visits one of your pages. This activity can slow your website down substantially if there are multiple users accessing your site at the same time.
To plan for this traffic, consider installing a caching plugin. Without one, each time a page or post is accessed, the data and content has to be recovered from the CSS files and databases. A caching plugin will store duplicates of these HTML files and serve the cached versions to your page visitors. This copying of files is all in the service of making your site lightweight and lightning quick.
Make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
When users from different geographic locations visit your site, the data needs to travel further (depending on where your web hosting servers are located). Say, for instance, your servers are in the United States, a user from that country will experience faster load times than a person visiting your site from somewhere like Germany.
Use the themes of an experienced WordPress developer
WordPress.org is abundant with theme and plugins, many of them excellent and some of them less so. The WordPress theme you choose can have a lasting effect on your website’s performance and speed, so choose wisely and don’t be fooled by aesthetics. A WordPress theme needs to have the robust functionality to back the beautiful design, too.
Kaira is an experienced developer who understands the complexities and nuances of WordPress’s back-end, as well as the need for visually appealing websites to hook users and keep them browsing. Our WordPress solutions are decidedly unbloated, lightweight and fast, and also help users create their own stunning websites easily, without any coding knowledge. We’ve also just released a brand new theme…
Click this link to get the free version of our theme, Overlay. Kaira is running a limited-time offer on the paid version — claim your discount here. If you’ve got any questions or require further information, we’re more than happy to help. Get in touch.