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Your visitors want instant gratification! The speed of your website is one big factor in Google’s algorithm. A recent study by Google has found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within 3 seconds. When visitors leave your website quickly, Google interprets this as though your content isn’t relevant for that search query or keyword phrase.
How do you make sure your site is up to speed?
There are some great online tools available to help analyze your site’s speed and tell you where you need improvement. The most popular ones are Google’s Page Speed Insights, Website Grader, and GTMetrix.
You need to be sure your WordPress website is running as fast as possible.
Here are three simple ways to improve the speed of your WordPress website and ultimately improve SEO:
1. Optimize Your Images
Everyone loves large, stunning images and fast load times. However, this is the biggest culprit to a slow site. Findings reveal that 62% of a page’s total size is in their images. Images are important. We love them.
Best Image Formatting: Before you upload images to your site, make sure to set your image resolution (for the web) at 72dpi and save it in JPEG format. If your image requires transparency or an extremely high-level of crispness, use PNG.
Before Uploading an Image: A great tool to minimize the file size of your image without losing quality is TinyPNG. It would be ideal to use this tool before you upload an image to your WordPress website.
Case Study: We were able to reduce one of our hosting customer’s site size by about 80% by simply reducing the image sizes. They were unaware that they could get the same beautiful results with a 30KB image as they were getting with their 4MB images. What a difference!
- Plugin: There are several free online tools to help reduce your image sizes without losing quality. One WordPress plugin you can utilize is WP Smush.
2. Enable Browser Catching
Browser catching allows you to temporarily store data on a visitors’ computer, so they don’t have to wait for it to load every time they visit your page.
Research indicates that enabling a caching plugin can reduce the website loading time from 2.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds.
3. Minify Your Code
- Plugin: Autoptimize is one we recently learned about. It makes optimizing your site easy by optimizing, minifying and compressing scripts and styles. It then moves them to the page head and can even move scripts to the footer. In addition, it minifies the HTML code, making for a lightweight page.
Other Options to Speed Up Your WordPress Site that Don’t Require Plugins
1. Select a Fast and Light WordPress Theme
Your theme is very important. Often times, people choose their themes based on design and layout with little regard (and knowledge) for what matters most. They ultimately pay for it in so many ways.
While user-experience and design is critical, if your theme’s code is overweight and complex, your site’s speed is going to suffer.
Some important things to keep in mind as you look at themes:
- We often use the best-selling themes like Aveda, Enfold or BeTheme.
- Buy a third-party theme from a high-quality, well-known provider like ThemeForest.
- Always read the reviews before purchasing.
- Make sure the theme has a dedicated team of developers who are constantly improving the theme’s performance.
2. Move to a Faster Server
So many businesses use hosting providers that are inexpensive, low-ball servers because they promise 99.99% uptime for less than $5 per month. You get what you pay for.
While that hosting costs less than $60 per year, all you need to do is talk to the millions of people who have had common experiences with these providers that left them in a costly situation.
Many of our clients came from those low-cost, slow-server companies. These inexpensive hosting providers cram as many sites as they can on to one server. As a result, when someone on your server uses more than their share of the server’s resources, your site suffers. It’s not if it will happen – because it always happens.
What is worse, is when one of the websites on your server gets hacked and through some vulnerability, makes its way into your website. Down you go.
This is costly, but more importantly – it’s terrible for your brand.
Here are some options for hosting providers:
- Use a dedicated server or a WordPress Hosted platform: They will provide significantly better results, not to mention security.
- Host with us. Click here to learn more about our website hosting and maintenance package.
Using data-driven analyses and research, we will conduct a thorough performance audit of your:
- Website Performance
- Brand Performance
- Inbound Marketing Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Signals
- Domain Ranking and Rating