Among the giants of today’s web development world, WordPress (WP) stand’s head and shoulders above the rest with about 35% of the internet powered by this free content management system (CMS).
While WP first launched in 2003 from humble beginnings, it’s now been more than a decade of domination as a CMS. It’s now used for websites big and small due to its flexibility and ease of use. There are great WP websites out there and there’s also countless terrible WP sites launched every day.
The Perils of the WordPress and Speed
As amazing and game-changing as WordPress has become, it’s no stranger to having a host of issues, such as slow loading speed which is a common rookie mistake.
Although many inexperienced web developers have a smooth experience setting up WordPress as the platform for building a website, they’ll soon start loading themes, page builders and plugins that add features and functions. While they can sound good in theory, you’ll notice that things can get quite sluggish as the website becomes bogged down with things that are simply not required.
While speed may seem like a minor problem at first, the more junk you add to a website the greater the slowdown is likely to become. People have extremely short attention spans online so your website is likely to become less effective as a marketing tool.
Thankfully, WordPress speed issues aren’t always difficult to resolve depending on what’s causing the issue. If you want to ensure you have a fantastic user experience without sacrificing your loading times, below are two practical and effective tips to edge out more speed for your site:
Tip #1: Optimise the Size of Your Assets
Your website’s loading time is directly impacted by the size of its assets. A proactive approach that will help you cut down your WP loading times is to optimise your assets by compressing the size of your images, videos, and any other files in use.
The larger the file sizes your web page needs to download, the slower your web page will become. A common mistake is using images that are larger in size than they need to be. If you have Photoshop, you can optimise the file sizes prior to loading them to your website. If the images are already added to your website or you don’t want to use Photoshop, Imagify is a fantastic option. Imagify is a commercial plugin and in my opinion, the small fees are worth the investment. If you’re keen to use something free, Smush is a popular alternative.
As a website owner, your website will likely evolve over time and you’ll be tempted to add more and more features and functions. Try to keep your website as lean and mean as possible by removing plugins that are no longer required. It also helps simplify the process when maintenance updates are required.
Tip #2: Invest in Quality Website Hosting
If you build an amazing WordPress website and do everything right by optimising for speed you can still end up with a slow website. Your hosting environment can have a huge impact on the speed of your website and it’s largely outside your control. It simply is not worth saving a few dollars by using an inferior hosting provider.
One of the most effective ways to ensure your website doesn’t suffer the same fate as many other WP-powered pages is to spend a few extra dollars to make sure you use a top-quality host.
WordPress website owners often complain about how slow their website is even when they have minimal plugins and optimised file sizes. You’ll know if hosting is the issue if the speed seems to fluctuate. Some days it might fly and other days it feels like it grinds to a halt. This is likely caused by too many websites sharing the same hosting server that you are. Some of the other websites on the server are possibly bogging down the server as the traffic fluctuates throughout the day.
Hosting services vary greatly in terms of quality. As a web developer I’ve dealt with many of them. Sometimes there is a bit of luck involved too. You may find your website on a great server or you could find your website sharing a terrible server. You really don’t have much control of this aspect of website hosting unless you were to pay for a dedicated server which is typically not viable for small businesses.
If you are selecting a website hosting provider, take the time to sift through your options and do some research. Some hosting providers have terrible reputations and you’ll soon discover that with a quick Google search.
There’s lots more that can be done to improve and enhance your website speed such as caching however, the above two tips are a great starting point. It’s my opinion that WordPress is far superior to any other CMS when it’s used right. It takes skill and experience to create a powerful WordPress website. No matter how advanced WordPress has become, there will always be good and bad WP sites.
Are you looking for a WordPress website design and web development agency in Australia? We can help improve your website speed while increasing your website traffic. We’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help!