If you are in the process of building a website using WordPress and noticed that it is taking a bit longer to load than this article may help you. There are many things that may contribute to your site loading slowly and this will lead to people leaving your site before it even loads all the way. This can be devastating to your progress of building a business. You are working hard at adding quality content that others will find helpful, but if no one is reading it due to slow loading time than all that hard work in for not.
Research by Kissmetrics showed that 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. 47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less.
Is It Your PC Or The Website?
Let’s look at some of the things that could be slowing down your site. First, make sure it’s not just your computer. To find out if it’s the site itself you need to run a site speed test. Google has developed a tool that will show you how fast your site loads on all devices and will help you correct the things that are slowing it down. It is called the PageSpeed Tool, simply add the URL of your site and click analyze. You will see all the things that need to be fixed and how to fix them. Below are some of the problems that may show up.
Leverage browser caching
Setting an expiry date or a maximum age in the HTTP headers for static resources instructs the browser to load previously downloaded resources from local disk rather than over the network. You will see “expiration not specified or a time less than 1 day” at the end of the UR that needs to be fixed. Static resources should have a cache lifetime of at least a week. For third-party resources like ads or widgets, they should have a cache lifetime of at least one day.
Properly formatting and compressing images can save many bytes of data. I have found a cool tool to help you compress all your images for free before you add them to your website, it is called TinyPNG. You can add up to 20 images at a time once they are done compressing you can download them onto your computer. Now you have all your compressed images ready to add to your site.
Prioritize visible content
Visible content is the top part of a web page users see before they scroll down.
This is also referred to as “above the fold”. To help you fix this problem and many other you can add the W3 Total Cache plugin for wordPress.
Compacting CSS code can save many bytes of data and speed up download and parse times. Here is a tool that will help you identify what needs to be addressed, it is called CSS Delivery Tool.
According to rve.org.uk,
“Whenever your web browser fetches a file (a page, a picture, etc) from a web server, it does so using, HTTP – that’s “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”. HTTP is a request/response protocol, which means your computer sends a request for some file (e.g. “Get me the file ‘home.html’”), and the web server sends back a response (“Here’s the file”, followed by the file itself).”
To see how many HTTP requests your website has you can run a test on Pingdom.
Who are you hosting your site with? Hosting can contribute to how your site is loading. Some hosting companies will overload the servers by putting too many sites on one server. This will make your site lag and could eventually time out. This is referred to as Shared Hosting and is usually sold at a low price. Remember the saying “You get what you pay for”? If you are unhappy with your hosting company then your only option is to look for a high quality hosting company that offers you everything you need.
The bottom line here is that we all want our websites to perform well, we want to rank high on all the search engines and we want to get customers that keep coming back to visit our site. None of this will happen if we don’t continue to monitor the speed of our site as we are building it. Look at your website as if it was a city and you are the Mayor. Fix the problems before no one wants to come for a visit and all your residents move out.
I hope you found this to be helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your knowledge on this topic please leave a comment or visit my profile.
To your success,