How To Make Your Website Load Faster: In WordPress

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 dialyour 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.

 

 

pagespeed-tools-google-developers

 

 

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.

 

Optimize images

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.

tinypng-compress-png-images-while-preserving-transparency

 

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.

 

Minify CSS

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.

 

HTTP REQUESTS


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.

website-speed-test

 

Hosting


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.

rockets

 

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,

Cathy

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10 comments

  1. Paul Reply

    Hello Cathy

    Some good pointers here to improve one’s WordPress website loading speed.

    I also heard that too many Plugins on your site can really have an impact on load times.
    Do you know if that is a true concern? If too many plugins is a concern, then how many plugins would you say is the limit?

    I like your analogy about the Mayor and his/her City.

    Cheers
    Paul

    • Cathy Post authorReply

      Hi Paul,

      I don’t think you can put a number on how many plug-ins you should have. A lot depends on the plug-ins you are using and the quality of each one. Poorly coded plug-ins will slow down your site. When choosing a plug-in make sure it is compatible with your version of WordPress. I also look at the last update, if it has not been updated in the last few months than I wouldn’t use it. I have 8 plug-ins on my site now and it has a load time of 282 ms. Hope this helps, thanks for stopping by!

  2. jschicanha Reply

    i have been experiencing this for sometimes with PC loading slowly and sometimes feel stressed and thought that i dont do thing in the right way they suppose to be done.

    thanks for bailing me out and awakening my thoughts , please keep me updated with more information again

    cheers
    Jose

    • Cathy Post authorReply

      I’m glad you found this post to be helpful. I know how frustrating it can be when things don’t work like they should. If you subscribe to the site you will know each time I make a update. Thank you for the visit!

  3. George Reply

    Thank you for this very valuable information. II’m definitely using them to opoptimise my website. I have been struggling with slow responses from it lately but now I can try out these and have peace of mind! I wasn’t even aware there were these tools available! Thanks again for this post.

    • Cathy Post authorReply

      You’re very welcome, I’m so glad you found this information to be helpful. Make sure to do those tests regularly as you add to your site.

  4. Chris Reply

    I used to have a WordPress website loading speed problem with only one of my sites…and to this day I have no real idea what was behind it?
    I tried the plugin thing – but all my plugins were from high quality developers and there were only 5 of them???
    Anyway, do you think the theme can sometimes be behind the problem?

    • Cathy Post authorReply

      It may not be the theme but the amount of themes that you downloaded. If you have unused themes go and delete them, this should help to speed up your site. Thanks for the visit! 🙂

  5. Joseph Mo Reply

    Hello
    This is some great information you have going on here, very helpful. I have a site of my own and noticed the pictures load a tad bit slow than the content, it has to be the pictures that I have to reduxe. Thanks for sharing those resources, it makes work really easy now.
    I’ll have to follow up with the other tips youvery provided so that I can test my site and see if it’s all goog

    • Cathy Post authorReply

      Hi Joseph,
      I’m glad my information was helpful to you. It’s important to run those test again as you add new content. Thanks for the visit.

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