With online attention spans lasting a matter of seconds and an environment of ever-increasing digital competition, a fast-loading WordPress site is a foundation for online success. You don’t need to work at a web design company to understand that.
Google PageSpeed Explained
Google PageSpeed comprises a set of free web tools designed to evaluate your website’s loading speed quickly. After running the test on your site, Google PageSpeed lists two scores in metrics out of 100. The two scores encompass loading speeds for mobile users and desktops.
If your Google PageSpeed score measures less than 90 for either category, you’ll need to optimise your site to improve loading times. A score under 50 is completely unacceptable, and you’re leaving traffic and money on the table with that score. Fortunately, we have plenty of top-quality recommendations for boosting your WordPress loading speeds in this post.
To run Google PageSpeed on your site and check your performance metrics, visit the Google PageSpeed Insights page and type in your website’s URL. Web admins should revisit the site every three months to ensure they receive the right performance scores for mobile and desktop access.
Why Does Google PageSpeed Matter?
With a slow-loading website, you’ll get higher bounce rates. Statistics show if users have to wait longer than 3-seconds for a page to load, they’ll bounce back to search results. If you’re in the retail sector, then a slow website will actually lose your business money!
A slow-loading site also penalises you with search engines. As a result, you might find you start slipping back in the rankings, watching your traffic dry up. Ensuring your site loads fast is the best way to get optimal indexing and ranking of your pages. It also makes sure that the traffic directed to your site actually enters and starts engaging with your web pages.
7 Methods for Improving Your WordPress Page Speed
#1 Go Mobile With Responsive Web Design
More than 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. If your site doesn’t offer mobile support or slows access due to a lack of compatibility with mobile platforms, you’re missing out on a bunch of traffic and qualified prospects.
Using a WordPress template optimised for mobile use is the best way to ensure you don’t encounter slow loading times for mobile users. There is also a range of plugins for WordPress that convert large images into mobile-friendly versions that work on over 80% of mobile devices.
If you’re serious about your WordPress website, you should seek the help of a professional London web design company such as Blue Whale Media.
#2 Enable Caching
By enabling caching on your site, you store data locally temporarily using caches. As a result, browsers load the page faster without re-downloading images and files from the server every time the user makes a request. The free W3 Total Cache plugin is a great tool for improving your caching and speeding up your page loading time to achieve a fast WordPress site.
#3 Optimise Images
Most WordPress sites have large image file sizes to enhance the visual quality of the website’s content to users. However, they also slow the loading time of your website considerably. Optimising images is critical for faster loading times. The optimisation process compresses and resizes files for easy location, retrieval, and loading.
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#4 Minification of HTML, CSS, and JS Files
These files help you add comments to the website code. Some examples would be for clarifying the style or formatting of your pages. It might sound somewhat complicated, but all it involves is reducing file sizes and removing duplicate or unnecessary code. It’s possible to successfully minify HTML, JS, and CSS files on your WordPress site using the free WP-Optimize plugin.
#5 Enable GZIP Compression
Using GZIP compression, web files transfer between the server and the users’ browser in a lightweight and compressed version. As a result, browsers can retrieve files and load webpages faster. The WP-Optimise plugin features GZIP compression, making it easy to minify any files in a matter of seconds.
#6 Clean Your Database
Your database is slowing down your site. Chances are your site has plenty of unnecessary old files slowing its performance. Cleaning up the database speeds up loading times by removing items no longer needed for the effective operation of your website. A plugin like Advanced Database Cleaner or WP-Sweep keeps your database streamlined and up-to-date, allowing for faster loading times on your WordPress site.
#7 Update Your Plugins
Plugins are handy for increasing the functionality of your WordPress site. However, they also slow down your site if you have too many plugins using conflicting operations.
It’s also important to note that badly designed plugins using outdated software or deprecated code also contribute to the slow loading of your site. Typically, the usefulness and quality of the plugins are the biggest issues affecting page speed with these tools. To check the efficacy of a plugin, run a Google PageSpeed test before and after installing the plugin to review its impact on your website speed and PageSpeed scores.