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Site loading speed is critical to the user experience. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, users will exit and select a different search result. As you optimize your WordPress site, remember that the bounce rate increases by 32 percent as the site loading time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.
A fast-loading site has a high chance of ranking above its slow-loading counterparts on the search results pages. This is because fast-loading pages are more efficient and provide a better user experience and more page views.
Here are the fundamentals of optimizing your WordPress website loading speed and enhancing its performance to impact the success of your business.
1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
These are a network of servers placed around the globe designed to host and deliver WordPress sites' content. A CDN will deliver your content faster by shortening the communication path that delivers content from the server to the user.
There are several ways a CDN can speed up your WordPress website. First, the network stores a wide array of content types which supports faster loading time for users.
A CDN can help lower bandwidth costs preventing the need to reduce bandwidth to reduce costs. A CDN has lower bandwidth needs which allow the optimal usage of available bandwidth to serve content to users. The more optimal the bandwidth, the faster the transfer of data.
2. Image optimization
Images account for a significant percentage of your website's weight and site speed loading factors. However, if you use the best practices and the appropriate tools, you will not have to trade the quality of your images for loading speed.
You can optimize your images by reducing their size through compression to adjust the quality and resize the image dimensions before uploading them to your website. Using a CDN to deliver your images can also enhance your page loading speed.
Image hotlinking can also affect your page loading speed. By hotlinking, you link your image to another website, and it will load from its server. Loading your images from a different server means you depend on the speed of the servers.
If the server's loading speed is failing, it will affect your page loading speed. By disabling hotlinking, your server will depend entirely on your website speed.
You can optimize your images by using the correct file format. With the suitable file format, you can reduce the weight of the image hence improving your page loading speed. WebP is a new and recommended file format because it delivers the highest quality images in the smallest size possible. However, the format is not supported by all the browsers. Therefore, the JPEG format is the most recommended as files are smaller.
3. Select a faster host and hosting plan
Hosting affects a site's speed, and it is one of the most overlooked components of page loading speed. For instance, while businesses may choose shared hosting for cost savings and ease of use, their websites' loading speed may be hurt.
The plan may be ideal for businesses that receive less than 1000 visitors a day but will be limiting if more are expected.
If you expect high traffic and your websites hold data demanding features such as videos, images, apps, and live streaming, a shared plan will have limited bandwidth. When your site has limited bandwidth and RAM, the speed will be affected, and the user experience will hurt.
A dedicated server where resources such as RAM and bandwidth are not shared among other websites guarantees optimal page loading speed.
4. Deactivate and uninstall unwanted plugins
While plugins may be simple on the surface, they perform complex actions in backend processing that eat into the site loading speed. Keeping unwanted plugins will also increase the weight of junk in your web files. It also increases the size and weight of your backup, which can overwhelm your server resources when generating the backup files.
Uninstall the plugins that you don't use, or use third-party software to automate tasks in place of complicated plugins.
If your WordPress site is slow and you think the plugins are responsible for slowing down the loading speed, you can run a speed test to identify them. Before installing plugins on your WordPress, it is also wise to get a review list of the slowest WordPress plugins.
Slow WordPress plugin testing does not take long. So please do some research and identify the slow plugins to uninstall and replace them with faster ones for improved website speed.
5. Keep your WordPress site updated
Failure to keep your site updated versions of plugins and themes will make it vulnerable to security threats and unreliable and slow. Keeping your site's PHP is also essential and will enhance its efficiency resulting in improved performance.
Updates also fix plugins bugs and compatibility issues. The updates will therefore clean up the codes and reduce their loading times hence improving the overall speed of your website. In addition, businesses with the latest version of WordPress can conduct automatic updates for several plugins.
Other components of the website can also be updated manually.
6. Enable caching
Enabling browser caching can also improve your site's speed. Caching allows the browser to store information so that the website does not have to reprocess and reload information every time a user visits.
Caching enhances page loading speed by reducing the load on system resources on the server.
Your WordPress website speed will affect user experience, traffic, and the ranking of your website on search engines. Conduct a website speed test to assess if it needs to be optimized. Some of the fastest ways to optimize your site for speed are using a CDN, image optimization, changing your hosting plan, getting rid of unnecessary plugins, and enabling caching.
Enhancing the reliability of your WordPress website using the guide above will optimize your website and set up your business for success.