In our last blog post we stressed the importance of website load time in relation to SEO and the negative impact a slow load time can have on a website’s bounce rate. In this post we’re going to expand on this and go more into depth on how to optimise your Wordpress website speed for minimal load time.
First of all it’s good to get an accurate idea of what your website load time is. If you currently don’t know the speed of your website, try using the following tools:
Here are 3 ways to speed up your WordPress website:
Change your Hosting Provider
This may sound drastic but a fair amount of page load time is lost to slow servers. Here’s an example – A good website load time is between 1 – 3 seconds. On average, websites hosted on mass hosting providers such as Godaddy load in 6 seconds or more. Another thing to bear in mind is the location of your server. If you’re based in the UK and your hosting provider is in the US then not only will this be a major ‘slow’ factor but it also affects SEO. Google is constantly pushing to provide more and more relevant results and checks the IP addresses of websites to try and ‘pin’ them to specific locations, therefore affecting a website’s search engine results.
Leverage Browser Caching
- Large files take longer to load and can be slow to download.
- Every file submits a separate request to the server. The more requests your server gets, the more work it needs to do, therefore reducing page load time.
Browser caching helps the problem by storing some of the website files in the user’s browser. The user’s first visit to your site will take the same time to load, however, when that user refreshes the page or revisits your site, they already have some of the files they need locally, which makes load time much faster.
Often the most obvious problem with load time is excessively large image files. This is a widely known slow speed factor but people still overlook images if they’ve been previously compressed. I’ve come across a number of client websites that claim to have used “compressed images” and when checked, the average file size is over 800kb. You may have compressed your image files, but have you compressed them enough? To keep load speed to a minimum I would advise only using image files under 300kb. As a designer, I use Photoshop to compress all my images, however, if you do not have access to artwork programs you can use online compressors such as compressjpeg.com.