If you use WordPress to power your website, you’re not alone – in fact, you’re one of 74 million people who use the web hosting platform. The free software is perfect for blogs, online stores, and company sites, and is even trusted by huge brands like eBay, The New Yorker, and MTV.
While building a website with WordPress is easy to do, you still might find yourself getting frustrated with slow loading times. How can you beat the lag and speed up your WordPress website?
Why Website Speed Matters
Back in the days of dial-up internet, people didn’t mind waiting ten or twenty seconds for a page to load – it was the norm. In today’s world of high-speed internet, our expectations are a bit different. If the pages of your website don’t load within seconds, many users may become frustrated and leave your site in search of a faster one. Marketing skills will get people to click on your site, but it’s your technical skill and ability to create a website that’s easy to use that will make them stick around.
Everyone wants their website to show up on the first page of search engines like Google, but that’s impossible with long load times. This is because when ranking pages, Google’s algorithm takes your website speed into account. Here are some of the easiest ways that you can improve your site’s speed and start ranking higher on search engines:
- Optimize your images: You might think that huge, 2mb, high-resolution image you’ve embedded into your WordPress site looks great, but it’s also causing your website to lag behind. WordPress recommends a maximum image size of 100k to prevent performance issues.
- Code efficiently: The bulkier your code, the slower the load. “Minification” is the process of simplifying HTML, CSS, and JS code so that your website has less to process. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a coding wizard to de-bulk your site – WordPress offers plug-ins such as Best WordPress Minify that can do the work for you.
- Caching: When someone visits your website for the first time, it takes time for their browser to retrieve that data. Caching makes that retrieval process faster by retrieving a stored HTML copy of the requested page, making it the perfect option for static pages like your contact page. Luckily, WordPress makes caching easy by providing free downloadable plugins such as WP Super Cache.
- Choose the right hosting provider: Your website’s slow speed might not be your fault at all – the problem might be with your hosting provider. If you’re using a shared-hosting service, you’re sharing bandwidth with other websites, which can cause your site to slow down during peak hours. If lag is becoming a problem, you might need to switch to a dedicated server. While more expensive, dedicated servers are much faster and more reliable.
Other Ways to Increase Website Traffic
Website speed is just one of many factors search engines take into account when ranking sites – your website’s layout and content also play a huge role. Does your site take advantage of SEO strategies? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does your company have a social media presence? For help optimizing your website in all of these areas and improving your search engine rankings, get in touch with RFK Solutions Ltd.