8 Ways to Increase Your Site Speed
Do you have any idea how important your site speed is for your website and your business?
Think about it. When was the last time you waited for a website to load? How long do you tolerate a delay before reaching for the “x” at the top of the window?
People are busy these days and there is no time to wait for a website to load. Plus expectations are high. Your competitors’ websites are loading at lightning speeds, and your clients expect the same from you. If your website is substandard, that leads them to wonder what else about your business is substandard?
Did you know that you have 4 seconds to capture your audience’s attention? 25% of website users will leave if a site takes more than 4 seconds to load.
With every additional second your site takes to load, you will see a 7% drop in conversions, 11% drop in page views, and 16% less customer satisfaction.
75% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes 5 seconds or more to load.
Those are some strong statistics. Obviously, it is important to have a fast website, but how do you make your website faster?
The good news is there are a number of different ways to make your website faster.
The first way is to optimize your images. Images take up to 62% of a website’s data, and without optimization, those images will slow down your site drastically.
A simple solution is to use a plugin like WP Smush. A plugin like WP Smush will make your image files smaller, but the image quality will not suffer. It’s a win-win.
Make sure your site is hosted on a CDN
A CDN is a content delivery network. It is a network of global servers that share data. The network allows a website user to access data for your website on a server that is closer to them geographically. The closer location of the server access point creates a faster delivery of your website data.
There are numerous websites out there that will perform a speed test on your website to identify issues related to site speed and suggest site specific solutions to speed up your website.
Clean up your code
If your website was created more than 5 years ago, it is likely that some of the code is out of date. Over time, web standards have streamlined coding practices to speed up websites.
And if you have made revisions to your site, some of that older code could be lingering in hidden places. Whenever your website is read by a computer, it has to read all the code to show your site. Eliminating extra unneeded or out of date code will speed up your site.
Clean up your database
Similar to your website’s code, your database needs cleanup after a while. Post revisions, plugins that have been uninstalled properly, and spam comments will all take up unneeded space on your database.
A simple plugin like WP Optimize can help keep your database clutter free.
Delete unused plugins and themes
Sometimes it takes a few different tries to choose a theme or plugin that works best for your WordPress site. If you install those elements and then decide to go in another direction, the leftover data and database changes from them will still be hanging around. Be sure to delete them after you’ve decided to move on. Or you could choose to hire a web designer to handle theme modifications for you.
Remove unused media and photos
Images can eat through a ton of space really quickly. Deleting photos you no longer need will speed up your site with 5 minutes of work. To remove unused media in WordPress manually, go to Add Media > Media Library > Unattached and then delete the files you no longer need.
Remove or reduce post revisions
Every time you edit a page or a post, WordPress automatically saves a copy of each change. That means if your page is 100mb and you save 3 revisions of it, then WordPress will store 300mb of data for that single page.
As you can see, there are a number of different ways you can improve your site’s speed. Many of these changes are merely tweaks while some are more foundational changes like using a host on a CDN.
Speed Up Your Website
Have you tested your website’s speed lately? You might want to give it a look.