Yay! You’ve come a long way!
A few months ago, You decided to start a blog, you launched your blog with a beautiful theme and you overcame the fear of writing your first blog post.
Now your blog looks awesome and has some great content. You’ve ticked all the boxes that you once dreamed of.
But now, your website speed sucks! it takes ages for your webpage to load.
And that’s why you are here, looking for the solution to this dead-end problem.
Well let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place.
I was in your shoes a few months ago. But not anymore!
I took 5 steps (discussed below in tips 1-5), which helped me make my website load way faster than I ever imagined! These 5 steps helped me skyrocket my website speed from 19 to 92. In other words, whooping 484%.
Here’s a glimpse of the speed of different pages of my website.
Now before you ask, let me clarify. No, I didn’t do any coding or technical stuff. No, I didn’t switch to a premium host. I’m still using Bluehost and I love their service.
Then, how on the earth did I manage to make my website that stupid fast?
Well, that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today. Are you excited?
So fasten your seatbelts and grab some popcorn, because we are heading into a speed zone!
First, let’s take a look at why do you need your blog to load fast.
(Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through my link, I may earn a small commission, without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little blog afloat. Thank you for your support.)
Why Is It Important To Have A Fast Loading Website?
Let’s be honest. How do you feel when you order food, and it’s brought after a long wait? Or when there is a long line at the checkout in a supermarket?
I know. You don’t like the wait. Guess what, your Website visitors don’t like it either.
What’s worse is that your visitors will leave and most likely never come back.
A survey done by Kissmetrics showed that 79% of the participants reported that they wouldn’t return to a slow-loading website. A fast loading website leads to a better customer experience, which results in higher conversions. Below are some of the reasons why you should make sure your Website loads fast:
- Google is now using page speed as a ranking factor in their search results pages (SERPs)
- 53% of mobile Website visits leave web pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load
- A research done by hosting tribunal stated that at least 64% of online shoppers never go back to a website that gave them a bad experience. 43% of customers unsatisfied with your Website’s loading speed will do their shopping at a competitor’s Website.
What Is An Ideal Website Loading Time?
The ideal website loading time is 1-3 seconds.
In July 2018, Google announced it was switching to Mobile Index First, which could use a website loading time as a ranking factor in its Google SERPs. Since then, there has been a lot of focus on how to optimize website loading times on mobile devices.
Doubleclick, a company owned by Google, published a report in September 2016 that showed the average load time for mobile websites accessed over 3G connections to be 19 seconds. It also reported that 53% of all mobile sites get abandoned when their homepage takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
So, you don’t want your webpage to take more than 3 seconds to load.
Tips to speed up your WordPress website
1)Get Rid of Large Images
This is the first thing that I did to speed up my website and you should do it too. When I started my blog, I uploaded high-quality images to my blog (without compressing them).
There were images that were 1.2 MB in size. I’m not kidding.
I thought the HQ images will look cool and my readers will love them.
Such an idiot I was! It made my website painfully slow. It used to take 8 seconds for a website to load.
If you’ve made the same mistake, I urge you to take a look at your media library, find out the large size images which are slowing down your website and delete/replace them.
You don’t require a high-quality image except for the logo and banner image.
2) Uninstall any unnecessary plugins
Unnecessary plugins and add-ons on your website do indeed negatively affect your website loading speed.
It’s good to note that it isn’t just the number of plugins you have installed on your Website but their quality matters as well .i.e. a website with 50 plugins could load faster than one with 10 plugins if those 10 plugins load a lot of scripts that perform a lot of remote requests.
That’s why it is important for you to carry out a plugin audit.
Here’s what I did:
First, I went through all the installed plugins and uninstalled the one which I was not using or not needed anymore. Then, I disabled each plugin one by one and carried out the speed tests. And, finally deleted all the plugins which had the biggest effect on my page speed.
Repeat the same process for your website. Trust me, you’ll be surprised by the results.
3)Optimize and Compress Images Using Shortpixel
Shortpixel is a great WordPress plugin that I use to optimize and compress all the images on my blog.
It has reduced my total file size by an average of 68% without affecting image quality.
This makes my webpages lighter and reduces page loading time.
The great thing about ShortPixel is that it allows you to do bulk optimization. Which makes it easier to optimize the images that you’ve already uploaded to your blog.
ShortPixel is free to use for up to 100 images/month. If you need more than that, you can purchase one-time credit plans.
4) Install WP Rocket
This plugin was a game-changer for me. I noticed a sudden jump in my website speed after installing the plugin and doing some basic settings.
For those who don’t know, WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that helps you speed up your website.
Caching is the process of storing data in a temporary storage area.
WP Rocket generates static HTML pages of your Website and saves them on your web server.
What happens is that each time a user accesses your Website, it brings up your saved HTML pages instead of the heavier and time-consuming web pages.
I would highly recommend you to get WP Rocket (Affiliate link)
Trust me, you won’t regret investing in such an awesome tool. If you find no difference in your site speed even after installing the plugin, you can always ask for a refund within 14 days of your purchase.
So, there’s no harm in testing it out!
5) Clean up Your Database
WordPress does collect a lot of data along its way, and these can sometimes clog your Website and slow it down. These include saved drafts, deactivated plugins, post revisions, etc.
WP-Optimize is an awesome plugin that you can install and set to delete unwanted stuff periodically routinely.
If you’re using WP Rocket, you don’t need to worry about installing any extra plugin to do this. It has an inbuilt feature that automatically cleans up a database regularly.
Now, these were all the steps that I took to boost my website speed but if your website is still slow after applying all the above-mentioned steps, then here are some more steps that you can take to achieve that ideal speed.
6) Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Hosting your content files on a content delivery network (CDN) is among the most effective ways of speeding up your Website loading time.
It has been reported that you can save up to 60% of your bandwidth and reduce the number of requests from your Website by 50%.
What Is CDN, and how does it Work?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a distributed network of web servers across multiple locations geared towards delivering content more efficiently to users.
A CDN works by displaying your search results based on your proximity of the web server with that content closest to you .i.e. the server with the quickest response time.
7) Use Optimized WordPress Themes
Many web designers still use flush and include bells and whistles on their client’s websites. This negatively affects the loading speeds of the websites.
An optimized WordPress theme is built with SEO and content optimization in mind. Therefore, having an optimized WordPress theme is extremely important.
8) Use the latest PHP version
Websites still using earlier versions of PHP experience slow website loading speeds, and hence it is important to keep the PHP versions up to date.
PHP code execution time decreases by over 20% when you upgrade to PHP 5.5, that’s according to Pantheon. PHP 7 offers a boost of over 200% faster PHP code execution time and at least a 50% lower memory consumption.
However, before upgrading to PHP 7.0, it will be a good idea to check if your Website and plugins will be compatible with it.
You can use PHP Compatibility Checker to scan your plugins and themes for compatibilities issues before updating to the latest version.
9)Embed Videos Rather Than Uploading Directly On WordPress
Video enriches your content and increases the likelihood of your visitors engaging with your Website, resulting in higher conversions and sales.
There are two main ways of having video on your Website: embedding and uploading.
Embedding refers to the integration or links of images, videos, or any other media into your social media posts or even websites. Uploading or hosting is the storing of media files; videos, images, etc. on your Website.
It is strongly recommended that you always embed media files as opposed to uploading them to your Website.
Here’s the thing. WordPress, being the most widely used content management system (CMS), does have a couple of setbacks. One of them being: each time you add a new plugin, a new JS or CSS file is added virtually to your Website.
These new JS and CSS files can cause your Website to become sluggish and load slowly.
Here are two ways you can minify your files to increase their loading speeds.
The second strategy is deleting whitespaces, which in turn causes your file size to shrink. If you’re using WordPress, WP Minify is one great plugin that gets the job for you, and the best part is that it does it automatically.
11) Reduce Redirects
Redirects are sometimes necessary, but too many of them can slow down your website loading speed. Make it a rule that only one redirect should be used for a page.
It’s also a good idea to avoid purchasing additional URLs that are variations of your name and focus keywords that direct users to your Website. This is because it has been noted that URL variations sometimes confuse users.
12) Reduce External HTTP Requests
An HTTP request is a packet or segment of information that a computer sends to another computer with a request to perform a task. The sending computer is the ‘client’ while the receiving computer is a ‘server.’
HTTP requests are made for a wide range of elements such as; images, scripts, style sheets, and the more requests made, the longer it takes for a web page to load.
Yahoo did a research and found out that over 80% of a web page’s load time is spent downloading these elements.
13)Divide Long Posts into Multiple Pages
It is a widely accepted rule that the more detailed a blog post is, the higher its chances of ranking well on Google SERPs. There is a bit of truth in that.
However, it is also true that long-form blog posts with lots of images do more harm than good, as they negatively affect a website’s loading speed.
Fortunately, there is a way you can go about this. Just split your blog posts into smaller, multiple web pages, and your web pages will load faster.
14) Get Rid of Broken Links
How do you feel when upon clicking a link on a website, you suddenly land on a 404 error page? I know, definitely not good.
Broken links not only drain your bandwidth, but they are among the things that can make people leave your Website. Fixing broken links can dramatically increase your website performance and reduce bounce rates.
Put In The Work
If you want to speed up your website, you need to apply and test all the tips mentioned above.
There’s no magic process to score prefect 100 on google page speed insight. It’s all about trial and error.
That’s all from me guys! I hope you find this article helpful.
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