10 Important Factors That Affect WordPress Website Speed
If you are looking to attract massive traffic to your website, you should pay heed to this factor, i.e. WordPress website speed.
If your website doesn’t load quickly, your visitors will likely leave your page, and your bounce rate will increase.
Now you can make out how important this factor is for your overall success.
According to Kiwi Website Design Auckland, website load time plays a pivotal role in getting massive traffic to your blog or webpage. It also impacts your SEO efforts, Google rankings, and overall user experience. If you own a website, you should not neglect this important factor responsible for your high conversion rate.
In this article, we will walk you through the complete process of optimizing your WordPress website’s speed.
First of all, we need to figure out why it’s important to speed up your WP site.
It Helps Make a Great First Impression
Your website’s first impression is crucial for ascertaining how the visitors will perceive your business and brand. Internet users make an immediate judgment about the company based on their experience with the website.
If your website loads quickly, you can make a great first impression. A fast-loading website has an impact on the visitor and makes him pleased and fulfilled. It’s pure science that users think that fast websites are more professional and trustworthy.
Though, a slow website is regarded as unreliable and untrustworthy. Once the visitors build this negative opinion, then it becomes hard to shift their views.
Approximately 80% of online buyers have acknowledged that they won’t visit a website if they encountered slow website speed.
Website speed has a direct impact on Google Ranking
Google has avowed that they want to make the internet superfast, readily accessible, and highly beneficial. Google has been employing website speed as one of the core ranking signals in their algorithm since 2010. The website speed determines how fast a website responds to the users’ queries.
Google suggested page load time for websites both on desktops and mobile devices is less than 3 seconds. You can check your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Google also understands that if users are diverted to slow loading websites, it will harm the user experience, giving high weight to page speed while determining their rankings.
It Promises High Conversion Rate
Several studies have implied that website speed plays a vital role in achieving a high conversion rate. Users prefer to stay on high-speed websites as opposed to slow-loading websites, resulting in higher conversions. Many businesses have experienced that even a decrease of a few milliseconds in the page loading results in higher conversions:
Mobify reduced their loading time by 100 milliseconds and ended up holding a 1.11% gain in their session-based conversions. Likewise, Walmart stated that by increasing their page time by only one second, they noticed a high growth of 2%.
If users don’t click more than one page before leaving the website, their bounce rate will go up. Bounce rate implies that if your website takes a greater time to load, your visitors will leave the page and head over to the other website, and eventually, it will harm your conversion.
BBC also admitted that when their website took an extra second to load, they lost 10% of their total visitors.
Now we will guide you through the factors that affect WordPress Website Speed.
Solid Caching Approach Promises Strong User Experiences
Browser caching is highly essential for returning visitors. Every time visitors head to your website for the first time; their browser saves all the files like images, CSS, and Java files.
The next time the visitors return to the web page, browser caching enables these stored files to be served quickly upon the visitors’ next drop by.
Decreasing the number of round-trips ends up in quicker page load times and enhances user experience. Caching can surely aid you in speeding up your website, but it also contains its issues. If you don’t put up caching correctly, it can harm user interaction. It’s imperative to acquire a solid caching approach to have strong user experiences.
If you aren’t on WordPress, you can put on the Cache-Control and Entity tags (ETags) headers to HTTP response headers. ETags are used to authenticate whether the visitor has the new version of a record. Cache-control, On the other hand, defines browser caching procedures in client and server responses.
Consequently, these headers help you decrease the need for visitors to download the same data from the server twice and decrease the number of HPPT requests.
If your website works on WordPress, you can add cache plugins for better performance. WP Rocket is a great premium cache plugin that covers many special features like lazy loading, database cleanup, CDN integrations, and many more. The great thing about WordPress is you don’t need to have any special expertise to install it to get faster websites.
Overloaded Database Can Harm Performance of a Website
An overloaded database can harm the overall performance of a website. One of the hazards with WordPress websites is that your database is burdened with many post revisions, deactivated plugins, saved drafts, and others. Trackbacks and pingbacks don’t have any functional value in WordPress. All you need to do is to disable both of them because they block your database and increase the number of requests.
Besides, you should also delete additional junk files like spam and trash folders, transients, and database tables that may also cause your website to slow down.
As we discussed earlier, WP Rocket is the simplest way to schedule and clean up these files every week. You can also optimize your database using the ‘Database’ tab.
Outdated WordPress Causes Hurdle in Website Speed
Another factor that affects your website speed is having an outdated version of your WordPress. The obsolete version can cause your website to slow down and cause various security vulnerabilities. WordPress allows you to know once any update is ready. Getting the latest version of plugins and any software help increase the webpage load faster.
If you haven’t updated your WordPress or don’t get any notification, run a regular page speed test on your website’s different pages. It will allow you to determine whether the newest updates or versions of the software are compatible with your web hosting or available fixes that can increase your website’s overall performance by making them quicker to load.
Choosing a Complicated Theme Ruins Your Website Speed
When choosing a theme for your website, it’s essential to pay special heed to speed optimization. Some beautiful and impressive-looking themes are poorly coded and can decrease your site speed way down.
So, it’s better to go with a more simplistic theme than to choose a theme that carries complicated designs, flashy animations, and other useless features. You can always utilize those features by installing quality WordPress plugins.
Premium WordPress theme shops like Themify, StudioPress, and CSSIgniter provide well-coded and optimized themes for speed.
Uploading Audio/Video Files to WordPress Can Halt Website Speed
WordPress site allows you to upload audio and video files to your website. It automatically runs them in an HTML 5 player, but we suggest you never upload these files directly to a WordPress site.
The reason is hosting audio and videos will charge you bandwidth. The hosting company could also charge you overage fees, or it could close down your website altogether even if you have an unlimited bandwidth plan.
Hosting large media files also doubles your backup capacities excessively and makes it tough for you to recover WordPress from backup.
Rather, you should use an audio and video hosting service like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, SoundCloud, etc., and let them handle your pain. They have the capacity for it.
WordPress introduces a built-in video embed feature so that you can copy and paste your video’s URL straight into your post, and it will embed automatically.
Using Large Size Images Reduces Speed
Images play a significant part in your content, and they help increase engagement. Researchers have discovered that using coloured visuals makes internet users 80% more inclined to view your content.
But, if your pictures aren’t optimized, then they could be harming more than helping. Non-optimized pictures are one of the most frequent speed issues that we view on beginner websites.
Before you post an image directly from your phone or camera, we suggest that you use photo editing software to optimize your pictures for the web.
In their pure forms, these images can have tremendous file sizes. But based on the image file format and the compression you like in your editing software, you can reduce your picture size by up to 5x.
JPEG and PNG picture formats are accepted.
What’s the difference between the two?
Well, the PNG picture format is uncompressed. When you compress a picture, it misses some information so that an uncompressed image will be of higher quality with more detail. The drawback is that it’s larger file size, so it takes longer to load.
On the other hand, JPEG is a compressed file format that slightly lessens picture quality, but it’s notably shorter in size.
So how do we determine which image format to pick?
- If our photo has a lot of many colours, then we select JPEG.
- If it’s a more simplistic image or we need a basic image, then we pick PNG.
The majority of images that we take are JPEGs.
Here is a comparison chart of the file sizes and various compression mechanisms.
As you can notice in the chart, the image format you use can make an enormous difference in website performance.
Unnecessary Usage of Social Media Scripts
Social media has become a significant part of every website. Regardless of how big your website is, you still want to connect social media to your website and make it simpler for visitors to share your posts. The unnecessary practise of social media scripts and plugins can ruin your website’s performance.
You need to restrict the number of social media plugins and scripts that you don’t use and discover alternate ways to schedule and automate your social media assignments.
In this way, Zapier is an excellent website service that can help you automate these tasks and overcome the load on server resources and your website.
When it comes to sharing choices at the end of each post, it’s a great way to share your publications quickly, but these options can add a lot of burden to your website. You don’t need to use them on every page of your website and add only the essentials.
The Use of Chatbots
Chatbots are exceptional for managing client inquiries. As claimed salesforce, 69% of customers want to use chatbots to expedite their communication with a brand.
Chatbots can ruin your website speed if you don’t implement the script carefully, and it will also cause your website to load slow.
It’s essential to make sure that your chatbot is loading asynchronously. When your chatbot does any action on your website, like starting a conversation with a buyer or sending pings, this activity should be routed by external servers. So, you should make sure you use the right code that facilitates this action. You can check whether there is any problem with a chatbot script using Google’s PageSpeed Tools.
For easier set-up and simple conversation, you can use an out-of-the-box solution like Tidio that doesn’t require any coding skills and instantly create a chatbot. The best thing is the sense to communicate with clients in one easy dashboard. The tool also combines with different third-party apps to render better customer service.
Long Posts in a Single Page Causes Reduction in Speed
Readers tend to like blog posts that are detailed and more in-depth. Longer posts even manage to rank higher in search engines.
But if you’re writing lengthy articles with loads of images, it could be harming your loading times.
Rather, consider breaking up your longer posts into various pages.
WordPress has a built-in function to do that.
- Add the <!––next page––> tag in your article to break it into the next page.
- Do that again if you want to break the blog post on to the next page as well.
Not cleaning your WordPress Database leads to slow speed
After using WordPress over time, your database will have loads of information that you probably don’t want anymore. For enhanced performance, you can optimize your database to discard useless information.
WP-Sweep plugin is used to manage this. It enables you to wipe your WordPress database by removing things like trashed posts, revisions, unused tags, etc. It will also help optimize your database’s composition with only a click.
The most important benefit of reducing your website’s loading time is that it will help remarkably enhance your users’ experience. Additionally, it will also increase your rankings in the SERPs. Finally, faster-loading speed helps drive potential traffic to your page and boost your conversion rate. It not only makes users happy but also makes search engines cheerful.
We hope this article aided you in learning the important factors that affect WordPress website speed.