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February 26, 2020

How to Speed up WordPress Site

How to Make Your Website Load Faster

We are currently living in the information age. Our news, events, entertainment and even our shopping experiences all happen quicker than ever before. Everything you can find online must be instant.

Google knows this and their analytics reflect this as well. Websites with load times just over 3 seconds increase their bounce rate by 10%. 

The slower your website loads, the more money you lose. A slow website, means a higher bounce rate, the amount of people leaving your website right away. This lowers your ranking and decreases your traffic. Less traffic means less CTR (click through rate). Less CTR equals lower conversion rate. 

 Things need to be fast. You want your website, your information, your products to be right there ready for your visitors. Faster than any of your competitors.

What Causes a Website to Load Slowly?

There are a lot of different ways you can fix a slow loading website. It depends on how your site is built. If you can accomplish tackling all of these methods then your website should be loading within 1 second.

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Want your website to load in just 1 second?

1. Dedicated Server

A slow website starts with the server. If you’re not on a dedicated server that is optimized properly, then your website is not going to stand a chance loading in just under a second.

Avoid EIG hosting. This company owns BlueHost, HostGator and over 60 different companies. They are none to have unreliable services, sacrificing performance for costs, and have terrible reviews.

GoDaddy is also a major hosting company with several issues when it comes to speed optimization and web performance.

SiteGround is recommended by WordPress and is a very reliable hosting company. They consistently rank top 3 among Facebook polls due to their load time, pricing and support.

See Also: How Much Does DigitalOcean Cost?

DigitalOcean is also one of the absolute best hosting companies when it comes to performance. They boast an impressive 99.99% up-time, and I have personally experienced a 100% up-time across all of my hosted sites. DigitalOcean requires more technical skill and they do not offer instant customer support. So, if you are looking to host your own website, but lack the advance technical knowledge when it comes to deploying and managing a server, then use CloudWays.

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that uses DigitalOcean, AWS & Google Cloud, among others, as their managed hosting plans. Pricing is highly competitive plus they offer absolutely amazing support. You can feel comfortable knowing that if anything goes wrong, their support team will fix it. 

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The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform

2. Lightweight or Custom Built Themes

One of the major issues when encountering a slow website is the theme itself. There are hundreds of thousands of pre-built themes on the market. Most of these are built to cater to several different industries. Because of this, these templates are built with extra coding and features that you may never use. All of the extra coding integrated in the theme files can be compressed.

When using a pre-built theme, you would want to stick with one of the more popular ones known for speed optimization. Flatsome & Astra are the best templates for either an eCommerce site or a regular website.

Ideally, you would want to code the theme yourself. If you are not an expert at coding, you can use a web builder. A web builder is a plugin that overrides your website’s template files and allows you to customize the templates yourself using a drag and drop interface.

The #1 site builder, which I would highly recommend, is Oxygen. They offer great support and by using their builder you eliminate on a tremendous amount of unneeded bloat on your website. I have personally used Oxygen to optimize my websites and have noticed a huge difference in load time. From 9 seconds to just 1 second. Just from using Oxygen. 

Oxygen requires a bit more coding knowledge, specifically CSS and HTML, with a little bit of PHP. It is easy to use once you get the hang of it, but there is a slight learning curve. If you are looking for a web builder that requires less of a learning curve and utilizes the drag and drop function of a web builder then Elementor is the site builder for you. 

Avoid plugins such as WPBakery and BeaverBuilder. These site builders contain extra bloat and you will not be able to load your website as fast as you should be.

3. Less Bells and Whistles

When building your website, it is easy to get caught up in all of the different plugins and features you can add to make your website stand out. You must be careful when adding too many of these “bells & whistles” as they can drastically slow down your website.

There are several plugins that are notoriously bloated. Contact Form 7 for example is the #1 contact form plugin for WordPress, and it is also one of the worst plugins you can download in terms of site optimization. Do your research to determine which plugins are slowing your website down and replace those with much better, more lightweight ones.

4. Optimize Images

One of the easiest ways you can reduce your page load time is by optimizing your images, especially if you are running an eCommerce site. Depending on the purpose of the image, you would want to determine what is too large and too small for the image. It shouldn’t go over a certain size and you must compress your images. You can use TinyPNG.com to compress your images after they have been resized. This reduces the file size of your image without degrading the quality.

What I like to do with product images is stick with a certain dimension. For example, 1000 x 1000 or 900 x 900. Any larger and you are just slowing down your website. Any smaller and you will not get the right quality image for your product. You can go slightly higher or lower, but I wouldn’t recommend it by much. 

SmushPRO or EWWW Image Optimizer are one of the best plugin that will compress your images, after they have been uploaded. You should, however, optimize your images prior to uploading. 

3. Hire a Professional

When optimizing a website it is important to analyze the components that are slowing down your website. This may include additional coding, hidden images, API, fonts, and much more.

To further optimize your website, you should reach out to someone with the knowledge and experience to handle these optimization tasks. 

It is possible to break your website when making these changes. Minifying coding such as Javascript and CSS must be done carefully and if you are not familiar with these steps, make sure you at least have a backup of your website. Just in case.

Shameless plug ↓

Want your website to load in just 1 second?

How Fast Should a Website Load in 2020?

You want your website to load between 1-3 seconds, or less. It is possible, even for an eCommerce website with thousands of products to load in just 2.5 seconds, or a directory site with over 300,000 listings to load in 3-5 seconds.

Just follow these steps to speed up web page loading time and you will notice your website begin to make major improvements.

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Anthony DeVola
MArketing Strategist
Anthony DeVola is the lead website developer, marketing strategist and owner of Real Nice Websites LLC. Helping businesses maximize their marketing efforts by optimizing their entire internet presence from the ground up.

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