Slow-loading websites can negatively impact both the desktop and mobile internet browsing experience.
Moreover, having a slow loading speed can compromise a site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance by reducing its rank on search results.
Today, we will explore several practices you can try to have optimal website performance.
Why Website Speed Optimization Is Important
Page speed will be users’ first impression of your website. The quicker they can access your web pages, the better the user experience (UX). Furthermore, since loading speed is a ranking factor on Google, a lagging website can negatively impact aspects like traffic volume.
Apart from improving the UX and SEO aspects, implementing best practices to speed up WordPress sites can also help reduce bounce rates, increase conversions, and ultimately boost profitability.
How to Fix Slow Website Performance
Before we go into the solutions, it is best to perform a website speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights. The free tool will analyze the desktop and mobile versions of your site performance and offer actionable suggestions for improvement.
Now, let’s look at some best practices to speed up your website.
1. Reduce HTTP Requests
When a web page successfully loads on users’ devices, it means the web server has resolved all the HTTP requests sent by the web browser. The more files need to load on a page, the more requests will be sent, resulting in longer page load times.
The simplest approach to reducing HTTP requests is to cut down on unnecessary or unused website files.
Browse through your media library and delete any images used on posts you have removed. Other unnecessary files can include embedded videos or unused plugins.
2. Use a CDN
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a collection of servers located at several points across the globe. Essentially, it works by loading the cached version of website content from the server closest to the user’s geographic location. This means CDNs work best for websites that have a global audience.
When selecting a CDN provider, ensure they have servers in regions where most of your traffic comes from.
4. Enable Browser Caching
When website owners enable browser caching, visitors’ browsers can store a local copy of a web page. This prevents too many HTTP requests from being sent to the server, which results in improved site speed. Use a tool like GiftOfSpeed to see if your website has enabled caching.
WordPress site owners can enable browser caching manually via the .htaccess file or install plugins like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache.
5. Optimize Image Sizes
Image optimization helps website owners maintain a smooth user experience. Apart from reducing image file sizes, using a web-friendly image file format like JPEG can boost page load time. To optimize image files, use online image compression tools like TinyPNG or Optimizilla.
Alternatively, try the CSS sprite technique, which combines several images into one file to reduce the number of server requests and bandwidth usage. CSS image generators like Spritegen or CSS Portal can help you with the process.
Excellent User Experience
Maintaining an excellent user experience involves providing impressive web visual designs, valuable content, smooth navigation, and a secure online environment. Crucially, this also means having a fast website and offering good page load speed.
All of these factors can positively impact your online presence and reputation. We hope this article has provided helpful solutions for better website performance optimization. Good luck!