79% and 52%…
79% is the proportion of buyers who are unlikely to make repeat purchases if they are dissatisfied with the speed and performance of your website, according to research by Kissmetrics. Oh, and it gets worse; 44 percent of shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online, which means prospective visitors are likely to shy away from your site as well.
52% is the number of online buyers who report that speedy site loading is important to their loyalty. Nearly half of shoppers expect websites to load in two seconds or less; if loading takes a second longer than this, customer satisfaction drops by about 16 percent. That one-second delay also reduces conversions by 7 percent, which means if you make an average of $100,000 in daily sales, you could lose $2.6 million in a year.
Website performance also impacts your ranking in search results and, as a consequence, your online visibility. Google, for example, has been penalizing slow-loading websites since it issued a page speed update to its algorithm in 2018.
Basically, if you have been struggling to retain customers, check the performance of your WordPress website.
You probably know the importance of a zippy site, which is why you are reading this and not a ‘Why Your Super-Fast WordPress Site Is Awesome’ article. If you’re struggling with site load speeds and are looking for some quick, non-technical ways to improve the performance of your WordPress site – we’ve assembled a list of seven things you can do today!
Read on. But first things first.
How Fast Should a Website Load?
Google recommends website loading times of two seconds or less. This view is backed by a number of studies, and you can learn more here.
How Do You Find the Current Load Speed of Your WordPress Site?
Now that you know what target you are aiming for, the next step is finding out how fast your WordPress site loads. For the non-technically minded, one of the best tools for the job is Page Speed Insights by Google. It gives you detailed information on how quickly your website loads on desktop and mobile, provides tips for how to speed it up, and even ranks the changes you need to make by the level of priority.
Other tools to try out are Pingdom Page Speed and GTmetrix. For more information about using these tools, check out Using Performance Testing Tools to Improve your Website.
What Are Some Non-Technical Ways to Speed Up a Slow WordPress Site?
Browsers need to download images, scripts, and other files to render your WordPress website. The larger these files are, the slower the loading process tends to be.
Smaller file sizes allow rendering to proceed at a much faster clip. For the non-technically minded, shrinking the images of your website is the wisest course of action as it requires little in the way of specialized expertise. You can do this at resizeimage.net or using software such as Photoshop. Additionally, plugins like Jetpack Security Daily can be used to lazy load images for better website performance.
You can also trim the file size of your images by switching to a different format. For instance, high-resolution PNGs can be converted to smaller, lower-resolution JPGs with satisfying levels of detail using Photoshop or other editing tools. Learn more about how to choose the right image file type.
Use Fewer Plugins
If your WordPress site is still loading slowly, check your plugins. Plugins pull resources from your database every time a user loads a new page. Using too many plugins can seriously impact the overall performance and user experience of your site, especially if two or more plugins are conflicting with each other.
Whenever you add or update a plugin on your WordPress site, test the site load speed before and after. Not only can this help trim time off your load speeds, but it can also prevent situations that may cause a security vulnerability.
Switch to Managed Hosting
Web hosting has a huge influence on the loading performance of your WordPress site, particularly when your site gets a large number of visitors.
If website performance is important to your business’ success, a managed WordPress hosting provider – like Pressable – is the best choice to go with, even if it costs a bit more than shared hosting. With managed WordPress hosting, you’ll get improved site speed, uptime guaranteed by an SLA, enhanced web application firewall, and 24/7 WordPress hosting support by real WordPress experts.
For more details about the benefits of managed hosting, download our free e-book entitled 4 Ways Managed WordPress Hosting Makes Your Life Easier.
Keep Your Site Updated
If your website is still loading slowly, check to see if you are using the latest version of WordPress. The WordPress development community issues frequent updates, some of which introduce speed enhancements or solve performance problems. Ensure that any themes or plugins you are using are also up to date.
Another benefit of working with a managed hosting provider is that your host updates WordPress core as new versions become available. This benefit not only saves you time but also ensures your WordPress site is as secure and optimized for performance as possible.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If your servers are only in a single location, anyone visiting your website from the far-flung corners of the world will likely experience slower loading speeds.
A content delivery network (CDN) can help mitigate this problem. A CDN is a network of servers spread out in different geographical locations. Each server stores static elements, such as images and content, that are required to render your site. When a visitor comes a-calling, they are served with static elements from the server closest to them, thus significantly cutting down website load times. While you can invest in a 3rd party CDN like Cloudflare, Pressable offers a free global CDN as part of our managed hosting services.
While it is true that some adjustments to your WordPress website may require the skill of a seasoned developer or agency, there are still many non-technical changes you can make to speed things up – and the most impactful is switching to a managed hosting provider like Pressable that offers an integrated CRM and automated WordPress updates.
Interested in making a switch to Pressable? Feel free to get in touch with us today. Not only will we match you up with the right WordPress hosting plan for your business, but we’ll also migrate your website to our servers for free!
Zach has 12+ years of experience with WordPress, from creating and maintaining client sites, to providing support and developing documentation. A knack for problem-solving and providing solutions led Zach to pursue a job with Automattic providing customer support in 2015 working with WooCommerce support, and now Zach has recently joined our team here at Pressable. Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his family, playing and watching sports, and working on projects around the house.