WordPress is a content management system (a.k.a. CMS) founded by Matt Mullenweg in 2004. It’s now a robust web tool you can use to create and manage your websites. Blogs, business websites, personal sites, and e-commerce stores can all benefit from using WordPress if it’s properly optimized. If you do not properly optimize your WordPress website, the impacts both from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, as well as from the end-user’s perspective, can be negatively effected.
Improperly optimized WordPress websites contribute to fewer on-site conversions, poorer search engine rankings, and an overall malaize by your users. These days, site visitors expect lightning-fast websites built for a wide range of devices and network connections. Not everyone has access to 5G or even 4G networks yet. It’s smartest to plan your website’s optimization around those users, too! When you do, you’ll open yourself up to many more users.
Page Loading Statistics
Take a look at some important page load time statistics from Google Lighthouse, a developer tool used to test the page performance for your website.
- If a site takes more than one second for your site to become interactive, users lose attention and may “bounce“. Simply put, this means that you will lose your user’s trust if it takes more than one second for your top page elements to load. That’s literally a split-second to make sure your site visitors don’t bounce. Are you SURE your website hits the mark? Use our FREE Website Performance Tool now to find out.
- 1MB takes a maximum of 5 seconds to load on a typical 3G connection. The average WordPress site is 1,043MB. Not all of that data needs to be downloaded on the browser when a user accesses your website, but a good portion of it is. That’s why it’s always good to minimize the number of plugins your website uses. Generally speaking, the more plugins you have activated, the slower your site will be.
- As page load time increases from one second to seven seconds, the probability of a mobile site user bouncing increases by 113%. For context, the average WordPress website takes five to seven seconds to load. Which means, most WordPress site owners are missing the mark.
- As the number of elements on a page increases from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversions drops 95%. A page element is any bit of content displayed on a web page. This may include text, images, videos, embeds, feeds, forms, and more. As you add more page elements to your website, it deters your users from completing the conversion objective and confuses the end user. Strip down your site as much as possible. Leave only the must-have elements on each page and you’ll not only notice faster load times, but you may also improve your site conversions.
- Using third-party plugins to accomplish something WordPress does by default has negative impacts on page load times. For instance, using a plugin such as WP Discuz, a popular commenting ‘improvement’ plugin to replace the default WordPress commenting feature may slow down your site. In fact, by reducing the response size of JSON needed for displaying comments, Instagram saw increased impressions. It’s always smarter to use the default functionality in WordPress if possible, so you don’t bog down your website with unnecessary plugins.
Common Reasons Your WordPress Website May Be Loading Slowly
The most common reasons your WordPress site is load slowly are:
Slow or poor quality hosting that doesn’t match your traffic or site size.
Slow or poor quality hosting is the number one contributor to slow loading WordPress websites. Choosing the right web host is vital to your site’s success. A Managed Web Host like Site Assembly offers the scalability and optimizations your site needs to perform optimally at all times. And we don’t charge extra for any of the “bells and whistles” as many other web hosts do.
Use promo code FREEFOR30 to grab your discount, which includes FREE migrations!
You’re not using server caching or a caching plugin on your site
Server caching is oftentimes a built-in tool through your web host. At Site Assembly, we offer server caching at no extra charge. Some web hosts may charge extra for server caching.
However, server caching is different from page caching, which can be done using a plugin.
You’re not using a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce the load on your hosting
Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) leverage multiple server locations to deliver content to your users based on accessibility and location. Back in the day, only high-traffic websites would be candidates for a CDN, but WordPress websites should now utilize a CDN since most sites include lots of images and videos, and users may be visiting your site from different locations.
You have not compressed your images
Large image files, or images over 250 KB, need to be optimized. There are some great WordPress plugins that do this well, but if you can compress your images before uploading them to your site, try that first. Start by Googling ‘free image compressors’ to find options.
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