Over the last seven years, site speed has played a significant role in your search engine rankings. With mobile devices dominating other devices for where your website is viewed, users are expecting an instantaneous response. In other words, if your site is slow (and by slow we mean it takes 3 seconds or longer for a page to load) they will leave your website, and your rankings will be impacted negatively.
On top of search engine rankings, your overall reputation as a business can be profoundly affected by your site’s speed. It may seem odd to say that you’re a bad business because your website is slow, but it is a factor people take into consideration when deciding who to do business with.
Luckily, your website’s speed can be managed by you! Discover the top four ways to tune up your site speed and have a strong digital presence.
Get Your Site Cached
Good web hosts will add a plugin to WordPress that allows you to manage website caching, which allows your content to get served to visitors much faster by putting your data in the server’s readily accessible memory. This is similar to getting ready to drive to work in the morning. If you were in the car with the garage door up when it’s time to leave, you will get reach your destination quicker than if you had to get out of bed, open the car door, turn on the car, and open the garage door.
If your web host doesn’t offer their own plugin, there are an array of plugins you can use to make this as easy as clicking a button. Our favorite is WP Rocket, and you can read more about it here.
Reduce Image Sizes and Don’t Stress About Resolution
Large images on your website are a very typical speed bogger. They reduce your site’s load speed down, so it’s wise to upload images at the minimum possible size. If you have a page on your website allowing for a 300 x 300-pixel image to appear but its normal size is 3000 x 3000 pixels, upload it at 300 x 300 pixels. This size will save you plenty of bandwidth when people load your web pages.
While other people will argue that an image’s resolution or pixels per inch (PPI) matters, it actually doesn’t. You can learn more about this here.
Avoid Bloated Themes
For this point, we would like to use the famous WordPress theme Avada as a prime example of what to avoid. This best-selling WordPress theme can do just about everything, calling itself the “Swiss Army Knife” of WordPress themes. What’s wrong with it is in the resulting code; it’s a complete mess because there’s no way to delete the unused features within the theme. This inability to remove unused code results in Avada-built sites to load slower than those sites built with a custom theme.
We always suggest using a custom-built theme for your website, but if that’s out of scope you can look at some of the excellent themes from StudioPress.
Stay Away from Bad Plugins
Sometimes, your website’s slow speed can be blamed on a plugin but you may never know. It’s wise to frequently check your active plugins and prune any that you no longer use. Not only can excess plugins slow your site down, if a theme author abandons a plugin there is a risk that it could become a security vulnerability on your site (since it’s no longer being updated).
Tuning up your website’s speed can be a simple task, and being mindful of these four tips will help make a world of difference for your website.
For more information about site speed, contact GreenMellen today!