Your WordPress Site is Slow (Here’s How to Fix It)

How long does it take for your WordPress website to load? Have you checked it using site speed tools? If not, you may be surprised at what a slow load time might be costing you.

In this article we’re going to go over the following:

  • What a slow page load can cost you
  • Why cheap hosting hurts you
  • How to test your site speed

What’s At Stake?

Think about it. If a site takes too long to load, you will probably bounce.

Bounce (loosely defined): to leave a slow website in frustration and never return.

If your site is taking too long to load, a visitor will get the impression the site is not properly optimized and (possibly) less secure.

A customer getting a bad impression of your site can be disastrous for e-commerce.

What’s a Good Load Time?

According to Google, you should be aiming for three seconds or less. That speed can be tough to get, but we’ve got some tips to help get you there.

First Of All, Get Optimized WordPress Hosting

When it comes to WordPress Hosting, you have a lot of options. You can spend a lot of money at once, or you can shop around for something that gives you the best value, with top-of-the-line security, all at a sane price.

But, whatever you do, don’t go el cheapo just because of a “WordPress Hosting” label. Inferior hosting can leave your site open for hackers. (And will there be adequate support to help you recover your site?)

Our WordPress stack is fully optimized, and we tell you exactly how, so you know what you’re getting. And you’re fully supported by our team of WordPress experts 24/7.

How to Test Your Site Speed

If you go with our WordPress Hosting, we think you’ll be delighted with your speed, no further effort required. But it’s still good to know how to test your speed for future reference or for comparison.

You’ll need to do some testing of your current site speed to help guide your efforts.

  1. Use Google PageSpeed Insights, or
  2. Install the WordPress Plugin for same

(Be careful when installing new WordPress plugins. It’s always best to have a backup of your site, just in case.)

How to Improve Site Speed

We’ve already talked about how your hosting stack can help you optimize, now we’re going to deeper into your site itself to reveal the tricks of the trade.

Defer JavaScript Parsing

This is such a common tactic, that if you ask any developer they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about and how to help you implement it.

However, if you’re not a coder, you might not be able to handle this step yourself. However, in most high-quality WordPress themes, you don’t need to worry about it.

But what does it all mean? JavaScript code controls much of your site’s interactive display elements. And all of that code can slow your site down if placed in sub-optimal locations: such as the very top of a page.

Moving the JavaScript closer to the bottom means your critical page elements will load first. (And your visitor will have something to look at sooner.)

Reduce Server Response Time

Of course, it helps to make sure you’re running the latest version of PHP. You can check that in your cPanel. You can also do well with a WordPress cache plugin.

However, if you’re using our WordPress Hosting package, you don’t need to worry about this, because we’ve got industry standard caching built right into the stack.

Image Optimization

Large images are great, but they can be a huge drag on your server and, thus, slow down your load times dramatically.

But there’s a lot you can do here:

  1. Optimize your images for the web using something like Photoshop or GIMP, and/or
  2. Install the Jetpack plugin to offload your images to the WordPress CDN (content delivery network)
  3. Compress your images with a plugin like WP Smush

One of these options, or a combination of all three, will significantly improve image performance and overall page speeds.

Bring It All Together

Let’s recap:

  1. Get high-quality WordPress Hosting
  2. Test your site speeds (before and after)
  3. Improve your site speed
    • Proper JavaScript placement
    • Reduce server strain
    • Optimize images

If you can manage to do all of this your site will be loading at near-instant speeds. (And your visitors will thank you for that.)

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