Research from Google shows that if a WordPress website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, 53% of users will leave. From that statistic, you can see how important having a fast website can be. Not only does a slow website affect your bounce rates, but it can also greatly affect your SEO rankings.
Google says that having a fast website will affect user experience. So if your website is slow, Google is less likely to have you rank in front of your competitors for certain keywords.
With that in mind, let’s talk about what makes a WordPress website fast. There are several advantages of using WordPress for your site, but you’re going to need to put some work into ensuring that it is operating at optimal speeds.
Let’s take a look at 11 things that matter in the speed of a WordPress website!
1) Choosing a Good Host
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your WordPress website’s speed is choosing a hosting provider. Not all hosts are equal, and some will undoubtedly perform better than others. When looking for a host, be sure to look for one that offers good bandwidth and performance.
Additionally, managed WordPress hosts are becoming more and more popular. This is because they take care of all of the caching, security, and performance enhancements for you. Your business doesn’t have to worry about any of them.
2) Use a Fast WordPress Theme
Just as we mentioned with hosting, not all WordPress themes are equal. Some themes are better than others and will run faster on your website. When choosing a theme for your site, be sure to do some research to find one that is known for being fast and lightweight.
There are constantly new WordPress themes popping up, the latest shiny or beautiful themes. However, don’t fall into the smart marketing of some of these theme builders. Look at how the creator built the theme. Also, see they created it to help with optimal website speed.
Before you start creating a WordPress website, be sure to shop around and find the right theme.
3) Optimize Your Images
One of the biggest culprits of slow WordPress websites is large images. If you want a fast WordPress website, you’ll need to be careful with how you upload your image.
When you upload an image to your site, often, WordPress will automatically resize it. This can lead to larger file sizes than you uploaded, which in turn can slow down your site.
To avoid this, be sure to optimize your images with the right size before uploading them. You can also use a plugin to automatically compress your images without losing any quality. By optimizing all of your images, you’ll be speeding up a website by quite a bit!
Lazy Load Images
Lazy load images is a technique that loads only the images that are visible on the user’s screen, as opposed to loading all of the images at once. This can be helpful for speeding up your website because it will reduce the number of requests that are made to the server at one time.
So while a visitor is scrolling down your page, the images are loading with it, rather than all of them as soon as the user lands on the page.
There are several WordPress plugins that allow you to lazy load your images, and it’s a technique that you should definitely consider using on your site.
4) Keeping Everything Updated
Updates are a part of life for WordPress websites. WordPress core, themes, plugins, and even the PHP code all need to update in order to help your site run as efficiently as possible. They are constantly changing and adapting to the ever-growing virtual world, so you’ll want to keep up with them as much as possible.
Related reading: WordPress Compatibility with PHP 8
Always be running the most up-to-date versions to improve performance, secure your site, fix bugs, and ensure that all features and tools are working as they should.
Not only does this help with speed, but it can keep you safe from unwanted cyber threats!
5) Get Rid of Your Unused Plugins
Plugins can be a great thing, but they can also be the downfall of your WordPress website’s speed. If you have a lot of plugins installed that you’re not using, they will add bloat to your website and slow it down.
Remove any plugins that you’re not using from your site. This will help keep your WordPress site running fast and smoothly.
6) Try To Limit CSS & JavaSript Usage
One of the biggest causes of a slow website is the overuse of CSS and JavaSript. When files are called multiple times on a single page, it can slow the page load time down.
These are of course fundamental to the functions of your website, but these files can truly slow down any website. So, you’ll want to keep limit its usage as much as possible while building out your WordPress website. The less you use this, the faster your pages will load for visitors.
7) Use a Caching Plugin
Caching plugins are essential to keeping your WordPress website running quickly. They work by caching your pages and posts as static HTML files. This means that the next time someone visits your website, the pages will already be loaded and ready to go, which will speed up the loading process.
Every time someone lands on your website, the web page requests the PHP on your server. This is all of the content and information on your WordPress database. It is then put together in the HTML file and then sent to the client.
The cashing plugin is able to simplify that whole process by saving the full HTML pages so that future traffic and visitors don’t have to wait for those requests. Making pages load much quicker.
There is a variety of caching plugins available for WordPress, so be sure to do some research and find one that best suits your needs.
8) Having a Clean Database
As your website grows, so does the amount of data it stores. This can include spam comments, unused themes and plugins, drafts of posts and pages, and old media files. All of this data takes up valuable storage space and can slow down your website.
One way to combat this is by regularly cleaning your WordPress database. This means deleting any data that you don’t need or aren’t using. You can do this manually or use a plugin to help automate the process.
9) Using Too Much Content on a Single Page
As mentioned before, having a lot of content on a single page can lead to longer load times. If you have a massively long blog post with all types of different content and elements, this could take quite a while for the page to load.
You’ll want to avoid putting too much information onto one page and instead spread it out over multiple pages. This will help keep your website running quickly and smoothly. This can also help with an overall better user experience.
10) Minimize HTTP Requests
The more HTTP requests there are, the slower the page will load. You can minimize these requests by combining files whenever possible, using cache files, and using Gzip compression.
11) Use a CDN
When a website uses a CDN, it will pull the static files from the closest server to the visitor instead of from the main server. This can help speed up the loading process by reducing the distance that the files need to travel.
This is mainly an issue when you have visitors arriving from far away from your home servers, such as international visitors. By implementing a CDN, you are able to reduce this by quite a bit.
There are a number of different CDN services available, so be sure to do some research and find one that best suits your needs.
What Makes a WordPress Website Fast
There are a number of factors that play into how fast a WordPress website loads. But what makes a WordPress website fast?
- Having a good host & lightweight theme
- Optimized images
- Keeping everything up to date
- Removing unused plugins
- Using a caching plugin & a clean database
- Minimizing content & HTTP
- Using CDN
But by following these tips, you can ensure that your website is running fast.
If you’re looking for a lightweight theme that is optimized to keep a website running fast, be sure to check out Hastighet theme. A WordPress theme built for speed!