Have you just started a WordPress blog but struggling to speed up web page loading? Or you think, website loading time is not a matter of fact to consider? If so, then you must look at the below stats.
A one second delay in page load time can result you in:
- 11% fewer page views
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 7% loss in conversions
(According to Aberdeen Group)
A report by the Microsoft Bing search team shows that, a 2-second delay in page responsiveness resulted in a reduced user satisfaction by 3.8%, increased lost revenue per user by 4.3% and a reduced clicks by 4.3%.
Also another study by Akamai shows that:
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
- 52% of online shoppers say quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site.
The website loading time can dramatically impact your website ranking and hence conversion. Google also says that page load speed is among the 200 ranking factors which help to decide a website’s position in the SERPs.
It is really challenging to beat the competition and earn search traffic. Now in this scenario, if your readers face a second of delay in site loading time, then chances are huge that you will lose that search traffic. While improving your ranking, good site loading speed also enriches the experience of your user.
How to Increase Web Page Loading Speed
So now we understand that why it is important to work towards reducing our blog loading time. But what are those measures you must take to increase your site loading speed?
Here I have listed such 10 quick tips which will help you to optimize website loading time.
Reduce Server Response Time
No matter how much speed optimized your web pages are, your website will load slow if your server response time is slow. According to Google “You should reduce your server response time under 200ms”. Now many factors like website resource usage, web hosting and many other decide the server response time. If you read until the end of the post, you will be capable enough to minimize your server response time.
Minimize HTTP Requests
Yahoo says that, 80% of a Web page’s load time is spent downloading the different pieces of the page such as stylesheets, scripts, images, Flash etc. An HTTP request is made for each of these elements. So the more component you have in your page, longer time it will take to load. You must simplify your website design by minimizing the number of elements on your page. To do so, you can perform few activities like: trim down the scripts, combine multiple style sheets, use CSS instead of images etc.
Use a Good Web Host
For many starter bloggers, shared hosting might seem to be a good deal. But it can actually slow your site’s speed and can cause you frequent down time. Also no one wants to host their blog on a poorly supported server. So invest in a proper hosting plan. A professional web host can dramatically increase your site loading speed. You can checkout our web hosting guide to choose the best webhost for your blog. For personal blogs, BlueHost and Hostgator are good choice.
Optimize Usage of Plugins
WordPress blogs have better advantages over the blogspot blogs as they can install and use some great plugins to perform many blogging necessities. But make sure that you don’t overdo things. We have a tendency to use a bunch of plugins for different needs. Installing too many plugins actually take a lot of server space and make your blog slow. It can cause you many other issues like security issues and many technical difficulties while slowing your site. It also comes with a threat of crashing.
Try and find out which plugins are impacting your server performance and then remove the unnecessary ones. To minimize your plugin usage, try to use a package plugin like Jetpack plugin and Yoast SEO that covers almost all the functionalities of your social sharing and SEO needs.
Invest in a Good Theme
Though there are many good free themes out there, but if you are serious about your blog then I would say that spending in a premium theme will be a good investment for your blog. A free theme offers you less flexibility and customization options. Also few of them may contain some malicious codes.
Genesis themes from StudioPress are the most professionally designed, SEO-optimized, secure and over all fast loading themes. You can check out the detailed review of the Genesis Framework to decide why you should opt for StudioPress Genesis themes.
Large pages are mostly bulky and take longer time to download. You can reduce their loading time by compressing (zipping) them. You can reduce the HTTP response by reducing the bandwidth of your pages through compression before sending them for download.
There are many tools available to do so – one such is the Gzip Compression plugin. Gzip can reduce the download time by upto 70% (according to Yahoo). And the best thing is most of the web browsers support Gzip and can compress files in that format.
Minify your Codes
You can analyse the speed and check which elements on your site take considerable time to load. You will find that some fancy social widgets, certain HTML codes and other java scripts take longer time to load.
Minifying essentially means removing whitespace from site files, new line characters, block delimiters etc. To minify your files you can do a several things. Read this article to know more about how to minify your codes. WP Minify is also a good plugin for WordPress users for doing things automatically.
Optimize Image Size and Format
Oversized images can take up a lot of bandwidth on your site. So it becomes very much important to keep your image size as small as possible to make them load faster. You can use plugins like Smush It to decrease the size of the images. Smush it compresses the images on your site without losing the quality of the image. Another tool TinyPNG works good for compressing png files.
You can also use lazy load WordPress plugin which will conditionally load your images as and when the reader scrolls to the bottom of the page. As it does not load all the images at once, so your images get a lot of time load. Always try to stick to the standard image formats like JPG, PNG, GIF for optimizing your page loading time.
Optimize Browser Caching
These files can be then retrieved from the cache rather than downloading them everytime the visitor loads the page. This means the page will be loaded without sending any other HTTP request to the server. Thus your page loading time gets improved while reducing the bandwidth and offcourse the hosting costs.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance.
MaxCDN is one of the best Content Delivery Network for a WordPress site. Their dashboard is very easy to use and it comes with handy tutorials. And the price is also very reasonable.
Bonus Tip: Optimize your Homepage
I also have a bonus tip for you 🙂
Your Homepage is the most important part of your website. Most of the time people land to this page of yours. So you must optimize this by taking certain measures. To minimize the loading time of your homepage you must ensure to:
- Keep your homepage design to the minimal
- Reduce the number of posts on the page (Try to keep it between 7-10)
- Show only excerpts instead of full posts (I am sure you must be doing that)
- Remove the sharing widgets from the home page (though it’s a personal choice, but including them only in the posts are more than enough)
With a huge boost in mobile usage, now the users are less tolerant of slow websites than ever before. So it has become more important that your website loads blazing fast. Hope these tips will help you to increase your page loading speed effectively. So how you are optimizing your site loading time? Please feel free to share if you are applying any other speed improvement techniques.