You put so much work into making your WordPress website, it’d be a shame if one little thing could be its entire undoing.
What’s that thing?
If your website takes longer to load than it took you to read this paragraph, then you’re in trouble.
Luckily, there are WordPress plugins that’ll make your website load so quickly your visitors won’t even notice they’re already using it.
Why Should Your WordPress Load Quickly?
Here are a few reasons why you want your website to load in under 3 seconds.
- 53% of mobile users bounce if the website takes more than three seconds to load.
- Upwards of 87% of carts are abandoned if the load time is two seconds or more.
- 79% of users who have a negative experience with a website are less likely to buy again.
How to Test Your WordPress Load Speed
Here are some popular options for testing your website load speed.
What Can I Do to Make My WordPress Load Faster?
There are several things you can do to make your website load faster.
When choosing hosting, make sure it :
- Fits size of your site.
- Can support traffic levels.
- Can handle increased traffic levels.
- Is configured properly.
- Runs the top-of-the-line hardware and software.
The size of your site can affect loading speed, so make sure you have suitable hosting and proper optimization to get the size down to as low as possible without compromising on user experience or quality.
Number of Posts
Your website’s homepage is the first impression you make.
So, it’s important that it be optimized and load as quickly as possible.
It helps to show only excerpts of content and reduce the total number of posts.
Keep Your WordPress Simple
Remove everything you don’t need and focus on content and functionality.
Even something as small as a widget should only exist because of its use for visitors.
WordPress Theme Quality
A poorly coded WordPress theme will affect:
- Load time
- The number of plugins necessary to get the most granular level of control over your theme.
Plugins should only be installed when they’re used because they only slow down your website if they’re:
- Not current
How Can Plugins Optimize Your WordPress?
WordPress optimization plugins tend to focus on several key features:
- WordPress HeartBeat API
- Reducing or disabling Ajax
- Deferring Scripts
- Lazy Loading
What Is Cache?
Caching is one of the most frequently employed methods of getting your website to load faster.
Caching is a practice that results in a faster WordPress website and improved performance.
In and of itself, cache is data that’s temporarily stored for fast access upon request.
Most often, computers need to run several processes to retrieve information before it’s made available.
Cache speeds this process up by storing the most commonly accessed data in temporary storage. WordPress websites can do the same thing.
WordPress is a dynamic content management system (CMS), which means that every visit to a WordPress website requires getting data from a database and performing several functions before WordPress gets to your browser.
Thanks to caching, WordPress can forgo many of these steps by making a copy of the page after the first visit and then use that page for every visit thereafter.
This can significantly optimize your website.
That’s why so many plugins for WordPress deal with cache.
What Is Ajax?
Simply put, Ajax updates part of a web page without reloading the entire page. Ajax can be very helpful, but it can also be a drain on your central processing unit (CPU)
What Is HeartBeat API?
Heartbeat API is WordPress’s built-in simple server polling API.
It allows for almost real-time frontend updates. Controlling it saves you CPU usage and keeps your AJAX at a reasonable amount.
What Does It Mean to Defer Scripts?
What Is a CDN?
A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a network of servers spread out across a particular geographic location for the purpose of delivering faster content delivery based on which server is closest to you).
What Is Lazy Loading?
Instead of loading an entire page at once, which may take too long, this plugin seamlessly loads only the parts being viewed by the visitor at that moment.
What Is Concatenation?
This is the process of combining separate files into one file to reduce how many requests are on your site.
What Is Minification?
Minification reduces website load time by eliminating redundancies and superfluous content in:
- HTML files
- CSS files
What Plugins Can Make My WordPress Load Faster?
Here are some well-reviewed WordPress plugins to optimize your website.
1. WP Super Cache: Faster Rendering
2. W3 Total Cache: Faster Rendering
4. WP Smush: Reducing Image Size
5. BJ Lazy Load: Decreasing Pageload
6. WP-Optimize: Optimizing the Database
7. Autoptimize: Script Optimization
8. ShortPixel: Image Compression
9. Lazy Load by WP Rocket: Lazy Loading
With so many plugins for WordPress optimization to choose from, it can be helpful to read user reviews and take note of the number of active installations.
But even then there’s an abundance of riches because so many of the PlugIns enjoy 100,000+ if not 1,000,000+ active users and great reviews.
At that point, it’s simply a matter of experimenting to figure out which plugins work best for you.
At the end of the day, though, the real winners are the visitors to your website, who’ll enjoy a fast load time and get the most out of your hard work.