When you ask about boosting your online business website performance, the first we suggest to all is to focus on the website speed. This is one of the fundamentals of online businesses that people are likely to leave your page if they are not treated well just like your offline stores. Here the speed is your greetings to the visitors and therefore losing it means losing your customers for once and all.
A report says that 60% of search engine users don’t wait for more than 3 seconds for any webpage to open. This means you have only 3 seconds to impress your first-time visitors. But that’s not always possible as online business websites are loaded with hundreds of content, images, elements, plugins, graphics, and whatnot. All these make your website heavy and difficult to load.
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This article explores the fundamentals of website speed and tips to maintain that amidst all challenges.
Why is Website Speed Important for Your Business?
As we stated earlier, 60% of the users don’t wait more than 3 seconds. They move on to another website offering similar services or products. Therefore slow speed leads you to less traffic, higher bounce rate, SEO penalties, and tremendous loss in online turnover.
Another report says that with each second delay, a website loses 16% in customer satisfaction, an 11% loss in traffic, and a 7% drop in conversions. Moreover, Google and other search engines have started penalizing slower websites. A slow website will never make it to the top of SERP results means a huge drop in organic traffic is inevitable for such websites.
Pro Tip: Take a free online website speed test to check the speed quality of your website.
Fundamental Tips for Boosting Your Website Speed:
1. Update Your Website:
WordPress is very strict about its space and regularly updates the website for security & performance concerns. You are likely to get frequent notifications for updates from WP. As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to update your website timely.
The whole WP update includes plugins, elementor, PHP, and WP versions. These updates fix security issues & bugs and add new features to make the experience smoother for users. With each new version, your website becomes faster, more secure, and welcoming to internet nerds.
2. Use Good Hosting Only:
A website’s speed is as good as its hosting provider. Before stepping into the optimization section of the website, check whether you have a good hosting service or not. Using cheap hosting will never result in high-speed website performance.
You will get two options while buying hosting providers- shared & private. Shared hosting allows many websites to run on their servers whereas private hosting will lend its services to you only.
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Both services are good for online businesses but shared hosting has a general issue. If one of their websites would have huge traffic then it may affect your website speed to balance. If you have a limited budget, go for a good shared hosting provider. Moreover, make sure you do some good research beforehand.
3. Optimise Background Processing:
Background processing refers to scheduled tasks in WP that run in the background such as
– Backup plugins.
– Scheduled posts.
– Updates checks
– Search engine crawlers fetching content.
Among the above-mentioned, search engine crawling & backup plugins heavily affect the website speed. Here are some tips to manage them.
– Make sure that backup plugins work only in low traffic time.
– Adjust the data & the frequency for backup.
– Check your Google Search Console for frequent crawling reports. Schedule their frequency for better speed.
4. Use an Optimised Theme for WP:
When creating a fresh WP website, go for an optimized theme that offers you a prominent speed. Some themes look beautiful but they lack speed thus nullifying all your efforts. It is always good for businesses to go with a simple classy theme with better codes & attributes.
5. Use Faster Plugins:
Thousands of plugins are available in the WP library. Most likely you’re going to be confused about them. Understand that your site doesn’t need all of the plugins. Instead, use some chosen WP plugins that are professionally coded and match your needs.
– WPForms: Fastest contact form plugin.
– All-in-One SEO: Extra boost for your SERP ranking.
– Elementor: Drag & Drop page builder for your website.
6. Install Lazy Loading:
If your website uses many images, videos, or photo galleries; it’s a good idea to install lazy loading. Images and video files take time to get loaded on the website. It affects the whole page and users see nothing but a white page on the screen.
Lazy Loading presents lightweight elements like texts first to engage users and slowly loads all the elements accordingly with size. This plugin doesn’t affect your website speed but effectively drops your bounce rate.
7. Optimise Your Images:
No one wants hazy images on their website. Such images affect the first impression of any website to users. However, uploading high-quality images will slow down your website heavily. As high-quality images are of huge sizes, you need to first optimize them and reduce their sizes to a minimum. Uploading optimized images will not impact website speed and bingo, your pages are easy to load.
8. Use Content Delivery Network:
A CDN network includes servers around the globe. When a person from the USA opens your site, the search query will not reach your server directly. Instead, the signal will travel from server to server to reach its target. All those servers will store your ‘static’ website pages. The one server closest to the user will respond to their search queries. Not only does this help your website but also reduces your server’s load greatly.
9. Allow Cache for Faster Loading:
Caching is a secret dynamic tool to speed up your website. All of us have seen the cache pop-ups but most people don’t have a clear idea about it. The cache is a minute of static data of your dynamic web pages. There are two types of website cache you need to work on.
– Page Cache stores static HTML files of your website pages. When searched, it helps your website to present that HTML file to the users earliest as possible.
– Browser cache stores static files of your website on the web browser of users. This prevents the user’s browser from downloading everything each time resulting in better speed.
Pro Tip: Use the W3 Total Cache free caching plugin.
10. Reduce the Number of Requests:
Delete all plugins and elements that are of no need. Keep your website as clean and smooth as possible. Most of the plugins have coded HTML & PHP files that effectively slow down a website’s performance. Moreover, these plugins load additional files on all of the pages where they aren’t needed. Removing them will help your website to present its content at the same time.
Website speed is one of the most crucial factors that affect your online business. If you’re a website owner, before any advanced optimization, look for your website’s speed and boost it whenever needed. This article has presented suggestions to boost your website’s speed. Check how many of them are you using currently.
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