Website speed can have huge impacts on user experience (UX), SEO (search engine optimisation), and SERP (search engine results page).
Slow websites will turn off potential visitors (info) and harm SEO and SERP (Google does not like slow websites!).
I’ll outline TEN easy ways to improve your WordPress website speed to improve UX, SEO, and SERP.
Change your Host.
Your web host can impact your website speed. Chose the wrong host, and it won’t matter what you do with your website (see the additional hints below) you’ll find it hard to improve your website speed.
Here at Elev8 Web Design, we use SiteGround (one of the recommended WordPress hosts by WpBeginner.Com).
Not only does Siteground provide excellent hosting packages (providing excellent speed), but they also offer fantastic customer services and an additional plugin (SiteGround Optimiser) that allows the user to enhance the speed of their website.
Think About Your Theme.
Some themes are very bloated and will slow your website down. A developer can remove these elements (some plugins can remove these elements as well), but you need to be aware that some themes will slow your website down.
The five quickest themes according to HubSpot are:
Make Your Images Smaller.
Images are great for websites and can set you apart from your competitors. However, one reason your website could be slow is the size of the image you are using.
Image sizes don’t need to be big or have a high DPI (dots per inch). Check to see what size image you need for the element of the page and alter the size using editing software such as Photoshop, Paint (Windows), or Canva (online).
Minify JS and CSS.
These are terms that developers deal with regularly, and adapting these elements allows users to minify code and files to improve website speed.
How do I do this, I hear you ask?
There are plugins available that help minify these two elements, including Siteground’s Optimiser plugin, which is Free within their hosting plans.
Use Lazy Loading.
Lazy loading allows images (which are not visible or referred to as ‘below the fold’) to load later.
Cache plugins (e.g., W3 Total Cache) and hosting optimiser plugins will usually have this option.
Install a caching plugin.
All cache plugins have different options that will enable your website to perform quicker.
WP Beginner recommends the following cache plugins or optimisers:
W3 Total Cache
WP Super Cache
Hosting built-in cache plugins (e.g., SiteGround)
All are excellent options and will help improve your website’s speed, leading to better UX, SEO, and SERP positions.
Use the latest PHP version.
This will depend on your web host, as some update their PHP versions to the latest, while others will wait a while. You can check for the most recent PHP releases here (add link https://www.php.net/releases/index.php)
In most cases, you will need to access your C-Panel or equivalent via your web host to find out the different PHP options you can access.
Maintain your website
Website maintenance can be a big factor in your website speed. If you don’t regularly maintain your website it will SLOW it down.
WordPress users can set up automatic updates (although I don’t recommend this) or automatic notifications to inform you when to update.
Either way, you should regularly maintain your website to make sure
Use a CDN.
What is a CDN?
A content delivery network (CDN) refers to servers located in a specific geographical area that provide a faster experience for users.
For example, if your website is hosted in the UK and a user accesses it from the United States, it will likely take longer for the website to load.
However, having a CDN allows for the website to be accessed from a server closer to the user, improving website speed and UX.
One of the most popular CDN services is from CLOUDFLARE.
Don’t upload videos to your media library.
Video’s take up a lot of space and bandwidth (the amount of data a website uses).
Uploading videos to your media library will slow your website. You could incur higher fees from your web host due to bandwidth use.
This article from VidYard.Com provides excellent solutions to use video on your website without slowing it down.
In summary, it’s not that difficult to improve your website’s speed, which will provide a better UX for all visitors, improve your SEO and SERP position. If you need any further assistance, you can email me at [email protected] or check out our services page.