Too many website owners focus on how their WordPress website looks, often forgetting that how well it performs also matters. This is a costly mistake, one that can have immense impact on your company’s profits.
Yes, your website is your digital storefront, but it is not enough that it is well-designed. If you want to keep visitors on your site and convert them into customers, your pages need to load fast.
Having a fast website is also necessary if you want Internet users to find it as speed is a ranking factor for SEO.
Why WordPress Speed Optimisation Matters
Lower Your Bounce Rate
Website speed is one of the critical factors that determine whether visitors stay on your site or leave. The longer your load time is, the higher your bounce rates will be.
According to Google, when the page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the chance of bounce increases by 32%.
Keeping visitors on your site means having page-loading speed that is under two seconds. Go beyond this and expect around 47% of visitors bouncing off your site.
Better User Experience
Successful websites have one thing in common – they provide excellent user experience. Page-load speed has a significant effect on user experience.
Most Internet users are very impatient. Their interest on the site wanes every second they wait for the page to load. In fact, people have no qualms abandoning a site if it is taking too long for its content to load.
Simply put, a slow page-load speed kills user experience. It does not just cause users to leave your site but also convinces them not to revisit it.
Rank High on SERPs
Google admitted that page load speed is one of the factors it considers in ranking websites on search engine results pages (SERPs).
This means that having a slow website can hurt your chances of landing on the first page of SERPs. You surely do not want this as appearing on page 1 of organic search results is critical in improving your traffic and conversions.
Sure, there are many other ranking signals. But page speed is one of the things you cannot ignore as search engines, especially Google, undeniably value it.
In fact, the search engine giant has rolled out several page speed-related updates in the past years as part of its plan to give its users the best user experience.
Page load time dramatically affects conversion rates. Studies have shown that longer page load times have a negative effect on conversions as well as your bottom line.
Around 53% of users hit the back button or abandon the page if it takes over three seconds for it to load. These are visitors you can no longer convert, possibly not even in the future.
Studies show that 46% of visitors develop a lasting negative impression on slow-loading websites. Meanwhile, a whopping 79% of dissatisfied visitors no longer want to revisit underperforming sites.
A longer page-load time hinders you from converting visitors into customers and keeping your most loyal clients, translating to loss sales.
Reports show that 80% of customers are less likely to buy again from slow websites.
But it is not just site visitors and current customers you lose when you have a slow website. You also run the risk of not getting new visitors as 40% of users who had a bad experience with a site are not hesitant to let others know about it.
It is very clear:
Your page load times should be under the benchmark of 2 seconds if you want to increase your profits. If you have a slow website, make the necessary changes now or you will continue losing money!
WordPress Speed Optimisation – How Do You Do It?
Optimising your website for speed is not an easy endeavour. Just like SEO, this task requires technical knowledge that only seasoned WordPress website developers have.
So, to save time and money, it is best if you let an experienced professional work on your website.
You can count on reputable WordPress website developers to make your site faster without sacrificing functionality and aesthetics.
But even if you get professional WordPress optimisation services, it is still advantageous for you to have a general idea on how this is done.
How do you optimise your WordPress website for speed?
Step 1: Know Your Website Speed
It starts with having an idea as to what your website’s current page load times are. This differs from page to page as each one may vary in terms of size, kind of content, requests it gets and whether it is cached or not.
Testing all the pages can be taxing. So, what’s typically done is to use the homepage as a benchmark in testing the load time.
How do you check the speed of the website?
The best way to do this is using tools to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Two of the most sophisticated tools that measure page load times are Pingdom and GTMetrix.
Aside from providing reliable data, these tools are easy to use. All you need to do is to entre your website’s URL in the designated box.
Then, hit the ‘Start Test’ or ‘Test Your Site’ button. You have to make sure though that you select the correct location before you start the test.
The result is going to show your website’s speed or load time along with other information like performance grade, page size and web vitals.
They also let you know what the website issues are as well as suggestions on how you can improve your page load times.
Step 2: Optimise Your Website for Speed
Now, this is the tricky part. If getting your website speed is easy, making it faster is a complex and tedious process. This is why it is best to hire an expert to optimise your WordPress website for speed, especially if you have no experience with this task.
There are various things which can be done to improve page load time, from reducing image sizes and choosing lightweight WP theme to cleaning up WP database and getting a better web hosting provider.
It may also include using caching plugins with advanced caching mechanisms. Here at 3r, we use WP Rocket plugin which is recognised by experts as one of the most powerful caching tools.
The WP Rocket plugin is designed to enable WP websites to load at a blazing speed. It should be noted though that, while this plugin is effective, results may vary depending on the WP website’s theme.
Step 3: Measure Your Speed Again
Once you are done making adjustments, the next step is to test your website to determine if there is an improvement.
Checking your website’s speed should be done regularly as certain things may change over time that can affect how fast it loads. Doing this allows you to catch the issue before it becomes worse.
While you want your website to load within the recommended time (or faster), you still want to keep it aesthetically appealing and easily navigable. Achieving this means carefully studying your website to determine which changes would benefit your site’s performance as well as its SEO rankings.
Need help with WordPress speed optimisation? Let our team of expert WordPress website developers and SEO specialists help you have a fast and profitable website. Call us now on +353 (0) 1 960 9023 or visit our website to schedule a free consultation!