So you are not getting much traffic even after writing an appealing content on your site quite very frequently.
And the few you are getting are bouncing off like a bullet.
you have scrutinized all the possible reasons but still no success.
One very very important caveat which newbie bloggers often overlook which results in no improvement in traffic or in some cases even depreciation is the slow loading of the website.
Why is my website so slow?
There might be several reasons for this such as
- You are not using a reliable web hosting provider
- A proper caching mechanism has not been set up on your site
- Images are not optimized
- Code optimization is very bad in the theme you are using
- You are using way too many plugins
Whatever the reason might be, but your website loading time will directly affect the success of your site.
Why should I speed up my WordPress site?
Search engines always give preference to those websites which load quickly over the one which keeps spinning eternally.
If your website is taking more than 2 seconds to load then 47% of visitors are more likely to bounce off (according to a survey).
Online users are now a lot more impatient. If they visit your website and it is not loading faster then sooner you will be seeing them on your competitor’s site.
How can I check my website performance?
Even though there are several online tools available for this but comparing and analyzing these three will be more than enough.
As you have observed, loading time or speed is varying tool by tool.
It’s because of various factors such as server location, whether it is cached or not, how many requests it generates and etcetera.
So now you know why is it important to speed up your WordPress site and how to test whether it is up to the mark or not.
Now let’s talk about what are the ways through which we can improve the performance of the website.
1. Choose a reliable hosting provider
I feel you as no one want to invest tons of money into a website if it’s not generating any income as of now.
But at the same time, web hosting is a major and most important factor when it comes to blogging or any other website.
So no matter what but you have to choose a web hosting provider that is, reliable, provides 99% uptime, is WordPress optimized, and doesn’t crash in the peak time of the traffic.
Your website loading speed increases significantly if it is hosted on a good web server.
2. Choose a lightweight theme for your blog
Let’s accept it, we all want our website to have tons of features.
Right from stunning slider to interactive widgets to plenty of social media options. We want it all, right?
But the cost of what, the performance of the website?
So always make this habit to pick a theme that is lightweight even though it doesn’t have all the possible features.
3. Optimize images on your site
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
This is absolutely true but,
“An optimized picture is worth a ten thousand words”.
This is even truer when it comes to blogging.
If the picture on your website is loading faster then your site tends to load faster automatically.
How can I get images to load faster on my website?
By optimizing the images without losing the quality of it.
How do I optimize images for WordPress?
There are tons of plugin available in WordPress which lets you losslessly optimize your images.
Lossless compression is a mechanism by which you can reduce the size of an image without compromising its quality.
Smush, EWWW Image Optimizer, ShortPixel Image Optimizer are a few plugins that you can use to optimize the images in WordPress.
Since these plugins are freemium, they have free as well as a paid version.
Free versions have restrictions on how many images you can optimize.
If you want a completely free one, then Robin Image optimizer is a plugin you can try which is totally free as well as easy to use.
4. Use a caching mechanism
Caching is the process of saving web pages in the server cache so that it doesn’t need to make back and forth queries to the database to render the page every time. Rather it will render the already saved cached page to the next visitor.
This significantly speeds up your WordPress site.
There are several plugins available in WordPress to make this process super easy.
5. Uninstall or deactivate plugins
WordPress indeed have millions of plugins available. But do you really need to install all of them to keep functioning your site?
Just a few basic plugins will be sufficient.
When plenty of plugins is activated on your site, it drastically slows down your website.
Because it consumes server resources and also generated tons of junk files which eventually increase the load on the server which results in a decrease in the performance of the site.
So deactivating or uninstalling the not so useful plugins will reduce the loading time and speed up your WordPress site
6. Use a CDN (Content delivery network)
The most amazing thing about the web is that it is not geographically constrained which means if I write something in India, readers or viewers are not only Indian. Anyone across the globe can read it.
But will the performance of the site be the same for all?
People visiting from other corners of the world might have to wait a few extra seconds to get the website loaded.
To resolve this issue, CDN comes into picture.
A CDN keeps a copy of your website in various datacenters located in different places.
This way, your webpage will be served to visitors from the nearest possible location. Hence, quick load time and better performance.
Cloudflare and maxCDN are few famous CDN service providers.
7. Minify JS and CSS files
If you test your website through any of the performance test tools then you probably will be recommended to minify JS, CSS or HTML.
What this means is that it tells you to reduce the no. of JS and CSS calls and also reduce the file size of the same.
You can do it manually sometimes or use a plugin for the same.
Autoptimize is a plugin in WordPress that will do this task for you.
And needless to say, doing this will speed up your WordPress site and performance as a whole.
8. Clean up all unnecessary stuff regularly
Cleaning server junk files, spam comments, fake users, old unnecessary drafts and even unused themes will make a significant impact in increasing the website loading speed.
The greatest benefit of improving your website’s loading time is that it gives your visitors an altogether a different experience. They are more likely to become regular readers or customers.
Moreover, it also helps your site ranking higher on search engines.
Taking care of this one aspect will benefit your site in short as well as in the long term, tremendously.