Would you like to increase conversions and improve SEO? Then the best way to do this is to speed up your website! According to skilled.co, a 1-second delay in page load speed can result in an 11% decrease in page views and a 7% reduction in conversions. Page speed is also an important ranking factor in Google’s mobile-first index. Simply increasing your websites page load speed will increase conversions and ensure your site reaches a larger target audience.
Here are 3 proven techniques that you can use to improve your website’s page load speeds:
1. Use a caching plugin
Every time a page on your website loads in a web browser, WordPress queries your database, retrieves the relevant templates and processes various functionality in order to build the page. If the same page is being rebuilt over and over again, it makes sense to rather save a copy of the page’s HTML output and display that stored copy until the actual contents of this page change. This is exactly what caching does. Page caching creates stored copies of pages instead of building the entire page each time. This significantly increases the speed of your website and ultimately the user experience.
There are various caching plugins available, however, we have found WP Rocket to be the easiest to use and most robust in terms of its compatibility with other plugins and themes.
WP Rocket also includes other website optimization features:
- Leverages browser caching
- Google Font optimization
- CDN support
- Database optimization
2. Use a good web hosting company
Your website’s response time is largely affected by the amount of traffic you receive, the hardware resources available to your site, and the configuration of your server. When you first launch your site the effect of those factors will be less evident. However, as your site grows and daily traffic increases, the quality of your web host and the hosting package will quickly become critical to the success of your website.
We have curated a list of popular web hosting companies that we have tested with our own products and can therefore confirm that they work well:
Bluehost offers a simple customer backend with WordPress, WooCommerce and the Storefront theme pre-installed and the option of dedicated IP addresses and SSL certificates. This is backed up with 24/7 customer support by in-house WordPress experts.
All of DreamHost’s web hosting platforms are optimized for WordPress and their team actively contributes to the WordPress community. DreamHost gives you the power to take full total control of your server but also offers tools that allow you to build a site in minutes.
HostGator offers a range of premium hosting packages and WordPress comes pre-installed on all WordPress Cloud Hosting Plans. Other notable features include auto updates, daily backups, unmetered storage space, free Google Adwords credit and expert 24/7 support.
3. Optimize your website images
Ensure that all the images on your website are no larger than they need to be. Images represent a significant amount of the total page load in terms of file size and Google penalizes websites that contain unnecessarily large images. Ensuring that your images are optimized will reduce the overall file size of a page and result in a faster page load speed.
We use Imagify on most of our websites which is developed by the same team that built WP Rocket.
We hope that you have found this post useful. Before implementing any changes to your website such as the ones mentioned above, make sure that you monitor your page load speeds using a tool such as the Pingdom Website Speed Test. You can then benchmark and track the effect of these changes while slowly implementing additional changes that further optimize and improve your website’s performance.
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