A fast website load time has many benefits for both your website ranking, and for the experience of your visitor.
If the content on your web page takes more than a few seconds to load, you will find many visitors will simply click on the ‘back’ button’and move on to the next site, losing you the chance to offer your products or services.
Fortunately for you, you don’t need to hire the services of a professional developer to do the work for you, as there are a number of things you can easily do to improve your WordPress website load time.
1. Re-size your images.
If images are an important part of your WordPress website, then it is important that, where possible your images are delivered in a compressed format such as jpg or gif. Also you should ensure that the resolution is not too large. It is preferable that high quality, larger images should be kept between 60k and 100K. and smaller images should be around 30K. Basically the lower the resolution and size of the image, the faster your website load time will be.
2. Review plugins.
Plug ins are an important part of any WordPress website or blog, as they allow you to add a complex action scripts to your website easily without any coding knowledge. However, not all plug ins are the same. A well coded plug in will integrated seamlessly with your site without adding any significant stress on the website load time, whereas a poorly written plug in may cause problems and slow your site down.
Firstly you should check and review the action of each plug in. Deactivate all plug ins and test your site speed at http://tools.pingdom.com/
Then activate each plug in one by one to see if one slows the load time down.
If you find the plug in that is causing you problems you should delete it and then try to find an alternative.
You should also remember that all plug ins and WordPress versions should be kept up to date by installed the updates immediately they become available.
Caching is great way to keep you website load times to a minimum. When a your webpage is loaded – WordPress will need to load your database and CSS stylesheet as well as check through your latest posts and pages, before delivering the relevant content to the visitor.
A caching plug in will basically take a snapshot of your website pages, and store them in its memory, so next time a visitor comes to your site, they will be delivered the cached version of the web page without having to wait for the database and CSS etc to load. This will significantly decrease your website load time improve your visitors experience in addition to increasing your website status with the search engines.
There are many free caching plug ins available including W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. Whilst these two plug ins are highly recommended, the set up on these can be quite complex. If you want an easy to set up Caching plug in you can try out QuickCache. This is an efficient caching program that will work out of the box with good results.
4. Scripts and links within widgets.
Many blogs and websites are crammed with an array of affiliate products, Facebook fan boxes, Lifestream, Tweetstream, Flickr Images, Google AdSense, YouTube videos, third party scripts etc. With too many images, scripts and widgets to load, it is almost impossible for the website to perform efficiently.
Remember that the website or blog has to stop for some time, wait for response from each and every third party site, since their widgets have to send information to you whenever they are clicked – this all takes time and will have an impact on the overall website load time.
Take your time and reduce some of these scripts and widgets after checking which ones lower the website load speed of your page.
It may not be of any help to you if you have tons of external scripts linked to your site yet they take lots of time to load!
5. Make sure you are using a reliable and efficient hosting package.
There are many web-hosts available for you to host your website, however you should choose carefully, as you will never get good website load times with a poor host.
There are many resellers that will load 1000’s of websites to the same server, this will no doubt have an effect on your website load time.
If your budget allows, you could opt for a dedicated server, as you will be able to set the server up to your own specification.
If you are using a shared hosting provider try to stick with a reputable and reliable company – although you may pay more for the service, it will pay its rewards in the long term.
6. Be smart when adding images and banners to your website
Incorporating countless images and lots of flash elements on your WordPress blog or website makes your theme too ‘heavy’ to load fast.
Try to limit your website to well optimized images on your pages to enhance the appearance, and a few static affiliate banners as these are more efficient that using flash or scripts which take time to load..
Following these measures will significantly improve your website load time, and improve the experience for your visitors. Whats more it will significantly improve your website search results.