Everybody has heard about the importance of loading speed when it comes to websites. Slow sites reduce conversions and drive people away. However, figuring out how to measure WordPress site performance accurately can be challenging.
You’re generally doing well if your website loads in less than two seconds. Apart from lower conversion rates, the effects of a sluggish website include a higher bounce rate. The correlation between bounce rate and loading time is direct and clear. Inadequate site optimization can make it challenging to use, and it will feel unprofessional, adversely affecting all parties involved.
Ways to Optimize WordPress Site Performance
When you go about optimizing your WordPress site performance, the two most significant components are your hosting provider and your theme. Some WordPress hosting providers ensure great performance across the board. Some themes are also faster than others.
Your website should perform sustainably well if you make the right choices in both areas. You should test its performance regularly, so you know if it’s time to make improvements. Check it at least once a month if you want to be thorough, especially at times of spikes in traffic.
Speed up Your Site
A caching plugin can increase the site’s speed fivefold. After someone visits a page and it loads, the plugin makes a copy of it. Then, you don’t need to generate pages every time. The cached version of the page is accessed by every next visitor.
It’s possible to skip many stages in the information retrieval process when you use caching. In the other scenario, your server has to collect data from a MySQL database and PHP files, summarize it, and make it accessible to visitors.
When are Images Helpful?
Visuals are essential; there’s no doubt about it. Studies show that colored images can increase engagement significantly. When you add a visual, visitors to your site are far more likely to read your post.
However, some images do more harm than good, and they’re the ones that aren’t optimized for speed. Sites just starting out are especially vulnerable to non-optimized images.
You can use photo editing software to optimize images before you upload one from your phone or camera. In their original format, these visuals can be huge, but your file format of choice and your compression can reduce the size a great deal.
Use Load Impact to Stress Test Your Site
Not all hosting plans are the same, as you probably know. If you’re getting little to moderate traffic, most will work just fine. When traffic soars, they will crumble to pieces. Even if the site has been optimized for speed, it might not do well when hundreds of people try to access it simultaneously.
Use a stress test tool to check if your server can handle higher traffic levels. One such tool is Load Impact, which makes it possible to test scenarios with specific visitor numbers. You can see how your site will hold up with visitors from different regions as well. This is a free tool, and you don’t need to register for an account. Simply enter your site’s URL.
You’ll have some more control over the testing process if you register for a free account. The fundamental scenario includes the simulation of up to 25 users at once, which is sufficient to check if your hosting provider’s plan can handle considerable traffic.
This test takes a few minutes. After that, the results will be displayed in chart form at the bottom of the page. Ideally, you should have steady loading times. Over time, they could go up. Sharp spikes in the chart mean the server isn’t coping with traffic increases adequately.
You’re doing well if your website’s loading times are below two seconds and remain steady under stress. To keep your performance from sliding, repeat this check now and then.
Use PageSpeed to Analyze Current Optimization
PageSpeed Insights offers detailed tips and suggestions to increase your site’s speed. It also identifies areas of improvement. You’ll see links below each suggestion with details about the files that require optimizing and the reason they need to be.
The highlight of this tool is that it generates unique results for your site’s mobile and desktop versions. At the top of the screen, there are two tabs – for mobile and for desktop – displaying the individual reports.
Website optimization has become crucial in recent years, especially for mobile users. The majority of web traffic comes from mobile today. You’re losing a lot of potential clients if your site doesn’t load fast on mobile devices.