No one likes a slow website. It makes for a bad user experience as well as a mark against you in search engine rankings. The algorithms that the search engines use to rank sites take into account hundreds of point of data. One of the more important points is page load speed – how long does it take for your website page to load.
Common Reasons for Slow Websites
Check Your Hosting Account
A big factor affecting site speed is due to the website hosting. There are good hosts out there and discount hosts. You get what you pay for. Discount hosting companies offer “shared hosting”. Shared hosting is what is sounds like, your site is on a server that is shared with hundreds of other websites. You are also sharing resources and if there are sites on that server sucking up all the resources – your site will be slow. Learn more about shared vs. managed hosting.
Your hosting company may also be running an outdated version of PHP. PHP is the programming language that WordPress is built on. The server should be running the latest version of PHP, otherwise this will affect your speed.
Images Not Optimized
All images on the site should be reduced to the smallest size needed on the page. For example, if your WordPress website used a full width image as a background, it does not need to be wider than 1900px. An average blog post image should be around 1000 to 1200px wide. You can resize images inside the Edit feature of the media library. There are also plugins that can bulk edit images. One that I like is Imsanity – https://wordpress.org/plugins/imsanity/
Avoid using PNG images unless you need a transparent background as in an icon or logo. Photos should always be in JPG format. Changing format from PNG to JPG will reduce file size.
Videos Files No Optimized
Hosting video files on YouTube or Vimeo and then embedding into your WordPress website is an easy way to included videos on your pages. If you choose to host your videos directly on website (inside Media Library) the video files should be compressed to the point they do not lose quality.
Too Many Advertisements
Nothing is more annoying than visiting a site that loads ads in multiple locations and popping up over the content you are trying to read. This creates a bad user experience and a slow loading site.
How do I know if my site is loading slow?
Here are some tools to get you started:
- Page Speed Insights. This is Google’s own tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- GT Metrix https://gtmetrix.com/
We can help get your site running faster. Give us a call for a quick consultation at 815-459-0482.