Isn’t it great that you can launch a blog without much investment and can soon become a well-known blogger with a huge fan base?
It will take some time for me to reach this milestone, but I know many who made their name in the crowded market in no time.
It doesn’t matter who you are and from where you belong. All your blog visitors need is the valuable content that you’ve promised them before they visited your site. If they don’t find it, they won’t stay for more than 3 seconds.
Internet Users Prefer Small Blogs
Regardless of whether you have a big team of professional content writers or you work on your own from the comfort of your bedroom, you can build an audience. In fact, independent bloggers tend to capture the attention of readers better than giants.
It’s because readers want authenticity in a blog. They want to read content created by real people that understand their thought process.
However, the major issue small bloggers experience is the lack of tech expertise. And site speed is such a problem that causes a huge dip in website traffic. If you blog as a hobby and don’t intend to establish it as a reliable source of income, you do not need to worry. Otherwise, you ought to pay attention to the site speed.
Your readers don’t care how you come up with content, but they are definitely picky about how fast they can access the content on your website.
Importance of the Site Speed
Your website takes up a few seconds to load its content. But when your audience visits the website of your competitor, it doesn’t take more than a second to load. Which blog do you think the visitors will prefere? They will ditch your website for your competitor site, obviously!
Not many people understand the difference between a small blog and a mega-blog. This suggests that your blog has the same opportunities to increase traffic just like blogging giants. Doesn’t this excite you?
However, the catch is that the visitors expect you to offer the same user experience as big names in the blogging industry.
Each additional second your website takes to load the content costs you a significant number of the prospective readers. Let’s have a look at the impact of load time on the bounce rate:
- 1s to 3s – Bounce probability increases by 32%
- 1s to 5s – Bounce probability increases by 90%
- 1s to 6 – Bounce probability increases by 106%
- 1s to 10s – Bounce probability increases by 123%
Even if they don’t go back from the first page itself, they are less likely to browse through other pages. Consequently, your webpages will get lesser views. If you plan on adopting blogging as a full-time job, you can’t allow site speed to steal potential followers.
Are You a Beginner?
When it comes to launching a blog, your entire focus is on creating valuable content for the target audience. Under such circumstances, technical decisions often take the backseat.
You may collect essential information, but is it wise to trust everything you hear?
You may opt for the cheapest hosting to save costs, not knowing that it can’t support your website. Or install a feature-rich plugin that ends up slowing down your site. Your friend may suggest you to use a page builder tool to avoid the cost of hiring a website designer.
What about the results?
You will end up with a website that is too slow for your audience and won’t know how to resolve it.
I won’t promise you that this single blog post will solve every problem with your website speed. What I can rather offer you is as follows:
- A brief information about factors that slow down a website
- Useful suggestions to steer clear of those things
- Quick tips to resolve major issues with your site
- Suggest resources for an advanced understanding of site speed
How to Boost WordPress Website Speed
It’s not sufficient to post plain text content on your website. The lack of visual content will cause visitors to lose their interest no matter how creative your content is. Aside from visuals, you also need features such as opt-in forms to grow your blog.
It’s never a good idea to avoid adding any extra features to your website in an attempt to increase its speed. You should rather consider it as a trade-off where smart decisions can win you the game. All you need to do is to remember the basics and your website will be faster than before.
The more features are present on your website, the longer it will take to load. However, if you carefully choose options that will work in your favor, you can expect your WordPress site to offer a better user experience.
Don’t Add Too Many Features
- Limited Plugins
Every plugin you install adds one or more files to your website. Make sure you don’t get extra plugins that may prove a burden for you.
- Stay Away From Page Builders
Page builders come with several additional files and it’s best to steer clear of them for better results.
- Limited Fonts
Extra fonts and font styles take up space and slow down your website. So, use limited fonts that are extremely important for your website.
Opt for Smaller Things
- Image Optimizer
You can use image optimizer tools such as ShortPixel to reduce image size and thereby, speed up your website.
- Smallest Image Size
Choose the smallest suitable size for images on your website
- Replace Plugins
Instead of using heavy themes with resource-rich plugins, get features that take up little space.
Choose a Fast Server
- Get the Right Hosting
Choose the fastest hosting services within your budget such as BigScoots and Lightning Base.
- Keep Some Hosting Space Free
Upgrade your hosting before it’s maxed out to avoid website loading issues.
Don’t Load Things from Far Away
Refrain from using plugins that load content from other servers such as ConvertKit, Facebook boxes, and Instagram embed plugins.
Don’t go for a server that fetches data from servers hosted far away from the location of your target audience.
- Content Delivery Network
Avail a CDN service such as Cloudflare that save copies of your website on a location close to your audience so your website doesn’t take long to load.
WordPress Site Speed Up: Where to Start?
Smaller bloggers usually have to perform the procedure with limited money and time. Begin the process with baby steps for the desired results.
Avoid Domain Redirects
Many websites use domain redirect functions to ensure that the visitors easily access the webpage they are looking for. While this increases website exposure, it can also backfire since it slows down your website.
Instead of relying on redirects to bring traffic, you should improve your blog marketing strategy to ensure that the target audience can easily remember and recall your website.
Visit Google Search Console and make sure that the correct version of your website URL is added. Compare it with the WordPress site address to avoid any costly mistake.
Since site speed is a technical matter, many bloggers tend to underestimate the negative impacts of images. By optimizing images, you can speed up your website for almost no cost. Here is a brief insight into space different images take up on a website:
- PNG – 1024K
- JPEG – 680K
- ShortPixel – 55K
Prefer Small Images
Some images appear small in size, but they are made up of more pixels than you’d prefer. Instead of dragging the edges of an image to reduce its size, use an image of a smaller size so it occupies lesser space.
Furthermore, certain widgets pick up full-size images and show them as thumbnails. If you’re using such a widget or theme, make sure you adjust the image size to optimize your site.
Automation of Image Optimization
Install a plugin that automatically compresses and adjusts images on your website. This way, you won’t need to manually check and resize every image.
Use JPEG Instead of PNG
PNG images are heavy and therefore, work best for logos and visuals that involve few colors. So, convert PNG images into JPEG before uploading them to your website.
Plugins add useful functionalities, but they also reduce the website speed. Go through the list of installed plugins and eliminate those that you don’t need anymore. If a plugin contains crucial functions but is too heavy, you should consider it replacing with a lighter alternative for the best results.
Get a Caching Plugin
Installing an optimization plugin is your last resort. It’s because they can hide problems you need to resolve and don’t always produce the required results.
WP Rocket and Autoptimize plugins work for most blogging sites. However, you need to consider certain factors to choose the right plugin. This includes the steps you take to optimize your site.
It’s important to note that different plugins act in different ways. Some of their features overlap with other similar plugins, while the others are unique features to that plugin. You ought to compare their features to make the right decision.
If you stay logged in to the post editing screen for extended periods, WordPress will auto save all your activities. But thanks to plugins such as WP Rocket, you need not worry about cleaning cache now and then.
Put Your Site on Cloudflare
CDN services such as CDN can give your WordPress website a boost and increase its speed. Its free plan can easily support your small website. But make sure you resolve prominent issues before choosing this option. Otherwise, it will harm your website in the long run.
Well, that’s it for now, we have more to write about this topic, but this article is already too long, maybe there will be a part 2 one day! Until then, good luck!