Are you getting the sales that you would like from your WordPress website?
In this article, we will be talking about ways you can improve your conversions to speed up page loading times. In other words, people expect seamless performance from any website they visit. For instance, a frustrating user experience can result to site visitors checking other search results instead.
As a result, we have come up with 7 ways to maximise WordPress in capturing sales.
1. Measure your WordPress website page load time
You may not think about website page load time but think about when you browse the internet. Do you give up easily on websites that take time to load? If the answer is yes, then make sure that your website loads fast. This helps keep people browsing and buying.
Firstly, one thing you need to do is measure your page load time with tools like:
Gtmetrix gives you an indication of how well your website is functioning. In other words, it shows you both PageSpeed and YSlow (Yahoo’s speed test) scores. Moreover, it then breaks it down even further to show page size, load time and the number of load page requests.
You can use it regularly to track the performance of your site. This tool also helps you to keep tabs on the changes you make. More so, it lets you find out if the load times are working.
Secondly, Pingdom speed test is very visual like Gtmetrix. because it’s a great tool for boosting the loading speed. However the rating given to your site is not independent. In other words, it’s a comparison between you and the other sites that Pingdom has tested. Pingdom gives you actionable tips to improve speed. For instance, you can see what percentage of content is making up load time. In most cases, uncompressed images can cause WordPress/CMS to slow down.
Thirdly, Google page speed insights works a bit differently. This tool helps you evaluate the content of a page. Likewise, it also tells you how you can adjust areas to speed up the website load time. It considers both desktop and mobile while allocating a score out of 100 for each.
Most importantly, always remember that Google places a lot of importance on mobile for page rankings. So take note of this as well. Google has also developed a simpler mobile website speed tool for business owners.
2. What is optimal website page loading time?
Ideally, your WordPress website should load in less than 5 seconds if its fast. The key is to keep the content on the page small in size and to remove elements that are cumbersome to load. Doing so, can maximise your WordPress speed to capture sales or greater interest in your business.
3. Why is your website slow?
It is usually a combination of things that causes this. Your website page load time lags due to several culprits which include:
a. Your websites theme: A theme that is “heavy” has larger than normal files. In other words, a lot of requests come out before loading, slowing down your load time. Interactive elements to a page or several sliders can look nice. However if a WordPress theme takes time to load, then it defeats its purpose.
b. Installed plugins: Likewise, outdated, badly coded or incorrectly configured plugins could slow down your site too. Get rid of anything that you are not using. More so, if you add any plugin, check your load speed after it has been installed. Some WordPress plugins are heavier than others, and some may conflict.
c. The speed of your server: Most importantly the speed of your web host server can make a difference. However, you can change this after you have optimised your site in every other way. Also, there are other things you need to consider with your host that are significant. Before making any changes to your server speed, you have to take note of the performance and downtime needed for it. Plus make sure they provide technical support
d. Image size: Reduce or compress images before loading them to your site. Similarly, large image files take time to load and are not necessary for your WordPress website.
e. Database bloat: Unwanted data can hang around in your database after files are deleted. Lastly, to speed up page loading times, plug-ins need to be cleaned out too.
4. How to speed up website page load time?
a. Web cache: A web cache allows your website to present popular content. This is done without going to the server, therefore reducing page load time. Content that is originally downloaded from the server gets stored in the cache. According to web cache needs to be cleared during website updates.
b. CloudFlare CDN: If you add CloudFlare CDN (content delivery network) to your site you join the network that uses CloudFlare’s data centres around the world. This helps route your website’s traffic. The advantages of this include:
- Content is cached: CloudFlare caches content to be delivered to the server closest geographically to the user. This improves your page load speed, lowers the use of bandwidth and reduces the load on your server, commonly referred to as CPU (central processing unit).
- Easily available: because there are numerous servers in the network, if one fails requests are simply routed to another close by.
- Better security: CloudFlare will identify and block threats before they reach your website. However, for a WordPress website, we do recommend you take extra security steps and don’t rely solely on CloudFlare.
3. Use a tool to compress images: If you are not a Photoshop wiz or have many images on your site that need to be compressed, use a tool like Tinypng or Tinyjpg to simplify the task. Some people also find uploading images to a social media site like Facebook will compress the files for you. So you can save them for the web here too if need be.
4. cPanel website page load settings:
Check your PHP version: PHP 7 will ensure that your site runs fast and secure but not all hosts support it – check with your host before upgrading. Also be mindful that some plugins and themes may not be compatible with a higher PHP version.
Use the compress file settings: You can compress files within cPanel to help fasten your network.
5. Great website speed plugins for WordPress
Before installing a new plugin for cache, remember to backup your website.
- Perfmatters: works well with caching solutions and helps you easily disable WordPress options that are unnecessary. It also allows you to stop plugins loading unnecessary code.
- WP Fastest Cache: easy to set up and configure your cache.
- WP Super Minify: combines HTML, CSS and JS files and compresses them. Be careful that there are no conflicts with your theme or plugins.
- WP Smush.it: removes unnecessary bytes from images while compressing them. However, it’s always best to avoid using a plugin to compress a large image size, as your site will still be slow. This is why saving images for the web or compressing them before loading them to your website is so important.
6. Simplifying sites to improve speed: Websites don’t need to be complex. The idea is to engage customers and convince them to interact with your brand in some way – by buying a product or booking a service for instance. To do this you need clear information that encourages actions.
If your site is too complicated you may be losing customers because of slow load times or confusing content. Google says most sites lose 50% of their visits when their website is too slow.
7. AMP (accelerated mobile pages): AMP is a Google/Twitter project. The purpose is to create pages that are very fast to load, this is done by reducing the HTML on a page so that the load time is greatly reduced. AMP pages are technical in nature, even with some WordPress plugins existing. Speak to our web development team for assistance.
Reduce your website page load time today
Begin the process of speeding up your page load times by testing your site so that you have a starting point. Use our suggested optimisations to help you and remember to test after each adjustment to keep track of your progress.
If you need help because all of this is a little beyond your comfort zone, talk to us at LYF Solutions about how we can help you capture more online sales.