Nothing frustrates a site visitor more than a site that takes a long time to load. The visitor waits 4 seconds, then 5 seconds and 8 seconds later the web page is still loading! Researchers have found that if a site takes in excess of 4 seconds to load, it is likely to lose one-fourth of its visitors. Sites that take more than 8 seconds to lose can lose approximately 40% of them.
When developing a WordPress website it’s important to use best practices for design and coding in order to keep your site load time to a minimum. Following these best practices will help you to develop a fast loading site.
Many sites still use large images of 100K or more on their home page. If your WordPress site has 30 posts on the home page with links to “read more” and each of the images are over 100K, your home page will be at least 3.0 MB in size.
That bodes very poorly for site speed.
In general your images should not exceed 30KB in size.
Fortunately, you can use Photoshop to easily resolve this issue. Be sure that the resolution of your image doesn’t exceed 72 and that the size of your image is approximately 250 by 250. Image size will vary depending upon your design. When you save your image, save it at the high level, which is 70. This quality will work well for the majority of websites. In addition, rather than using the progressive setting use the optimised setting. This will normally create faster loading images at better quality levels, as opposed to using progressive.
Bear in mind that it takes time to load plugins. Don’t include a lot of unnecessary plugins that must load along with your home page. Only maintain those plugins that are vital and get rid of the remainder. Your loading time will be reduced.
When you’re designing graphics for your WordPress them, attempt to replace graphics with much smaller repeating images. Most sites have graphics that can be tiled vertically or horizontally, unless you are using still photography. Design a repeating background that is relatively thin. This will be approximately 2K in size and may even be 500 bytes.
This technique can take 25 files and turn them into only two files. This will significantly reduce your server load. It will make your site much more efficient and reduce load time. This will be particularly helpful for mobile users, where load times are often longer than on desktops.
Pre-load Images With A Caching Plugin
If your host does not allocate your site with adequate resources, your site will be slow. After you have used the techniques we have described above and your site is still slow, you may have to consider another host. As an alternative, it you may need to upgrade your existing hosting. In any event, if your host does not perform well, then your WordPress site is likely to be slow. Ensure that you are using a quality host.
Using the techniques we have mentioned above will minimise your sites load time and help you to provide a better experience for your visitors. In addition, you are likely to attain improved rankings in the SERPs. Making it easier and faster for visitors to view your content will reduce your bounce rate and improve your user’s experience.
Check out this video to learn more: