If you’re reading this article, you probably already know how important website speed is. You may even be struggling with your own website’s speed. Of course, we would all rather have a faster website than a slow one, just as we would all like a faster car than a slower one. There is a key difference between a website and a car, though: a car, no matter the speed, will get you from point A to point B. A slow website, however, is not likely to take all of your customers from a visit to purchase.
Did you know that 1 in 4 visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than 4 seconds to load? On top of that, each additional second that your website takes to load increases website abandon rates by 16%.
That being said, do you know how long your website takes to load?
How to check your website load speed:
The first step to improving your website speed is auditing your website speed. If you haven’t already, you may use one of these two handy tools to check your website speed is:
All of these tools will tell you how long your website takes to load, as well as point out ways to improve your website speed. They will first give you an overall score. This score represents your website’s overall performance score.
Next, you will find different sections and scores based on different areas such as first content load time, speed index, time to become interactive, and blocking time. Next to each section, you will also see an estimate of the impact the issues related to each category have on your website.
How to improve WordPress/WooCommerce speed
As you’ll find by using the page speed tools mentioned above, every website has different strengths and weaknesses. We strongly advise you to carefully review the suggestions listed within your website audit – and this is most productively done by reviewing with your website developer, as they’ll have the technical knowledge to understand and act upon the results in the speed test you’ve run.
Quick tip: a quick and simple change that can make a huge impact on your WordPress website and WooCommerce store’s speed is changing web hosts – especially if your current hosting account doesn’t have enough resources to effectively power your site. Read more about WordPress hosting here.
No-coding-required ways to speed up your website
We know that making changes to your website may be intimidating, and we do suggest you consult with a professional / web developer before implementing any of these changes. However, the following items are relatively easy to implement.
Use a caching service
A caching service can make your website 2 to 5 times faster. Caching plugins or services basically speed up the time it takes for your page to load for your visitor.
Optimize image sizes
Images can add a lot of life to a website, but they can also slow it down. Best practice is to resize images before uploading them to WordPress and to use JPG formats over PNG formats when possible. You may also find plugins that can resize images that you’ve uploaded in the past.
This is a simple one, but keeping your plugins and WordPress version up to date can help speed up your site!
Use a CDN
A CDN basically makes your website parking spot closer to your customer. The closer your CDN is to your customer, the faster your website will load. Let’s say your web host server is located in the US – your page will load faster for people in the US than in Europe. A CDN can help you ensure your website loads quickly for visitors in all geographical locations.
Delete post revisions
Did you know WordPress saves post revisions (aka drafts or different edits of each page?). Whenever possible, be sure to clear your post revisions.
Use the latest PHP version
You can usually see the PHP version you are running by looking at the bottom right side of your WordPress admin dashboard. Take a look at the version and look up the current version. If you need an update, you can ask your hosting provider.
If these are things you’re not familiar with, it may be worth consulting with an expert – whether that be an in-house developer or a WooCommerce developer who is knowledgeable with handling site speed.