Website speed is a major ranking factor when it comes to search engine rankings. Slow website which take a long time to load will have a much lower chance of reaching the first page of Google, no matter how good their content is. WordPress websites created by amateur web designers are often very slow, which means that they simply don’t get the visitor numbers they deserve. Fortunately, there are a whole lot of things that you, the website owner, can do to speed up your site and improve your search engine rankings. These include:
- Measure Your Website’s Speed
Measuring your site’s speed is an absolute must before you do any of the following things. There are a whole lot of free tools out there to use, many of which will tell you what to improve to make your site faster. Use these suggestions as a starting point for decreasing your page load time.
- Use A Caching Plugin
Although WordPress is a pretty decent platform to build your website on, it does have it’s issues when it comes to page load speeds. Basically, every time someone loads a page on your site, the WordPress platform has to find the required info, put it together into a cohesive page, and transmit it to your viewer. This can cause problems when you have a lot of people visiting your page.
A caching plugin reduces these problems by storing a copy of the page after the first time it is loaded. This means that it is instantly available to every subsequent user, dramatically reducing page load times.
- Keep Your Images Small
This step is probably pretty self-explanatory, but it is one which a lot of people unfortunately forget about. Having large images to load every time someone clicks on your website is not going to do your load speed any favours. Compressing your images so they load quicker. You can use either a built-in plugin or an external image compression tool for this.
- Avoid Uploading Videos Directly To WordPress
Although you can upload videos directly to WordPress, having them automatically displayed in a HTML5 video player, this is generally a very bad idea. Doing this means that your website has a whole lot more code to get through before it can open pages containing videos, which will significantly increase your page load speed.
Instead, you should use video hosting services such as YouTube or DailyMotion. Instead of uploading a video to your website, upload it to one of these services, and simply embed it in your WordPress site. This means that you won’t have to worry about the video slowing your page at all!
- Split Long Posts Into A Number Of Pages
Another fairly self-explanatory one – having a number of smaller pages instead of one great big one will help your site load faster. Consider splitting all longer posts and articles into at least a couple of pages.
Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list of ways to speed up your website load time. There are a whole lot of things that you can do, and the best things for your site will depend completely on its characteristics and problems.