Increased Traffic Could Be Impacting Your WordPress Website Speed
As you add content to your website and the daily traffic—the number of visitors—to your website increases, it can get pretty exciting. After all, that’s the goal of most website owners. You want to share your amazing products. You want to let more people know how your services can enhance their lives.
Slowly the visitors come, seeing what you have to offer. Many move on, but some hang around. They start to comment on your blog posts and join the conversation around your products and services.
You continue to add more content—stories, images, videos—and one day you notice a definite slowdown in your WordPress website speed. If you are really paying attention to the stats of your website (using a tool like Google Analytics), you notice you are no longer getting as many new visitors as before. Not good.
Will a few seconds of lag time in WordPress website speed really make a difference? According to numerous studies, even a few extra seconds delay can result in frustrated visitors.
Why do I Need to Improve My WordPress Website Speed?
#1: Keep Visitors Interested
With the increased amount of traffic on the Internet, people now expect to find information faster than ever. It’s so easy to get distracted. Potential customers need to find information quickly.
If your website content loads too slowly for visitors, many of them will leave and search elsewhere. According to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Furthermore, as more people use mobile devices to access website information, fast page loading becomes even more important.
#2. Improve ranking in search engine results
Google gives higher ranking to websites that load faster. It’s pretty simple: if your website delivers information to visitors faster, search engines will rank your site higher so more visitors can find your information (assuming the content meets other search-friendly criteria).
In a future post, I will be discussing some easy techniques most small business owners can implement to improve WordPress website speed. But like tuning your vehicle’s engine, it can be daunting and time consuming.
Website tools are readily available, but some technical tweaking is better to leave in the hands of a specialist. Not that you are incompetent—not at all! But as a small business owner, you have enough on your plate. So free yourself to focus on what you do best.
Foundational Considerations for Improving WordPress Website Speed
There are many technical ways of improving your WordPress website speed. You can easily find a WordPress tutorial to help guide you. But what about non-technical issues? Here are a few suggestions that are meant to give you a foundation before tackling the technical tweaks or hiring someone to do it for you.
#1. De-clutter your website
Maybe you have too many images or nifty plugins—features that are great when used appropriately. Take a close look at what’s going on in your website.
Is everything there really contributing to your website goals? Are the bells and whistles really communicating the heart of your message? If not, it may be time for some basic house cleaning.
#2. Watch out for comment spammers
If you get comments on your blog posts that seem unrelated or vague, it could be a spammer trying to link to your website to increase their perceived search engine ranking. You need to mark these comments as spam and setup a simple plan to combat future spammers.
#3. Don’t ignore your website
It can be tempting to think that because you spent all that money getting your website created and launched, you can now leave it alone. Somehow it will work its magic and bring in visitors who will turn into awesome new customers.
Sorry, that’s highly unlikely.
The fact is, an ignored website can actually do more harm. Outdated plugins, spam comments, and broken links are a few issues that may gradually contribute to slowing your WordPress website speed.
Instead, develop a routine to at least keep an eye on your website. Keep it as clean and updated as you can. Beyond that, consider delegating WordPress maintenance tasks or hiring someone to monitor it regularly.
Just like you would take your car in for regular maintenance, a monthly professional WordPress maintenance plan can easily pay for itself by sparing you some tedious and time-consuming tasks. Not to mention potential costly repairs down the road.
Test your WordPress Website Speed
Are you curious about your WordPress website speed? Below are two basic tools to check your website performance. But a word of caution: don’t panic if your scores are bad. It’s not the end of the world. There are tools available if you want to tackle it yourself, or I can help.
I’ve given you two simple benefits of improving your WordPress website speed and a few foundational thoughts. These are basic considerations before you even begin trying to optimize the performance of your website. What other benefits have you considered?