If you’re serious about blogging then you do your very best to write good content and provide your visitors with new and compelling media. You embed relevant videos and take advantage of new and interesting widgets to make your site appealing to readers so they continue to come back. You experiment with new plugins for engagement and ways to implement widgets to make your site somewhere that draws in more and more readers.
This may be one of your problems. In this post I will go over a potential mistake you may be making that is hurting your visitor retention and generating huge bounce rates.
Are your must have plugins really must have?
Plugins are great and perform a whole variety of different tasks and provide your site with options you don’t get right out of the box, but are they necessary? The WordPress plugins you installed to syndicate another website to your own might be doing more harm than good. It’s easy to fall in the pattern of installing plugin after plugin, but this may be slowing your site down more than doing it any good.
Every plugin you have requires resources to run. Resources add up and increase requests for data. When this happens your pages will lag. The more plugins you have the more resources you will need for your site to operate. If your site is particularly resource intensive you may be suffering from your resources rather than benefiting.
It may be time for an agonizing reappraisal of your installed plugins. It’s time to ask yourself if these are something you need, something you like or perhaps something you even forgot you had installed? If your website takes long to load you may be losing visitors rather than engaging them.
If good content is king then access to good content is God
If you spend your time writing good content it means you are spending time evaluating the keywords you are targeting. If you’re spending time doing keyword research don’t let your efforts be in vain. If your pages are slow you will lose visitors and scare off anyone who may have found you by the arduous work you did researching those said keywords.
If you don’t believe me just have a look at your Google Analytics. Do you notice a spike in visitors, but an extremely low engagement time? These are called bounces and are what happens when your page takes too long to load. Your visitors bounce right off your web page. So again if you have a bunch of plugins and widgets that make up your website it’s time to decide which plugins should stay and which need to go.
Are heavy pages killing your traffic?
If your pages are slowing you down here are a few tools you can use to speed up slow loading offenders. The following tools can help you find the things that are slowing your website down. From here you can decide whether or not you need something or whether you just like it. Remember what you like your visitors don’t necessarily. If it’s not helping you or it’s not making you money do you really need it?
Tools for decreasing page load times
In preparation for this post I used the following tools to help point out the parts of my site that were slowing everything down. In all I deactivated 21 plugins which took my page from a 21.5 second page load to a 2.24 second load time.
- Pingdom: For starters use this service to test the page load of your website. After you uninstall plugins use this service to test how long it takes your page to load.
- P3 Plugin Profiler: This is a great WordPress plugin you can use to find the plugins that are bogging your website down. This plugin will point out plugin offenders and help you evaluate if you need the installed offender or not.
- WP Super Cache: This plugin generates static html files from your blog. After a page is created static html files will be loaded decreasing references back to your database.
Keep your visitors happy and they’ll come back
Give your readers what they want and they will come back. Not only that, but they will encourage new viewers through social media, user engagement, comments and good old fashioned reference.
Your welcome Internet. Now come play with us forever and ever and ever and…