Have you noticed your site takes a while to load? Are you actively paying attention to Google Analytics? If not you should be for a number of reasons, but for one your page may be loading painfully slow which turns off readers as well as Google. Read on with this post to decrease WordPress load times and stop losing clicks to your competition.
Readers are fickle. They have an attention span that lasts 3-4 seconds. If they click on your link and wind up on a page that takes forever to load they’re likely to leave. If you’re curious to see if this is happening to you login to your Google Analytics account and check out your bounce rate. A bounce is what it sounds like. Someone winds up on your site, doesn’t see what they want to immediately and they bounce.
Less eyes = less clicks = possible revenue & visitors lost
If you have a blog it’s likely you’re trying to make some money with ads. If no one reads your content they likely won’t click your links. If they don’t click your links you don’t get paid from your affiliates. In this post, I’ll outline how to determine if your website takes forever to load and what you can do about it if it does.
How to Tell if Your Website is Painfully Slow?
Chances are if your site is slow you already know, but maybe you’re too close to your property to know. One great way to determine the speed of your website is by using the Website Speed Test tool from Pingdom.com. It’s a great free tool that will not only tell you how long it takes your website to load, but it will also point out issues leading to the slow down.
Once you have a baseline you can start to tackle the problem of speeding up your website. If you want to keep your readers this is key. In fact, if you’re a serious blogger this is one of the more important things you can do to increase visitors as well as visitor retention.
— LukeSlyTalker (@lukeslytalker) March 6, 2015
Remove Unused WordPress Plugins to Decrease WordPress Load Times
One of the main things likely slowing your WordPress site down is heavy or unused plugins. If this is the case it’s time to decide if the plugins you have running are worth it. If your goal is more readers it’s likely worth it to remove clunky plugins that are slowing your site down.
If you’re like me you probably have a bunch of plugins installed sitting on the back burner to be used at a later date. If this is the case you should determine if it’s time to delete or deactivate these. One really quick way to determine if your pluigins are slowing down your blog are to go to your plugins page and disable every plugin you have installed. Then reload your page. If you notice it fires right up after all plugins are disabled you’ve found a culprit.
WordPress Plugins for Speeding up Your Website
Understandably plugins can be an important part of your site. Even if they are cumbersome they might well be necessary for your needs. If this is the case there are a few plugins to try that can help speed up your website anyway.
Probably the best tool for speed I’ve found to date is WP Super Cache. It’s a great caching system that isn’t too bulky that greatly decreases load times by caching as much of your website as possible. Another good tool for caching is Hyper Cache. It does a lot of the same things as Super Cache and can be run at the same time.
How do I Tell Which WordPress Plugins are Too Heavy?
If you determine your plugins are too heavy a great tool for analyzing whether you should keep them installed or not is the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) plugin. It scans your plugin directory for the heavy code. It will show you how to decrease WordPress load times by pointing out heavy plugins. If you’re not sure if you want to delete plugins simply deactivate them. Do this to all the offenders and reload P3. It will tell you how much faster your site is. From here it’s up to you to decide whether to keep offending code installed or not.
Happy Blogging 🙂