Did you know that 40% of internet users abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load? Think about your own habits, how long before you give up on a site that’s partially loading or taking a very long time?
Slow load times are crippling for eCommerce sites. Almost 80% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site’s performance is unlikely to visit or purchase from the site again; so much as a one second delay reduces customer satisfaction by as much as 16%.
Google factors site load speeds into their ranking algorithm. If your site loads too slowly you can expect traffic to your site to drop and your Google rankings to fall.
What can you do to make your site load faster? We have put together a few simple ways to lower your page load times and keep your visitors happy.
W3 Total Cache is a popular caching plugin, which promises 10 times the improvement of site performance when properly configured, for WordPress sites.
WP Super Cache is the more user-friendly substituteand you don’t need to be an expert to set it up.
Images are known for slowing down sites, especially high-resolution images that are large in size. There are some great tools out there to compress your image files for faster load times.
WP Smush.it, automatically strips metadataand unused colours from indexed images.
If you use a lot of images on your site, for example, product images, you might want to implement lazy loading. The Lazy Load plugin only permitsimages above the fold to load when a new visitor arrives at your site. Images continue to load as a user scrolls down the page. This technique is utilised by several large companies with a lot of images to show; not only does it speed up page load times, but also saves time for users who don’t scroll all the way to the bottom of your pages. Which for mobile responsive sites is a fantastic feature.
Removing white space in coding means your site will load faster. This means removing spaces and tabs which typically make the coding on your site easier to read with human eyes, your site visitor’s browsers do not need to.
Rather than manually read through your coding with a fine-tooth comb, plugin’s like WP Minify and W3 Total Cache can handle this from load time.
Reduce HTTP Requests
Simplifying the design of your site will reduce the number of HTTP requests meaning that every time a customer visits your site, the corresponding files that must be sent to that person’s browser, are less and the site loads faster.
W3 Total Cache, as part of its minify feature, mentioned above, allows you to add your code files so you can easily amalgamatethem into one file.
Optimising your database tables is like decluttering your site – it will clear out space and keep your database runningeffortlessly.
WP-DBManager allows you to manage the functions of your database including restoring and backing up.
WP-Optimize, another database clean-up and optimization instrument. This plugin also lets you clean out items in the trash which may be taking up unnecessary space.
These are just some of the simple measures you can put in place to speed up your site load times.
Optimising your site can make a big difference to your customers and prospects, encouraging them to stick around and engage with your content.