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Google site speed: How to increase site speed in WordPress!

Does your website pass the Google site speed test? If not, you could be losing out on lots of potential sales online.

Learning how to optimise your WordPress website is an essential skill for any business owner. Why? Because it’s confirmed that site speed is, in fact, a ranking factor. It impacts everything from user experience, conversions and, ultimately, profits made online. There’s a strong argument for the WordPress content management system. It’s built with SEO in mind, is user-friendly and super simple to get your head around. But, it’s not without fault. Unfortunately, without regular checks, any WordPress site will slow down. It accumulates data and will take longer to produce results.

Speed up your WordPress website…

With a little marketing magic from a WordPress wizard (our ecommerce developers), it’s possible to speed up your site. For that reason, we have put together a detailed checklist to help improve the performance of your WordPress website:

1) Compress your images

We have long been an advocate for optimising images for better site performance. Following this step is simple; it will ensure your pages load faster without losing out on image quality. Hands up, who downloads content from Adobe Stock, Unsplash or alternative image sources? We all do it, and it’s fine, so long as you remember to follow these steps. A) Resize your images to around 600px for blog posts and 1200px for sliders. B) Use a free online compression tool. C) Optimise using alt attributions, relevant file names and a caption for every image uploaded. As we said, it’s simple, so there’s really no excuse for poor practice.

2) Disable plugins you no longer use

Having a bank of thousands of WordPress plugins can make your site super slow. When you first set up a WordPress website, plugins can be fascinating. After all, they make your website look attractive, and the majority of them are free to download. Over time, however, you realise that great looking sites don’t always result in more traffic, especially if your page loading speed is compromised. We’d also recommend you updating your plugins on a regular basis to improve site speed, and most importantly boost security.

3) Enable caching

Caching makes for a much faster loading website by storing an original version of your site and showing this to users as updates are being made or until you instruct the site to show them an updated version. Enabling cache can improve Google site speed significantly. Research has shown that a full website cache can improve site speed from 2.5 seconds to 0.9 seconds – now, that’s impressive!

4) Change your website theme

Changing your theme can really help with Google site speed, especially if you switch to one marked as mobile friendly. It’s important to do your research; if you continue to experience immediate results using a theme, don’t change things up. Most themes are optimised for mobile search to some degree. Colorlib has listed some of the best mobile-friendly WordPress themes. Once you have changed your theme, be sure to monitor your website traffic on Google Analytics to see if your bounce rate and traffic levels improve. You can see the different results for desktop, mobile, and tablet in one simple click.

5) Download Google PageSpeed Insights

You may be thinking at this point, that’s great but how do I know what needs fixing? Well, there’s a tool for that. Google PageSpeed Insights will tell you what exactly is slowing your site down and give you actionable steps to improve your score. Simply enter the URL of your website and hit ‘Analyse.’ The Google site speed tool will provide you with a score between 0 and 100 points. The higher the score, the faster and more optimised the website – simple.

Bonus tip: ask an SEO agency for help!

If you have a WordPress website that you are looking to optimise for improved Google rankings, speak to experts that specialise in WordPress, WP Engine, and Avada. We have worked with all three and have years of experience optimising websites for the best results online.

Image showing how Google site speed changes bounce rates

As more people turn to mobile devices to find sites online, it’s essential to optimise yours for improved performance across all devices. Remember, the most frequent reason for increased bounce rate is slow site speed which has a direct impact on whether users explore your site or search in favour of your competitors.

If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, over half of your prospects will leave without even reading your content. If that wasn’t bad enough, for every second that your website takes to load more people will drop off as well. If your page is loading slowly, despite following the above steps, it can be tricky to determine what exactly is slowing it down and how to fix the problem yourself. Fortunately, our ecommerce developers have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to speed optimisation and can help you resolve the issue.

Nothing makes our skin crawl more than a website that is not optimised for mobile search. Since mobile-first indexing was launched last month, the SEO world has been shook. People are scrambling together to create mobile-friendly websites – the demand is ridiculous! Google site speed is going to make the world of difference, especially for those with already responsive sites.

Sounds good, but don’t know what to do next? We’d be happy to help optimise your website to help it pass the Google site speed test with flying colours. Speak to one of our trained developers today on 01226 720 756 or drop them an email via [email protected]