- Google ranks websites based in part on how fast they load.
- Every additional second of load time lowers your conversion rate by 7%.
- 85% of users will abandon a site that takes more than 7 seconds to load.
7 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your WordPress Website’s Load Times
- Use an image optimization plugin. There are a lot of great WordPress plugins available that automatically compress images when they are uploaded to your media library. Depending upon your compression ratio, 50-60% reductions in file sizes are possible.
- Lazy load comments with a plugin. Comments can be like anchors when a page is loading. Did you know that the default WordPress comments settings include an individual HTTP request for each gravatar (avatar)? Setting comments to “lazy load,” means that they won’t begin loading until you scroll down the page, is an easy way to fix this!
- Take advantage of a CDN (content delivery network). A CDN is a network of servers that cache your content (images, CSS, JS) in different places around the world. When someone visits your website, your content is then served from the closest geographical location. This drastically decreases load times and reduces latency.
- Use a hosting company that uses SSD (solid state drive) technology. SSDs are up to one-thousand times faster than regular drives.
- Choose a hosting company that uses NGINX web server technology to speed up the load of the static content. Typically, NGINX is used on dedicated servers to boost performance for the most popular applications, including WordPress.
- Request that your hosting company use HTTP/2. HTTP/2 is the newest network protocol, which significantly speeds up loading of websites in the browser. HTTP/2 requires an encrypted connection (SSL certificate) which should be available from your hosting company for free (using Let’s Encrypt) or for a nominal charge.
- Disable certain scripts from loading site-wide using the Gonzalez premium plugin. Some scripts load site-wide but are only used on one or two pages. By preventing certain scripts from loading everywhere on your WordPress site you can dramatically speed up load times. Gonzalez lets you designate the pages where a specific script will load.
The time spent making these changes will be worth it!