If you have the perfect site, a site you’re absolutely in love with, you might not notice how long it takes to load. However, your viewers care very much. The average attention span online is less than 5 seconds. It takes more than that to load a site; your viewer will leave to look for a faster site.
Everything you do with your site effects the speed, especially if you’re dealing with WordPress and plug-ins. Every plug-in slows down your site, even if it’s only a millisecond. If you’ve ever seen a fresh WordPress website, you’ll know it comes with a few plug-ins already installed that you might not even use. The first thing you want to do is delete those plug-ins along with all the other plug-ins you don’t use. Every plug-in on your website should be doing its job perfectly. If not, look for one that does. Speed is too precious online to waste on imperfect plug-ins.
Of course, there is one type of plug-in that should be installed on everyone’s website and that would be a cache plug-in. With the cache plug-in, viewers can see the front page while the rest of the site is loading behind it. They see the real page when they click to another page on the same site and then return to the front page. This buys the site time to load completely while not disappointing viewer. The two best WordPress plug-ins for WordPress that we have found are WP super cache and W3 total cache. Either of these can speed up your website. In some cases, they can make your website load even faster than a fresh install with no plug-ins on it.
Hosting is just as important as plug-ins when it comes to speed. Most often, a business has what is known as a ‘shared hosting’ . This means that they share a server with several other websites. This makes website hosting very affordable, usually as little as $10 a month. But before you invest in a host, it’s important to know whether or not your host is built for WordPress sites. A site like Hostgator is built for WordPress sites and even has a script library that automates the installation process. If you anticipate that your site will eventually require a lot of bandwidth, then you might want to consider getting a dedicated server that only hosts your site.
Images are something people never think of as something that slows down their site. However, if an image is too big it will slow down your websites load-time significantly. An image that is 300 dpi (print size) is much too big for the Internet. If you have a Photoshop or some similar web editing program, Photoshop has the Save For Web feature. Not only does this turn that picture into a JPEG, it compresses into the smallest picture possible without it seeming loss of detail.
If you’re really looking to speed up your site, then self-hosted videos are out of the question. Videos are the world’s biggest picture. The best way to have videos on your website is to post them from a site that’s designed for video such as YouTube, or Vimeo. These types of sites have huge servers that can make a video load quickly . By using their code, you can embed the video directly onto your site so it looks like they’re on your site when they’re really being hosted elsewhere. That means it takes no time at all for your videos to load.
Money loves speed. If your website is too slow, it could be costing you money. Every millisecond counts when it comes to the loading of websites, and if you follow this advice your website can be as fast as possible. This can give you the edge over a competitor’s site that loads much too slowly.
Written by Adam Chronister founder of Accelerated Freelance. Accelerated freelance is a spokane online marketing firm who specialize in, Internet marketing, social media marketing, brochure design and more. You can find him on Google Google+ and Twitter.