We live in an impatient world. People want everything now … right this minute, and marketers spend huge amounts of dollars annually trying to find ways to do everything quicker and faster. Unfortunately this “hurry up I’m in a rush” mentality also applies to business and the online world; especially when it comes to surfing the Internet and the performance of our websites.
Did you know studies show 47% of online users expect a website’s page to load in two seconds or less? Did you know, of that percentage, 57% will click away from a site if it takes longer than three seconds? Not good news for business owners working hard to get prospective customers to not only land on their website, but also stay long enough to actually check out the content. Having a slow website can be detrimental to the success of your business. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to lessen this issue and speed up your site’s performance. Here are some of the main culprits that could be slowing down your WordPress site.
A Plethora of Plugins: Plugins are fun, and there are a ton of them out there that provide great benefits and do some cool things. However, it’s a known fact that having too many plugins installed and active on your site can really slow it down. Unfortunately, despite this knowledge, many website owners still have far too many installed and active, which leads to … yep, you’ve got it, a slow website. Some plugins are resource hogs to begin with. Plus, even if you have plugins that have been deactivated, they could still be slowing things down. Deactivate what is no longer useful and then delete the plugins altogether. Also make sure your plugins are always up-to-date. You can update them yourself whenever a new one is released; or you can hire someone else to take care of it for you. These updates are designed to keep plugins running at peak performance and protect your site against vulnerabilities or “bugs.” Tools like WordPress P3 plugin will also identify which plugins are slowing down your site by creating a handy performance report.
Big Fat Media Files: WordPress has the option of storing all Featured Images and other images used on your site in its Media Library. Some of these media files can be huge and, over time, begin to slow your site down considerably. It’s best to compress and reduce the size of your graphics BEFORE adding them to your site; however, there are also WordPress tools like EWWW Image Optimizer or WP Smush you can use to help compress and reduce huge image files to speed up your site’s performance.Avoid huge image files on your WordPress site. Compress them to speed up your site’s performance.Click To Tweet
File Hoarding: One of WordPress’s many features is its auto-save function – it automatically saves everything. While it’s great to be able to go back and view a previous version of your latest creation, the downside is that your database can fill up quickly with countless post revisions, trashed items, trackbacks, pingbacks, unapproved comments, you name it. Plugins like WP-Optimize will routinely clear out your site’s database, keeping only what is necessary. Too many installed themes can also lead to a bloated site. If you know you’ll never use an installed theme again, delete it and free up that space for your site. A word of Caution … before getting too carried away deleting old themes, back up your site to prevent unforeseen issues.
Creating a WordPress site for your business involves more than just choosing a theme, installing every cool plugin you encounter, and adding mountains of content. It involves making smart choices from the very beginning and continuing to update, tweak and revise those choices to keep your site running at optimal speed. Remember, as a business owner you can spend hundreds of dollars on ads and campaigns, but it’s all for naught if your ideal client leaves your site before it has a chance to load. Review your site for some of the above culprits and take steps to keep your site humming along and your visitors happy.