Everyone likes fast websites. Visitors take less time to load content, feel less frustrated and are more inclined to return. But even if your site is packed with content and images, it can still be slow. We’ve all been there: You launch a new site or blog post on WordPress, optimise your images, create a lightning-fast static home page with widgets… And then it takes forever to load when you hit the published URL. What gives? There’re many reasons why your site might be slow — but fortunately, most of them are easy to identify and fix. Follow these three super simple tips if you want to make sure your new WordPress website is as fast as possible from the get-go!
Check Your WordPress Website for Bloatware
First and foremost, do a quick clean-out of any bloatware that may have come with your WP installation. Odds are you don’t need any of it — and the more stuff you have, the slower your site’s going to be. Delete any unnecessary themes, plugins, and widgets (especially any that auto-load, like “hot new posts” widgets), and you’ll be well on your way to a faster site. You may also want to consider switching to a minimalist theme such as Astra, which is incredibly lightweight and doesn’t include a lot of extra clutter.
Use The Best Hosting Service
The hosting service you use to host your WordPress site can massively affect how fast or slow your site loads. If you’re using an overcrowded or low-quality host, you’re also opening yourself up to hacked and infected websites. Use a site like Headwall Hosting to find reliable and well-reviewed hosting services. In this case, you get what you pay for. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but generally speaking, the more you spend, the more you’ll get out of a fast and reliable hosting service. There are plenty of hosting services that will suit your needs, whether you need simple shared hosting or have more advanced needs that call for a VPS (virtual private server).
Serve Responsive Images
Every image on your website will slow it down to some degree, but certain types of images and file types are more problematic than others. If you want to speed up your site, serving full-size images is an easy thing to fix. Consider converting all of your images to the WebP format. There are numerous free services that do this but one we’d recommend is the WebP Converter for Media plugin. This will do the conversion for you each time you upload an image to your website. You can also use an image optimisation plugin like Storefront or ShortPixel to automatically resize and compress images to make them much smaller — and therefore take up less space and load faster. If your images are responsive and you’re using lazy-loading capabilities, they won’t slow your website down when someone first visits. But if someone resizes their browser to see your content full-screen, your images will then load and be tacked onto the end of your page — creating a slow experience for your readers. Make sure your images are properly compressed and resized to serve full-screen, and that they’re loaded with the appropriate alt text.
A slow site can negatively impact your SEO, hurt your conversion rates, and cost you readers — not to mention the fact that it’s just plain annoying. Follow these three simple tips, and you’re sure to see a major improvement in your site’s speed.