For some time ‘how to speed up your website’ has been an important consideration not just for a good user experience but also better SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
And the ‘speed’ of a website is…
How long it takes a single page to download in a web browser – from the initial click of a link until every aspect of the page has completely downloaded is its ‘speed’. If a user is kept waiting for ages (more than 4 or 5 seconds is considered ages in the interweb!) then they are very likely to click the back button, and if a search engine measures a website that has consistent slow download times then it will not be as highly ranked as it otherwise could.
It’s fair to say that how fast a website is, is an important consideration for any website owner.
Has a website’s download time always been important?
Back in the days before broadband, we were all on dial up modems (I remember when a 28K modem was considered a speedy connection to the web), and as a web designer it was vital that every element of a web page was optimised. Images were restricted to 256 colours (or less), pages were written in hand coded minimal code, and there were very few complex requests to-ing and fro-ing the server. Broadband then arrived, and briefly web designers were able to relax a little in regards to optimisation of content however then smartphones appeared and suddenly the need to optimise everything became vital again (for sluggish non-wireless connections had to be catered for).
What to consider when optimising a WordPress website for a speedier download
Current website technology often includes the use of a WordPress website (almost all of my projects use WordPress) – and so the article written by Bill Erickson (founder of StudioPress and the top-notch Genesis framework) ‘10 ways to speed up your WordPress website‘ is a fantastic resource for anyone wondering what they should do to make their website load faster.
Here are the 10 points, all of which are expanded on in his blog post: –
- Image Compression
- High Quality Hosting
- Plugin Audit
- Combine and minify CSS/JS
- Cache static content
- Use a CDN
- Clean up options table
- Decrease markup
- Decrease external requests
Hope you find it useful (I did!). If you want to measure the speed of your website then the test site that Bill Erickson uses is here – https://www.webpagetest.org – and if you’re curious to know how fast my website downloads(!) then you can see my result here 🙂
If you’d like assistance with the speed of your WordPress website then do get in touch with me and I can do a free initial evaluation to see how I can help.