Website speed is an important thing. You know it has to be important when Google considers it a factor when it comes to SEO! Do you feel as if it takes forever for your blog to load? As pages load, are you literally watching your images slowly appear? Has anyone ever said to you, “It took forever for your website to come up?”
The questions above are obvious signs you may have a problem, but it’s not always that obvious. How do you know if your website is slow loading and if it is, what do you do about it?
How to Check Your Website Speed
Of course, you aren’t walking around saying, “Hey, my website speed is 2 seconds!” It may not be a number you readily have available, but it is something you need to check from time to time. Your website visitors expect your page to load between 2-3 seconds. Yes, that is pretty fast, but it can be done!
There are several tools, which are free, available to check the speed of your website. Two of my favorites are:
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights: Google makes it as easy as green and red along with providing ways to make improvements to your website to add speed.
- Web Page Test: This tool checks your page speed as well as choosing the specific browser.
- Pingdom: With Pingdom, you enter your URL, choose from which city/state/country you want to have your blog tested from and click on start test.
How to Fix Your Slow Website
If you’ve tested your website and see it’s super slow, what can you do? The 3 tools above provide suggestions and I’ve also listed 4 of the most common reasons your pages load slowly and what you can do to speed them up!
I love images. They make your text and blog more visually appealing and help your readers get the point you are trying to make. They can make you happy and sad and they can be beautiful. As wonderful as they are, they’re extremely heavy, thus weighing your website down and the culprit of an unhappy website experience for your readers.
How to fix it: Images come with a lot of “gunk” embedded in them and can be very large in size. Never fear! Your images can be compressed and not lose quality. In fact, no one will know it’s a compressed image but you, your website, and your server!
There are tools available (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) that can compress your images and still keep their quality.
- TinyPNG: Tiny png will compress your .jpg and .png files. Just upload, compress, download, and add to your website!
- Image Optimizer: This tool allows you to upload your image, choose the quality you need and your image is ready for your website!
- WP SmushIt: With WP SmushIt, you install it onto your WordPress website and you can compress your images right in the backend of your website.
Note: Compression does not take the place of having the correct image size. Make sure you have the correct size of your image and then compress!
Plugins allow your blog to have some cool features, but sometimes they’re heavy and sometimes they don’t play well together. How do you know which plugins are giving your WordPress blog the slow loading blues?
How to fix it: There is a plugin called P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). P3 will show you which plugin(s) cause the biggest issue. This information tells you what plugins are loading the slowest, allowing you the opportunity to find a different plugin and replace it with something lighter!
What hosting company you choose makes a huge difference with your blog’s page speed. I recommend WordPress Managed Hosting rather than the usual shared hosting. Why does it matter?
I compare the Shared Hosting and WP managed hosting with a General Doctor and a Specialist. Shared hosting can host any website, no matter the platform in which it is built (General Doctor). Shared hosting crams a bunch of websites on a server. WP Managed Hosting focuses solely on WordPress websites. They know WP inside and out and because of this, are very familiar with what needs to happen for them to perform at maximum performance (Specialist), which is why managed hosting is more expensive.
There are several ways to make sure your website is moving quickly; compressing your images, finding out which plugins are slowing down your website, and choosing the right hosting company are three easy ways to make sure your website visitors have a wonderful experience while visiting your online home.
Is your blog slow? Have you tried any of the recommendations above? Share your comments and thoughts below.
See ya later!