Why is my WordPress website not bringing in more customers? This question comes from potential clients who don’t understand why their website does not perform the way they thought it would. They say they spent good money on creating a nice-looking website. It has all the modern components (sliders, testimonials, hero images, parallax, etc.). It has relevant content. The first question I ask is ‘Have you looked at the page load time?’. Read on to discover the why a slow page load time results in poor WordPress performance.
Test for poor WordPress p
How can you test the performance of your WordPress website? There are several tools I use determine poor WordPress performance. GTmetrix, Pingdom Website Speed Test, and Google PageSpeed Insights are my most popular tools. The results from these performance tests identify the areas of WordPress I need to improve. WordPress performance improvement takes different approaches.
How WordPress works
Remove unneeded files
WordPress is a generic web publishing platform. Out of the box, it loads items that are not required on every website. For instance, most WordPress websites don’t need the default emojis, rest API, RSS feeds, relational links, external blog editors, or DNS prefetch. Each of these items require extra calls to files and websites. Remove these items and your website will load faster.
Combine and minify files
Images are the biggest offender causing a WordPress website to load slowly. A 12MP digital camera takes images that are 4,000 x 3,000 pixels in size with a resolution of 200 DPI. This is great for printing but is overkill for a website. Most websites can get by with images that are 1024 pixels wide. The resolution can also be reduced to 72 DPI without impacting image quality. A 4,000 x 3,000 200 DPI image takes up 4.5 MB disk space. Optimized to a 1024 x 768 72 DPI image, the file size becomes 546KB. The optimized image loads 8 times faster than the original image. For a web page with 6 images, the savings is substantial. Optimize images to the maximum required size for the applicable web page.
Test the results
How do I know poor WordPress performance frustrates visitors? The answer is in the website analytics. Compare the bounce rate before optimization and after optimization. A reduced bounce rate indicates people aren’t immediately leaving the website. Also check the time spent on each page. Increased time spent on a page means visitors are consuming more of your content. You want a lower bounce rate and increased time spent on the website.
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