31 May

optimize wordpress website speed

Optimize WordPress Website Speed

Optimize wordpress website speed is something developers seem to miss out when building websites. There are many elements to creating a successful website, some more important than others, but you should never underestimate the importance of your page load speed times. A few years ago Googles Vice President Marissa Mayer conducted an experiment where she asked web surfers whether they would rather see 10 or 30 results for their Google search.

The majority agreed that they would prefer 30 and so it was implemented on some of the results pages, however it soon turned out these pages had a traffic drop of an astonishing 20% even though the load speed time difference between the 10 results pages and the 30 results pages was as little as half a second. This should give you an idea of how much shaving off a second or two to your website load time could massively decrease your bounce rate and all those potential sales going to your competitor’s site.

Luckily there are a few ways to test your website to make sure it is up to speed. GTmetrix is a free online tool that analyses your website performance in terms of page speed load times and then gives you some very helpful tips on how to fix any issues that arise. Incredibly easy to use, all you do is enter the website address on the home page and hit go.

As it analyses your page it gives you some handy tips while you wait and then grades your page load speed and Yahoo YSlow like a school teacher and you might be surprised at how different the two grades come out.

GTmetrix then breaks down the different elements that could cause a slowdown in your load time and lists them with the most problematic areas at the top highlighted in red with an E or a dreaded F grade. Yslow and page speed use slightly different measuring parameters to test your page so you get a well-rounded look at what might be slowing your site down and GTMetrix puts the breakdown into two different tabs so as not to get too confusing.

Each issue can be clicked on and a drop down menu appears with a description of the problem. There is a ‘question mark’ icon with additional help with solving it and some recommended actions. GTMetrix is quite technical and does assume that it is web developers using it with more than just a basic knowledge of code but everything is broken down into manageable pieces so even a novice could figure it out with a bit of hard work.

Also, keep in mind that while page speed is a massive bonus to your site the problems that GTMetix pull up are just generic, it does not cater its advice to each individual website, so you will have to decide what works best for your specific site and possibly make some compromises between speed and design.

By creating a free account with GTMetrix you can also get the added benefits of a range of other services. Here it can analyse your sites performance on other mediums such as mobile devices, simulate how your page loads up on different user connection speeds, monitor your URL’s and give you regular reports on their performances, have interactive graphs that show your sites performance history and many other things.

You have even got a bookmarklet which you drag onto your bookmarks toolbar and it allows you to analyse any site that you are on with the click of a button, yes, any site.
Free and easy to use it is well worth taking some time to analyse your website and make sure it is performing to the best of its ability.

Even taking half a second off a pages load speed time could be the difference between a customer and a bounce and it could be something as simple as changing the dimensions of a couple of images or altering some JavaScript.

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