If you want to improve your customer experience, conversions and google rankings the fastest way to do all three is to improve your website load time.
In typical 3X fashion I’m going to give you a number of ways to do this and you should pick 3 of them and get started.
For the purpose of this post I’m going to assume you’re using WordPress, if not, not all these tips will apply to you.
But first, you need to set a baseline using a couple of free resources.
Visit these two sites, enter your URL and get a score and load time.
Click for Pingdom Tools
Click for GTMetrix
That will establish your current load time. Take a screenshot or save a report for comparison later.
Next, make a backup of your DB and files. If you don’t have an easy way to do this you need a better webhost who makes it easy. (don’t pay extra for a backup service.)
Now here are some ways to improve the load time.
- Update your plugins and remove inactive and unnecessary plugins
- Run WP Optimizer and run a scan and optimize.
- Install Query Monitor plugin to find php issues or bloated plugins.
- Compress your images using TinyPNG or similar service.
- Upgrade your version of PHP (ask your webhost if you can’t do yourself)
- Switch to a faster, less bloated theme, see my my video here on Socrates 5 and even more speed tips.
- Upgrade your webhosting. You get what you pay for.. here’s another video of mine.
- Be wary of remote loading images, videos, scripts and other files.
- Here’s a trick on how to STOP an MP4 video from loading on every page load.
- Remove useless widgets and codes that went out of style 10 years ago from your sidebar
- Create a free Cloudflare account to host your DNS. (It’s easier than you think)
A quick note about “social sharing plugins“. I can’t tell you how many people I see using multiple social share plugins and no one is sharing their content.
Ask yourself if it’s worth slowing down your entire site in the hopes that a few people will like or share a post.
Personally I’d rather have a faster site and better rankings than get a few visitors from a social share. I use Social Warfare (free version) and put social share code on content I “know” will get shared, but don’t use on content that’s unlikely to get shared.
Try any 3 of these ideas and then check your scores and load time again. See how much faster your site has now become.
And a quick analytics tip. If you use Google Analytics make an annotation to show the date you did this optimization.
P.S. Want a great looking super fast WordPress Theme? Check out my new Speaker Theme.