If you think the speed of your website is insignificant, think again. Consider this: at least half of visitors abandon websites that take 3 seconds to load! Here are a few other statistics that will drive the point home.
Every time there is a one-second delay in page load time, it can result in:
- 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
- 11% reduction in page views
- 7% loss in terms of conversions
At a quick glance, a 7% loss in conversions might not seem like much but in reality, it is. Let’s put things in perspective: if you are running an e-commerce site that’s making $100,000 a day, each 1 second page delay could potentially cost you a staggering $2.5 million in lost sales annually!
However, that’s not all. This might not be common knowledge but your site speed can affect every metric that truly matters—search ranking, bounce rate, conversion, page views, customer satisfaction. And yes, even revenue.
Website Speed: Why You Should Care
In essence, a fast website can streamline the browsing process and give your visitors a superb overall experience. Below are other incomparable benefits only a fast website can offer:
Short loading time = happy customers
Having a fast website can provide a lot of amazing benefits. For starters, it can help guarantee your customers will have an exceptional experience in the form of short loading time and the ability to surf using their tablet or mobile even if their network connection is slow.
Higher Google ranking
Among other things, Google’s search engine takes into account your site’s load speed. That means if you have a fast website, you will have a higher chance of snagging a higher rank in the search queries. Remember: the higher the rank, the easier it will be for people to find you.
Increased website conversions
The moment customers reach your website is considered your first milestone. Your next goal is to get them to do something while they are there. Conversion can come in various forms. It can be a click on your ad, a filled out contact form, a purchase, or anything else that’s of value to you. If your site loads fast, there’s an increased chance of repeat visits and of course, more chances for conversions.
Lightning Fast Websites: The Secret Sauce
Want to experience a dramatic boost in your website speed? The following steps should get your efforts off to an exceptional start.
Install a Fast Theme
At first glance, using easy-to-install themes from ThemeForest can seem like a smart idea. However, these themes make use of free Visual Page Builders like WPBakery Pro. While they’re visually pleasing, the code and the scripts used in the themes can cause your website to slow down significantly.
As a general rule of thumb, opt for themes that are coded to be lightweight. If you’re considering using Visual Builders, opting for WordPress themes like Elementor and Beaver Builder would be a good idea.
Going for pure WordPress sites with no builders is yet another great option you can look into. One of the most popular and highly rated themes in the market is GeneratePress. Why? Its theme size is less than 30kB!
Dubbed the smallest WordPress theme there is, it also loads incredibly fast. The sheer amount of 5 star reviews it has gotten (a whopping 849 so far!) is a solid testament to its superiority.
Optimize Your Images
While unfortunate to note, many websites upload images without optimizing them. While seemingly harmless, images that are not optimized can actually cause your website to load slower. It’s safe to assume optimizing your images prior to uploading them can make a world of difference to your site’s speed.
In a nutshell, image optimization is the saving and delivering of images in the smallest possible file without compromising the overall image quality. Sophisticated image formats like WebP can provide topnotch lossless and lossy compression for images. In other words, it will allow you to create smaller but really rich images that can boost your website speed significantly.
Minimize Your Plugins
For the uninitiated, here’s how plugins can impact your site: when a visitor loads a page on your site, all the active plugins in your folder will also load simultaneously. And yes, it will happen each and every time a visitor lands on your page!
Starter plugins that can help warrant superior operating speed include:
- LiteSpeed Cache. This acceleration plugin comes with a set of image optimization features as well as exclusive server-level cache.
- Yoast SEO. This awesome plugin aids your site with the search engine optimization (SEO) process that will please both search engine spiders and site visitors.
- Loginizer. This plugin works by keeping your site safe from phishing tools and hackers. To combat brute force attacks, the plugin also prevents IP login as soon as the permitted login retries has been maximised.
- Contact Form 7. This plugin will allow people to get in touch with you through the emails from your website. It also gives users the luxury to control several contact forms that can be customized.
Use Hypertext Pre-Processor (PHP) Ver 7.4
Simply put, PHP is a server-side scripting language that’s specially designed for web development. The brainchild of brilliant Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP was first introduced in 1994 and originally stood for “Personal Home Page.”
To say PHP has truly come a long way is an understatement. Their latest 7.4 update is full of new and exciting features. As evident in previous releases, they’ve placed a tremendous amount of focus on performance and speed. To date, an impressive 78.9% of websites use PHP. Some of the most popular sites that use PHP include Pinterest, Wikipedia, and Facebook.
Examine Your Hosting Package
Here’s a secret worth knowing: it is possible for you to have a fast loading website on any host as long as they are running PHP Ver 7.4 and LiteSpeed. By far, one of PHP’s most exciting features is preloading. It works by speeding up script execution and providing the ability to have a cleaner and faster code.
It is important to also remember that when it comes to improving page load time, your hosting package is one of the areas you need to look into. When needed, don’t shy away from upgrading your hosting package so you can further boost speed, improve performance, and increase conversions.
There you have it, the secret sauce to a lighting fast website. Granting all the key ingredients are in place, achieving lightning speed should be a piece of cake.
Gareth van Rensburg actively supports the relationship-building process at Innzone Hosting a reliable, fast, affordable, and superior web host. Covering all the technical aspects for your website, making you feel safe and secure from hackers as you continue online business.