Optimising Your WordPress Website for Increased Speed

28 June 2023

Nearly 43% of all internet websites are powered by WordPress, thanks to its versatility in catering to diverse business types. From personal blogs to e-commerce platforms, WordPress can efficiently manage various sites. However, issues with loading speed can sometimes crop up, causing potential customers to lose interest and navigate away from your site.

This guide will explore how you can enhance user experience on WordPress by ensuring swift website loading and how to boost it further if your site begins lagging.

Assessing the Speed of Your WordPress Site

A quick, straightforward way to test your website’s load speed is to simply visit your site on different devices. Any noticeable lag could signal potential issues that require attention.

For a more detailed analysis, numerous online speed test tools can help. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a top pick, offering an exhaustive diagnostic of your URL to pinpoint areas needing improvement.

The tool provides specific timings on your page load speed, and even rates your site based on four key factors – Google’s Core Web Vitals. PageSpeed Insights can also simulate loading from both desktops and mobiles, giving you a comprehensive view of your site’s performance across various devices.

Other notable tools include Pingdom, GTMetrix, and Lighthouse, all freely available online.

Increasing the Speed of Your WordPress Site PageSpeed Insights goes beyond just scoring your site. It also highlights opportunities for enhancements, especially if your site doesn’t score well. Other factors contributing to site speed include choosing a streamlined theme and selecting the right hosting package.

Choosing a Fast WordPress Theme

The WordPress theme directory offers numerous themes that determine your site’s visual aspects, including colours, typography, and layout. While paid themes usually offer more quality and uniqueness, always pay attention to reviews before installation.

You can also determine the theme of any high-speed WordPress site using tools like IsItWP or by checking the website’s source code.

Website Hosting

Hosting significantly influences your website’s speed. Most individuals or small businesses initially opt for shared hosting due to cost considerations. However, shared hosts often house numerous sites on one server, causing server overload and potential downtime.

If you’re new to WordPress, consider managed WordPress hosting. Although more expensive, it ensures quick website access and timely issue resolution, letting you focus more on your business operations.

Tips for Enhancing Load Speed

As a web developer, myself, offers valuable insights:

“Images, being the largest file types on websites, can drastically slow down your site. Use a compression tool and crop images to the sizes required, saving MBs of space for a quicker user experience. Open-source libraries, while convenient, can be costly if you only need partial functionality. Consider creating your own scripts over time for optimal performance.”

Monitoring User Experience on WordPress Sites

A successful website places user experience (UX) at its core. Core Web Vitals, a part of Google’s ranking factors, assess UX by measuring factors like First Input Delay (FID), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). You can view a Core Web Vitals report on Google Search Console or use other tools.

Enhancing User Experience on WordPress Sites

If your diagnostic results indicate issues, you may need to fine-tune your Core Web Vitals. Techniques include image compression and lazy loading for LCP, browser cache utilisation, and third-party script removal for FID, and assigning specific size dimensions to web page elements for CLS.

Other UX considerations include logical site layout and structure, colour usage, and overall ease of use. A well-structured, user-friendly website can significantly boost your conversion rate.

Engaging a WordPress Web Design Agency

If all this information feels overwhelming, consider enlisting the help of a full-service web design agency like WP Ability. Specialising in website management, marketing, and SEO, we can help optimise your site, allowing you to focus on growing your business.