We’ve all been there. Either on our own site or someone elses. That slow dragging loading time that makes you remember the days of dial up.
There are a lot of factor that can make a site load slowly and it can happen to anyone if you don’t keep on top of your site maintenance or you just get lazy and stop doing the necessary steps to optimize images. Hey, I get it. I’ve been there too.
Unfortunately a slow site could lead to a missed sale for you, because seriously, who wants to want around for a site to load that is taking for-EVER. Not only is it annoying but it could make you come off as unprofessional and no one wants that. Slow landing pages are also low ranking with googles SEO so you will loose traffic, and if you’ve paid someone or spent a lot of time configuring your SEO you don’t want that to be a waste.
Fortunately I have some easy solutions to improve your speed!
These sites tell you exactly what is slowing down your site in detail, so you can fix them yourself or have a developer do it for you.
Delete unused and crappy plugins — Less useless plugins, more quality plugins. Period. I wouldn’t recommend using more than 8 plugins on your site. The more you have, the slower your site will be. And let’s be honest, a lot of them are completely unnecessary or you upload them, decide not to use them, and forget they exist. But they are still invisibly camping out on your site, slowing things down. So delete, delete, delete!
To see which plugins are slowing down your site you can download the p3 profiler plugin. After you’re done I would delete this one as well since you won’t be uploading new plugins all willy-nilly after you read this post, right? 😉
The mandatory plugins IMO have to do with:
- analytics to track your traffic
- promotion like social share buttons
- security and backups of your site
Delete all unused themes — This isn’t necessarily something that slows down your site but more of a pet peeve of mine. If you aren’t using a theme and it’s still on your WPadmin, delete it. It keeps things tidy and helps prevent hackers from getting in through old, unused products.
Use a premium theme — Just like using poor quality plugins, crappy themes can slow down your site. I suggest using one that is well known or has good reviews. I prefer the divi theme overall.
Optimize PDFs – If you are hosting PDFs for your opt-ins on your site make sure you re-size them before uploading. I recommend re-sizing with Docupub even if you have acrobat. It’s a great tool that doesn’t loose image quality but reduces the size greatly.
Optimize Images — This is the biggest issue with slow loading sites I’ve seen. If you are unfamiliar with how to save your images for the web then you are doing yourself and your business a disservice.
You should always, always, always save images in PNG format for best quality on the web, not JPG. If you are using Photoshop, change your PPI (this stands for pixels per inch) to 72 and not 300. 300 is for printing, 72 is for web. To do this go to ‘image’ in the top menu, then click ‘image size…’. When the screen pops up change the section that says ‘resolution’ from 300 to 72 and click OK.
When you’re ready to save the image, always use the “save for web” option not ‘save as’. A screen will pop up that gives you some drop-down options for JPG or PNG with a preview of the image. At the bottom of the screen there is an option for ‘quality’. By default, this is set to “Bicubic”, but that’s not optimal for shrinking images down to smaller sizes for the web. Instead, you should use “Bicubic Sharper” to preserve the sharpness in your photo.
After you have done this, even if you aren’t using Photoshop, you will need to compress your image using a site such as TinyPNG.com or compressor.io. TinyPNG is my favorite. It will compress your image size but doesn’t look any different visually which is ideal.
Add tinyPNG plugin — This is an easier solution if you already have a TON of images on your site, such as a blog, that are way to big and you don’t have the time to go through and re-size and re-upload to your site. The only bad thing about this plugin is that it has a monthly limit to how much you can compress for free, but overall I recommend it if you don’t have a few hours to re-size your images manually. But again, having yet another plugin on your site could make it slower depending on everything else you have on your site (every situation is different depending on your theme, plugins, content, etc.) So I would suggest finding the time to do it manually, even if it’s just little by little until you get it all done, you will not regret it!
Delete all unnecessary images and content — All those times you uploaded images and then changed something, uploaded again, and again (It’s OK, I do this too) — those images are still there, taking up valuable space. I recommend going through your media library at least once a month and delete all the images you don’t use and those that are too big now that you’ve compressed your images the right way and re-uploaded the new ones, right? 😉
It’s also a good idea to delete all pages and posts that you aren’t using. Just take half a work day and do a “new beginnings ceremony” for your sacred space. Honestly, it feels pretty good to do this and it’s one of those things I do to clear space in my mind and in my life. Out with the old, in with the new. I find that I usually get a new client the same week I digitally cleanse. It’s my ritual to reopen my life to allow new things in.
Invest in a good hosting company — Cheap or crappy hosting can ruin your sites performance without you even knowing it. Cheap in price does not always mean bad, lots of companies have coupons if you google it. Use a company that has a good reputation and do your homework, check out their reviews before purchasing. Web Hosting Geeks has great feedback on hosting companies. I would NOT recommend using 1and1 Hosting. You can find my personal experience having to work with them here. I’ve also personally used Wix when I was just starting out and would not recommend them either. Their software is so easy for beginners and can be inciting when all the tech seems so overwhelming with other platforms like WordPress. But I lost clients and got tons of emails stating how badly my site was loading, etc. It was quite embarrassing as a new budding entrepreneur and made me come off as very ameutar. Definitely not a business that someone would trust with thousands of their dollars!
Test your site again after you make changes — Hopefully after you’ve made some necessary changes you’re test score will have gone up. No, it does not have to be perfect and it’s nearly impossible to get an “A” in ever area, but the better your score is the faster your site is running which is the goal! 🙂
I hope this has been helpful and let me know if you have any questions in the comments!