Posts

Ten years ago, waiting five seconds for a website to load was perfectly acceptable. But today, people just don’t have the patience for pages that load for more than three seconds. Anything slower than that and they’ll click away, which then increases your bounce rate. If you want to speed up your WordPress site and reduce bounce rate, try the following tips.

Keep WordPress and plugins up to date

Updating your WordPress version and plugins will not only keep your website secure but also speed it up. Therefore, you should install those updates as soon as they become available.

You can set WordPress to update automatically, or you can install updates manually. If you want to manage the updates yourself, install the Easy Updates Manager plugin to help you stay on top of all updates.

Choose a website host wisely

Your website’s host can make or break your website. So before you select one, carefully compare the details of their service plans — especially the website speed and uptime — against those of other vendors.

While it may be tempting to opt for shared hosting because of its low cost, this setup offers the slowest speeds because websites are simultaneously relying on the same server for bandwidth. In contrast, having a dedicated server will provide the best speed, but it may be too costly for many small- and medium-sized businesses.

A great mid-performance, mid-price alternative is a virtual private server (VPS). A VPS acts like a dedicated server in terms of functionality but still technically uses a shared server. It will speed up your site better than typical shared hosting without breaking the bank.

Keep your site lean

The leaner your site, the faster it will load. To create a lean site, be mindful of these four things:

  1. Theme – Having a theme with tons of features can set you back in terms of speed. This is because the huge amount of code that powers those features can bog down your site. Avoid this by testing different themes to see how long they take to load. If the loading time is more than three seconds, look for another theme that loads faster.
  2. Design – Some design elements can dramatically slow down your site. Simple sites load faster, so carefully consider the ads, images, and extra assets that you add to your website to avoid slow page loads.
  3. Plugins – Think twice before going overboard with plugins, as having fewer plugins translates to a faster site load time. Also, keep in mind that not all plugins are created equal; some run faster than others. To tell one from the other, use applets that show the impact a plugin has on your site’s load time.
  4. Images – While many raw images are around 3,000 to 4,000 pixels wide, most web pages resize them without compression to 600 to 800 pixels wide so they can fit on the screen. If you want faster web page load speeds, resize your site’s images to the exact size they’ll appear on the screen. This shaves some bytes off the image file size, so the images load more quickly.

Leverage speed-boosting plugins

Use plugins that speed up your site. Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can provide more speed by caching your site on user browsers, thereby reducing download times.

Another helpful plugin is Lazy Load. It boosts your site’s speed by loading the elements at the top of the website first, then loading subsequent elements as a visitor scrolls down the page. Most themes already include the Lazy Load plugin, so check your Theme Options to see if it’s already part of your code pack.

Use redirects sparingly

Web pages that point to other URLs can slow down your site, so make sure to avoid or limit redirections. To check for redirects that your website doesn’t need, you can use the Redirect mapper tool or similar alternatives.

Implementing some or all of the tips above will surely improve your WordPress site’s speed. If you need more help in optimizing your website, or if you have other IT concerns, just give us a call.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

A decade ago, five seconds was a completely acceptable page load time. But today, most users expect a web page to load as soon as they open it. Otherwise, they will simply close it. To prevent users from bouncing off, try these tips that will surely speed up your WordPress site.

Keep WordPress and plugins up to date

Updating your WordPress version and plugins will not only keep your website secure but also speed it up. Therefore, you should install those updates as soon as they become available.

Choose a website host wisely

Your website’s host can make or break your website, so before you select one, carefully compare the details of their service plans — especially the website speed and uptime — against those of other vendors.

While it may be tempting to opt for shared hosting because of its low cost, know that it’s also going to offer the slowest speeds because many websites are simultaneously relying on the same server for bandwidth. In contrast, a dedicated server will provide the best speed, but it may be too costly for many small- and medium-sized businesses.

A great mid-performance, mid-price alternative is a virtual private server (VPS). A VPS acts like a dedicated server in terms of functionality but still technically uses a shared server. It will speed up your site better than the typical shared hosting without breaking the bank.

Keep your site lean

The leaner your site is, the faster it will be. To create a lean site, be mindful of these four aspects:

  1. Theme – While the promise of a versatile theme can spark the imagination, implementing one can set you back in terms of speed. When a theme has a ton of features, the huge amount of code that powers those features can bog down your site. Avoid this by testing the theme demos to see how long they take to load. If the loading time is more than three seconds, look for another theme that loads faster.
  2. Design – Design elements can also dramatically slow down your site. Simple sites are faster, so carefully consider the ads, images, and extras that you’re thinking of adding.
  3. Plugins – Not all plugins are created equal; some run fast and others slow. To tell one from the other, use special plugins that show the impact a plugin has on your site’s load time. What’s more, think twice before installing a plugin because having fewer plugins translates to a faster site load time.
  4. Images – While many raw images are around 3,000 to 4,000 pixels wide, most featured images are only 600 to 800 pixels wide. To reduce image weight and thus gain a faster site, resize your site’s images to the exact size they’ll appear on screen.

Leverage speed-boosting plugins

Use plugins that speed up your site. Cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache can provide more speed by caching every aspect of your site, thereby reducing its download times.

Another helpful plugin is Lazy Load. It boosts your site’s speed by loading the elements at the top of the website first, then loading subsequent elements as one scrolls down. But before installing the Lazy Load plugin, make sure to check your Theme Options to see if it’s already included.

Use redirects sparingly

Web pages that point to your old URLs can really slow down your site, so make sure to avoid or limit them. Also use the Redirect mapper tool or similar alternatives to uncover redirects that you don’t need.

Implementing some or all of the tips above will surely speed up your WordPress site’s speed. But if you need more help optimizing your website or in other IT matters, just give us a call.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE

In a recent survey of 1,800 customers, 42% said they’re “very unlikely” to purchase from ugly websites. That’s not so surprising. After all, there are plenty of competitors’ websites that are more visually appealing and user-friendly that they can visit. If your business website fails to make a critical good first impression, it could lose money. You can avoid that by improving these elements on your website.

A variety of professional photos

From pictures of your products to team photos, high-quality images are arguably the most important thing on your website. Blurry, outdated, or irrelevant pictures tell your site visitors that you don’t care about their browsing experience. In-house photos are the best option, but stock images shouldn’t cause any problems as long as they are optimized for mobile viewing and relevant to your content.

Navigation

Aside from subpar images, linking to nonexistent pages is one of the best ways to turn site visitors away. Make sure it’s easy to navigate your site and remove outdated or irrelevant pages. You can’t sell 404 pages to customers, and if that’s all visitors can find, it’s game over.

Clear copywriting

The last thing you want to do is to confuse your customers, so it’s important to keep all of your product or service descriptions as straightforward and simple as possible. If what you’re selling has detailed information such as dimensions or technical requirements, make sure the description is easy to find but not obtrusive.

Promises to site visitors

Any website that ships products should make its returns policy as visible as possible. This establishes trust early. Explicitly stating terms of return is also important because some online shoppers make purchase decisions based solely on the clarity of a return policy.

Even if you don’t run an eCommerce site, you also need to prominently display privacy commitments, such as those mandated by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

About page

Your brand needs a story behind it that customers can relate to. Every company website should have an About Us page that describes your team, its culture, and what sets you apart from the competition. Whatever your story is, make sure it’s accessible from any page on your site.

Design

Not everyone is a web design expert, but in today’s gig economy, one is never too far away from such a career. If your budget is tight, there are DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses. Or with a relatively low monthly expenditure, you can hire a managed website provider.

With more revenue originating online, small- and medium-sized business owners can’t afford to overlook the importance of creating a fully functional website.

Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. SOURCE