Load time optimisation for your website - netzwerk.design
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Why is a short loading time for your website important?

Updated

6 min.

The loading time of a website is a decisive factor for success on the Internet. Slow loading times can not only deter potential visitors, but also have a negative impact on search engine rankings. In this blog post, you will learn how you can optimise the loading time of your WordPress website. 

Why is loading time important?

Before we get into the technical details, let's talk briefly about the importance of load time. A study by Akamai states that a delay of just one second can decrease conversion rates by 7 % and that 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. In addition, search engines such as Google take into account the loading speed of your website when evaluating and ranking it in search results.

What can you do to improve the loading time of your WordPress website?

1. choose a good WordPress hosting

The first step to optimising the loading time of your WordPress website is choosing the right hosting. A fast and reliable hosting provider can have a significant impact on the loading speed of your site. Many hosters offer hosting that is specially optimised for WordPress. This has great advantages for speed and administration.

  • Shared hosting:
    • Inexpensive, but less powerful. Suitable for small websites.
  • VPS Hosting:
    • Offers more resources and better performance than shared hosting.
  • Dedicated Server:
    • Highest performance, but also the most expensive option.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting:
    • Specially optimised for WordPress and often offers additional features to improve loading times. An excellent WordPress hoster is Raidboxes, Münster (Link in the footer).

2. use a light theme

The design of your website also plays an important role in the loading time. Use a lightweight and well-coded theme. An excellent example is the leanly programmed and very powerful theme GeneratePress, which I use as the basic theme for all websites. It is fast, stable and is excellently maintained and supported by its development team (Link in the footer).

3. reduce the number of plugins

Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress website, but too many plugins can significantly slow down the loading time. Deactivate or remove unnecessary plugins and only use the ones you need.

4. implement caching

Caching can significantly reduce the loading time of your website by saving and reusing frequent requests.

  • Caching plugins:
    • On the WordPress side, you can use a caching plugin such as WP-Rocket or W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache.
  • Server-side caching / varnish cache:
    • Server-side caching may be even more effective. The host of this website, Raidboxes, uses Apache servers with Varnish caching for this purpose. This cache has the great advantage that the cache is located before the server and cached calls no longer cause any load on the server.

5. image optimisation

Images are often the largest files on a website and can significantly affect the loading time. Optimise your images to improve the loading time.

  • Image formats:
    • Use suitable formats WEBP for photos and vector graphics or PNG for graphics.
  • Compression:
    • Compress your images before uploading them to your WordPress media library. See article:

Edit images before uploading

  • Lazy Loading:
    • Lazy loading of images means that they are only loaded dynamically when scrolling and not all of them when the page is called up. Since version 5.5, WordPress uses lazy loading of images by default, which has a particularly positive effect on pages with many images, such as blog overview pages.

6. content delivery network (CDN)

A CDN distributes your website content to different servers worldwide, which shortens the loading time for visitors from different geographical regions. Popular CDNs: Cloudflare, MaxCDN and Amazon CloudFront.

7. minimising and combining files

Minimising and combining CSS and JavaScript files can reduce the number of HTTP requests and improve the loading time. Minification tools: Use tools like Autoptimize or WP Rocket to minimise and combine your files.

8. database optimisation

An optimised database can significantly improve the loading time of your website. 

  • Regular clean-up:
    • Regularly clean your database of superfluous data.
  • Optimisation tools:
    • WP-Optimize or WP DB Cleaner can help you to optimise your database.

9. minimise external scripts

External scripts, such as social media widgets, Google marketing services or advertising, can slow down the loading time of your website. Reduce the number of external scripts to the necessary minimum.

Conclusion

Optimising the loading time of your WordPress website requires a combination of different techniques and best practices. By following the above points, you can significantly improve the loading time of your website, resulting in a better user experience and a higher search engine ranking. 

With a fast and responsive website, you can ensure that your visitors stay longer, view more pages and ultimately increase your conversion rate. Invest the time and effort in optimisation - it will pay off in the long run.

If you want to optimise the loading time of your website:

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