We are all carrying SEO in our pockets today — does this statement sound a bit weird? It should not if you know how accurate the statement is. With the extensive proliferation of smartphones and mobile devices, searching and marketing on the go has become a norm today. SEO that used to relate to desktops and laptops, even not very long ago, is now accessible from the smartphones we carry in our pockets. While this is the most visible change that smartphones have brought to SEO, there is another significant change that has happened along with it. Websites have become speedier, thanks to responsive web design for making it possible.
The advent of WordPress made websites faster, and now the smartphones have made it even speedier. Mobile-friendly and fast websites is a requirement for staying ahead in SEO. When selecting WordPress themes and plugins for sites, you have to be careful so that the heavy design does not slow down websites. Even if websites are highly functional but not speedy enough to win over users who expect a web page to open under 2 seconds, then the prospects of doing well in SEO and online marketing would remain a far-fetched dream.
Users are growing restless
Meeting user expectations and keeping them happy is the ultimate goal of website owners as well as search engines. Users have the last word in deciding what makes them happy and websites and search engines have to live up to the expectations. As technology is advancing and new gadgets and devices are providing a unique experience in using the internet, user expectations also keep rising. They want everything too soon and are fast losing patience, not willing to wait to decide the fate of websites. If any website page does not open in 2-3 seconds that would be the end of the road for the site, as users would never revisit it.
Google prefers to follow users
On the other hand, Google’s existence depends on how well it meets user expectations and provides them a better experience. Following the changed behavior of users, Google too has declared that page speed would henceforth be included as a ranking factor. How you can make your website faster would become apparent on reading this article.
Know what to do
For gaining knowledge about tackling the issue of speed improvement of websites, you can have a look at Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool. The first thing is to limit the size of the site to fewer pages to see the first result in speed improvement. It would give the confidence to do some more things to gain more speed. Use of optimized images would increase the speed as also compressing codes and loading fewer ads, lesser external scripts. Taking measures to reduce server response time of your WordPress site can make a marked difference in website speed.
Compress the images
More images you have on the website slower will be the speed. Besides using an optimal number of images, ensure that you use compressed images that help to save space. Make use of suitable WordPress plugins that can efficiently compress pictures and it is possible to achieve up to 70% compression, which is significant considering that images contribute to 56% of the website’s page weight. The beauty of compressing images with WordPress plugins is that the resolution of images remains unaffected. The compression happens due to the removal of unused colors or by stripping the Metadata from images.
Databases occupy huge spaces and affect website speed. Overloading of databases might happen due to some unwanted calls reaching the database that eats up lots of space. Since it puts the stress on the memory of the system, to free up some space, you have to optimize the database. You can optimize the database manually with the help of a plugin or can use PHP MyAdmin. Another way of doing it is to reduce the number of queries that reach the database.
Optimize the web server
The server is also responsible for contributing to website speed because if the server is slow, no matter how fast the site can run, the speed will always be slow. The response time of the server is vital for maintaining website speed, and you have to optimize the web server. The type of software used on the server also affects the response time, and you must choose the host by considering it.
Avoid shared hosting
When you avail shared hosting service the hardware resources of the server, which is limited, have to be shared and it is natural that the website speed might suffer. Move out from shared hosting service and opt for services that provide dedicated resources so that the website speed remains unaffected.
The measures should give good results in improving the speed of the website.
Author bio: Derek Iwasiuk is a WordPress professional who has created numerous websites on WordPress and knows how important it is to reduce server response time of your WordPress site. He is currently working on a project of similar nature.