A slow loading WordPress website will lose you customers. Here’s how to speed things up

If you could describe the modern customer in one word, ‘impatient’ would be near the top of the list. Today’s customers have never been presented with more choice in terms of services or products. It’s also never been easier to access these choices, when typing a word or two into a search engine will instantly give you thousands of results.

The facts speak for themselves. A slow loading website will cost your business dearly. A one second delay in loading times reduces potential conversions by 7%, page views by 11% and customer satisfaction levels by 16%. If your business uses WordPress as a platform, here’s how to optimise your website to shave seconds off your load times and enjoy all the benefits that accompany this.

1. Use caching

Caching is a service that anticipates user requests and prebuilds website pages in anticipation of them. As a result, less downloading needs to take place for a page to load, helping to cut down on load times. Some hosts offer this built in, while others might require it be installed as a plugin.

2. Update from HTTP to HTTPS

You already know that a secure website will keep customer’s information safe and build trust in your online shopping offering. If you’re still on HTTP you should also know that failing to update to HTTPS will mean that your web browser software can’t use HTTP2 protocol, which is much faster. Make sure that your host service allows for this (more on that below).

3. Don’t scrimp on your DNS support or hosting

Because website hosting is something we only really notice until it’s not working, we tend to neglect how important it is to a site’s loading speed – and as you can see from the above, it can also assist you in caching and updating to HTTPS.

A good host will be based in your country of operation and offer HTTP2 protocol support. It won’t be cramming thousands of websites onto a single server and will offer extras such as staging areas and snapshot backups. Add to this a quality CDN (content delivery network) and you will further decrease lookup times, making your website load faster and prevent customers from being presented with the dreaded ‘this website is not available’ message.

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