It’d be easy to throw in a few jokes about size, but the reality is that site speed does matter, no matter what anyone tells you. ? Not a week goes by that I don’t have a website owner asking me “is my site fast enough?”
As popular as mindfulness is, attention spans are not getting longer. Because of that, having a quick loading site is a great goal for your business. Users will leave your website if the content they want to check out loads too slowly.
So what is fast enough?
Short answer: I can’t tell you what fast enough is for your audience.
Long answer: Google recommends 2 seconds or less as the threshold to aim for. And I think that’s a reasonable number. Because every second matters, 1-2 seconds of page load time is the range that we, at tiny blue orange, want all of our clients in.
Some clients might be happy with a 3 second page load — especially if that page is a portfolio of high resolution images. If your page has only text + links, you could easily aim for 0.5 seconds of load time.
It’s up to you what “enough” is for your business + your audience. If you feel like you have no idea where to start, either pick 1-2 seconds as the range OR you can choose to speed up your site by 20%.
How fast is your WordPress site?
To test your website, you’ll want to use a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix to see how zippy your pages are. Open up your favorite spreadsheet of choice (we use Airtable), your website + the speed test tool you want to use.
Starting with your homepage, copy + paste the link into the speed test tool. When the results appear, enter the name of your page on your spreadsheet + the load time, like this…
- Homepage / 2.13 seconds
Continue this process for 5-10 of your most important pages (don’t forget to test your most recent blog post too) to get an average of how your site loads.
Highlight the rows of pages that you want to improve so you can focus your efforts there. Or if you want to improve all page speed by a percentage, start with the page that gets the most visits + chip away at the list.
What can you do to improve your site speed?
The biggest culprit for slow WordPress sites has to do with shared hosting. When your site is crammed onto a shared server with dozens of other websites, it is stuck sharing the resources. This is why we offer Managed WordPress Hosting for $50/month. Our clients see an average improvement in site speed of 35% simply for moving from their current hosting account to our services.
If changing your hosting company isn’t in the cards, start working on your images. Large images (big in size + in resolution) can drastically slow a website down. Either resave them with a tool like Photoshop or compress them with a free tool like TinyPNG. If you reupload images after shrinking them, remember to delete the old / large image so it’s not taking up space.
From there, you can clear out plugin clutter since plugin files add drag to all WordPress websites, especially when they are free + poorly coded plugins.
First, remove all inactive plugins since you aren’t using them. And then look for plugins that do the same thing — I recently cleaned up a site that had 3 different FB Pixel plugins installed.
After shrinking large images + clearing out plugin clutter, retest each page in your spreadsheet to see how much it’s improved. It’s a good idea to test your site speed 1-2 times a year to keep an eye on everything. It can be a quick task if pages are loading as fast as you want them to or if you have someone on your team to work on your site speed behind the scenes.