Speed Matters: How to Achieve Optimal Website Performance

Why Focusing on Website Performance is Crucial

Your website’s speed is more than just a user experience factor—it’s a key player in search engine rankings. Studies show that users are quick to abandon slow-loading sites, affecting bounce rates and conversion rates. In a nutshell, a snappy website not only keeps visitors engaged but also boosts your digital visibility.

Factors Affecting Website Performance

Hosting Quality

The foundation of your site’s performance lies in the hosting provider. When you pick a cheap hosting that can be nice for your wallet but certainly not healthy for your website. Unfortunately, all cheap hosting has a downside to it and sooner or later you will suffer the consequences (hidden costs, hidden clauses, not being able to switch to a better hosting, etc)

Opt for reliable, high-performance hosting like Siteground, Bluehost, Flywheel, or WP Engine.

Image Size and Optimization

Large, uncompressed images can slow down your site. Optimize images to strike a balance between quality and speed.

I have a quick guide here on how to do so easily – before uploading the images to the site, and I have a handy plugin for you that can compress your images after you’ve already uploaded them.

Too Many Plugins

While plugins enhance functionality, an excess can bog down your site. Every now and then is recommended to go through each plugin you have and if you haven’t used it, delete it. You read it right, don’t just deactivate but actually delete them.

Deactivation will still have those plugins installed on your site – therefore slowing it down. Deleting is the best option to free up space and enhance performance. Choose wisely and keep them updated, for example during your maintenance. 

If you want to know more about maintenance and how to do it on your site, click here.

Caching

Implementing caching mechanisms reduces server load and speeds up page loading times. There are multiple options out there for WordPress, like WP Fastest Cache or Siteground’s built-in cache plugin – and if you are on other platforms, check with your provider what they use or recommend to enhance performance.

Code Bloat

Clean, streamlined code improves performance. There are plenty of sites that look gorgeous from the front end but are super messy at the back end. It’s not just about the looks but also what is underneath. If your website is filled with custom codes all over it can be vulnerable to crashes and affect its speed – and the overall user experience.

Eliminate unnecessary code and minimize CSS and JavaScript files.

 

How to Check Website Performance

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights: This tool analyzes your website’s content and provides suggestions to improve its performance on both mobile and desktop devices.
  2. GTmetrix: Offers a comprehensive analysis of your site’s speed and provides actionable recommendations.
  3. Pingdom: Tests your website’s loading time and identifies performance bottlenecks.

In the below video, I show you how to use GTmetrix and how it can help you understand more about your website’s performance.

Key takeaway

You don’t need to understand all the issues GTmetrix or any platform throws at you. You don’t need to know how to fix them – especially if you are not a tech-savvy person.

However, it is your responsibility to understand the basics: to know what can cause damage so you update and use your site wisely, what can affect your website’s performance and to keep track of it.

This way, when you hire help, you can check the website’s performance before and after the job was done, to see if the money you paid was actually worth it.

Orsi

Product, Brand & Web Designer

I help businesses create great websites that attract more customers and increase sales. I use my skills in consulting, design, and e-commerce to tell your business’s story and improve customer service. We’ll work together to understand your business and create a website that meets your goals.