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WordPress performance

WordPress performance part 1 – introduction

This is a short two-part series on speeding up your faithful WordPress blog/website so that it loads quickly and retains those precious visitors you’re aiming to get. I think that this may be one of the most important factors in converting visitors into paying clients (whatever the transaction is). I will start with an introduction on WordPress performance (this post) and then provide a how-to guide:

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic steps to a faster blog

Why is WordPress performance so important?

I like using real-world examples to try to illustrate the importance of a topic. If you went to a coffee shop for the first time, let’s call it Brad’s Coffee Shop, and as you walked up to it you saw there was a line to get in. Would you want to wait a while before you actually got into it? That’s before you know what the vibe is like inside and if there is even anything you want. Chances are you will look around, see Matthew’s Coffee Shop down the road with hardly any waiting time and head there.

The same could be said for your website. When a new visitor comes to a website and they don’t know exactly what to expect, the worst thing that can happen to them is to actually wait for something to load (without some kind of loading page).

In fact, statistics show that if your website takes longer than 4 seconds to load you will immediately lose 33% of your visitors (and that is before your analytics has even registered). On a website with ten visitors a month that stat would not make me blink an eyelid. However, give me a website with 10 000 visitors a month and that is 3 300 people that never even saw the glorious content on your website. Are you starting to see why WordPress performance is so important?

Is it really THAT bad?

To be frank, it is! You can read about Google and how they place a priority on page load times (we are thankful for quick Google search results), but it’s not really a tangible stat knowing that they lose about eight million searches a day when their pages take four-tenths of a second longer to load. So let’s go to Amazon. We can now measure the impact a slow page load has on cold hard cash.

If the Amazon website were to suddenly take one second longer to load on every page, their data tells us that they could lose up to $1.6 billion in revenue. Yes, we said billion and yes, that is dollars!

So, how does WordPress performance affect me?

You may be asking that question and you may be saying that you’re not Amazon, nor may you want to be. However, websites are all about conversions. No matter what the conversion is – be it leads, sales, page views, ad views or whatever way your company generates revenue – it matters that the conversion lands and often.

There are two very important factors that I mentioned earlier that will affect your business. The first is visitors and how you lose first-time visitors when your website takes longer than four seconds to load. That means you haven’t even had the chance to show or sell anything to a lot of people. The other factor is that when people finally arrive at your website they will less likely become a conversion, which means that you’re not getting the results you want from your website.

We believe that all websites should at least be loading between five to ten seconds per page straight out-of-the-box and if it isn’t there are a few things that need to be looked at which we will cover in the next post.

If you have any stories of how page load affected your business, let us know. On the other hand, if you’re suffering from the effects of a slow loading website, let us help you – we’re passionate about WordPress performance.

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