It seems that these days, we’re overly focused on how our blog looks. It seems to consume us and is more considered than the content itself in a lot of cases. This is obviously wrong, content should most definitely come first and serving that content as quickly as possible should be in a close second place. The design, whilst important is not what your visitors are coming to your site to see. They’re coming for the information and it is your job to provide them with that information as quickly as humanly possible. Your WordPress blog is not a CSS gallery 🙂
In this article we’re going to talk about the importance of maintaining a fast WordPress blog along with information on how to go about it. So let’s get started.
Visitors in 2017 are not what they were 10 years ago. In the past, browsing the Internet used to be a fun, enjoyable pass time. The sort of thing you’d waste an afternoon on just “surfing the web”, reading a bit of information here and there and not getting too stressed or concerned with how much time you’re spending doing so. Fast forward 10 years and the landscape is completely different. Now people want information, and they want it yesterday. They don’t want to wait. They certainly don’t want to have to hunt for the information around your site. They want to see it as fast as possible and delivered in a clear and concise manner.
One of the core mission objectives from the Google Gods is to deliver the best experience for their users. That means not only showing them the best sites available for the search term at hand (from an information perspective) but also the best sites. In Google’s eyes, a good site is not just one that is content rich and well presented. It’s one that loads fast and renders properly – across all devices. That is why Google have started rewarding fast loading sites with higher, more prominent search positions. This is a MAJOR reason to address your site speed. Bounce rate should also be considered, as mentioned above, visitors in 2017 do not want to wait around. If your website is slow loading when the visitor clicks through from the search results then they’re highly likely to click back. If they do this it’s a big negative in the eyes of Google which means your website ranking and positions may be adversely effected.
In a sense of irony, plugins can be a major cause in slowing your site down. Especially if each has its own set of CSS and JS that must be called in order for them to function. In general, the more files your WordPress blog tries to call on each page load, the slower your page load time will be. With that said however, plugins are also the best way to speed up your blog. Plugins such as W3 total cache can work wonders by caching your content so that your visitors are not loading each and every file/image on every page load. It can also minify your content which I’ll explain more on below.
For some reason, minifying is a typically new technique even though it has been around in some form pretty much forever. Perhaps it’s everyone jumping on the site speed bandwagon that is making people take note of the technique more so these days. In short, each file be it HTML, PHP, JS or CSS contains spaces, this is known as whitespace. Each space in any file consumes a byte and the more bytes in the file means a bigger overall file size (which means it will load slower). Minifying eliminates this whitespace therefore saving the bytes, lowering the physical file size and subsequently making the page load quicker. That’s how it works in a nutshell. It is quick and easy to do via plugins like W3 Total Cache, just the click of a button and can double your site speed.
Hopefully this gives you some food for thought and if you do have a blog just give it a once over to make sure you’re serving content as fast as you possibly can. Your visitors will thank you for it and your blog itself stands a better chance of becoming a success.