As far back as January 2018, Google came out to clearly state the role of WordPress site speed as a mobile ranking factor. That makes it around two years ago, which means if you’ve not done anything to improve the speed of your WordPress site, you are two years behind your competitors. It’s easy talking the walk, but if you can follow these practical steps, you’ll see both your desktop and mobile ranking rising higher in the SERPs.
When it comes to WordPress site speed, there could be a lot of factors making your loading speed crawl. The number of resources, server response time, unnecessary redirects, image size, image size, resizing, and many other conundrums. There’s the human perspective on the loading time of your WordPress site also. You may be facing constraints based on time, budget, and even know-how.
To also be able to score a higher loading speed, you need to stop approaching it from the angle of ranking alone. Set your focus on delivering a better user experience for visitors to your WordPress site. The mistake most people make with their WordPress SEO is making everything all about SERPs rather than positive user experience. Google is more concerned with the latter than the former.
Five areas could be directly responsible for the abysmal loading speed of your WordPress site;
How Your Hosting Option Could Affect Your WordPress Site Speed (and How to Fix It)
Your host directly causes most times, the slow loading speed of your pages. Look for tools that could diagnose the Time To First Byte (TTFB) of all your pages. If it’s between 1.5seconds to 2 seconds, then there’s the first place to start.
We are not even talking about the download and processing of resources or the building of the DOM. There are reasons why a WordPress site loads slow other than hosting related issues and most of these have a direct relationship to your WordPress site’s loading speed. The absence of an HTTP/2 setup and configuration for a start, or/and lack of server caching. You should avoid shared hosting as much as possible; it’s one of the contributors to the mediocre speed of your WordPress site.
Here’s what you should do;
As much as we won’t want to suggest a host to you, we’ll give you a clue and directions on finding a host that will provide your quest for 100% WordPress site speed a boost. Yes, we know that you are looking for something affordable (isn’t everyone looking for one?). But you can still find something affordable yet helpful for your WordPress site speed;
Settle for a WordPress Specific host.
We are talking about managed WordPress hosting, which will give you a hassle-free experience. Whatever concerns speed, website uptime, WordPress updates, and even daily backups are on steroids. Think of managed Wordpress host as a five-star hotel in Paris. While many will suggest Kinsta and WP Engine, there are also SiteGround, FlyWheel, DreamHost, and others.
Does Your Managed WordPress Host Have a Server Caching Solutions?
If the loading time of your WordPress site is of importance to you, then you should be sure that your WordPress specific host isn’t just one by name, but provides an enabling environment for your WordPress site. WordPress server caching saves frequently used data for subsequent use. What caching does is to reduce the pressure of requests on the servers. Look at the image below;
Other Perks; Built-In CDN, Free SSL, HTTP/2 on SSL Setup
Let’s start with CDN; of course, there are CDN services that could be utilized by your WordPress site. It does not make sense to use one when you can pitch your tent with a WordPress specific host that uses one. This goes for SSL and HTTP/2 also, not like they cannot be installed to your WordPress site, but it’ll defeat the aim of speeding up your WordPress site.
Final Thoughts on WordPress Site Speed
We’ve dwelt extensively on hosting options in this first part, in the second part of the series, we will cover themes, plugins, images, and resources. All of these subparts work together in achieving your goal of increasing your WordPress page load speed.