This is a guest post by John Stevens: Head Honcho, Marketing. When he’s not grooming his beard, John is working hard to get more visibility and brand awareness to HostingFacts.com.


If you’ve ever run across a slow-loading website, then you’ve experience first-hand how frustrating slow sites can be. Many clients and customers are unforgiving when it comes to slow sites, and they’ll abandon them before they ever make a purchase, sign up for the newsletter, send an email, or take any other action. Oftentimes, they won’t ever return to the website, which isn’t good news for you if you’re a site owner.

The bottom line is that if your site is slow, you’ll miss out on valuable conversions.

But just how slow is slow, and how much difference in page speed really matters? Do you think 10 seconds for a page to load is too slow? Five seconds? It may not be what you think.

Why A Fast-Loading Site is Important

According to KISSmetrics, 40 percent of people will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.

As it turns out, a single second delay in page speed can have a measureable impact on conversions. For example, if your site loads just one second slower, it can result in 7 percent fewer conversions.

Furthermore, here’s how a page that loads in three seconds compares to one that loads in one second:

  • 22 percent fewer page views
  • 50 percent higher bounce rates
  • 22 percent fewer conversions

Site Speed Case Studies

Still not convinced that shaving off a mere second matters? Take a look at these case studies that say otherwise:

  • Walmart found that for every second increase in page speed, conversions increased by 2 percent, reports WebPerformanceToday.
  • When AutoAnything cut their load times in half, they saw 9 percent more conversions.
  • According to ConversionXL, Mozilla shaved 2.2 second off their load time, which resulted in 60 million more downloads.

Your best bet is to get your site to load in under one second. If it loads in under three seconds, you’re doing pretty well, but you can still speed it up. Anything more than that, and you’ll want to try to speed up your site.

Test your site speed at Tools.Pingdom.com. If you find that your site needs speeding up, start with these five methods for a faster WordPress site.

1. Start with a quality host with fast servers.

One of the biggest factors that will affect site speed is the quality of your host. A host with slow servers only means a slow WordPress site because users will have to contact those servers before your site loads.

Sites on shared servers are typically slower because they are all using the same resources. A dedicated hosting package will offer the fastest speeds since you’ll be the only user on that server and will have more resources available to you.

You might consider upgrading your package so your site is on a faster server, or you might switch web hosts completely.

A2 Hosting is one of the fastest hosts out there, with reported page speeds of 190 ms. SiteGround is another quick host with speeds averaging 589 ms.

Editor’s note: SiteGround is also one of our recommended hosts for excellent customer service, along with Pagely.

2. Choose a theme optimized for speed and user experience.

One aspect of their website many web owners overlook is their WordPress theme. New site owners approach it with the misconception that their theme is all about how their site looks, but that’s not the case.

Your site users still have to load all of the elements in the theme files, and if the theme is written poorly, it will slow your site down. Oftentimes, themes bloated with extra features will cause loading issues. This can be especially detrimental to your site speed if you aren’t even using those extra features.

However, you don’t want a theme that’s so minimal it doesn’t deliver a quality user experience. It’s important to find a balance between the two.

Typically, you’ll have better luck with premium web themes over free ones. Just some places to find quality premium web themes include:

ThemeForest also has premium themes, but quality varies. Check out theme reviews before purchasing your new theme if you’re ever unsure of site performance and user experience. We have a category devoted to eCommerce themes that makes a good place to start.

3. Use a caching plugin.

As defined by Citrix, caching refers to:

An area of a computer’s memory devoted to temporarily storing recently used information. The content, which includes HTML pages, images, files and Web objects, is stored on the local hard drive in order to make it faster for the user to access it, which helps improve the efficiency of the computer and its overall performance.

Essentially, you would be storing your website’s files in the user’s browser cache, so the next time they visit your website, the browser will load those files rather than those on the original server. That makes your site faster for future visits.

However, it doesn’t happen automatically, but it’s easy to set up. Most of the time, your hosting company will even handle appropriately caching your pages for you.

If not, all you need to do is install a caching plugin on your WordPress site. Some popular ones include:

  • WP Super Chache: This plugin works by generating static HTML files and generating new pages by intervals you set, such as one hour. It works great for sites on shared web hosts, but it may not work well for high-traffic sites.
  • W3 Total Cache: This plugin works similarly but is better for high-traffic sites. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, though. Stick with the default settings.
  • WP Rocket: Though the other two plugins mentioned are free, WP Rocket requires a license. It provides caching, images on request, static file compression, and more to make your site load faster. Plans start at $39 for one license and one year of support.

4. Remove unnecessary plugins.

Did you know that your website visitors have to load the files for all of your plugins, even if you’re not using them on that specific page? Each piece of data takes time to load, so if you have plugins installed on your site that you aren’t using, you’re slowing it down for no reason.

Do yourself a favor and visit your plugins page, and deactivate and/or delete the plugins you don’t need anymore.

Keep any plugins that:

  • Improve security
  • Improve user experience
  • Improve loading speed
  • Help with conversions
  • Boost user engagement

Another issue with plugins is that some may “clash” with each other, which can slow your site. Other times, a single plugin can be causing a loading issue.

If you’re still having loading problems after deleting all unnecessary plugins, try deactivating your plugins one at a time and testing your page speed. If it speeds up significantly after testing one plugin, then you know that one is the issue, and you can address the problem from there.

5. Control how many post revisions are stored.

One problem with WordPress’s default features is that it will store all drafts of your pages and posts. This can really add up and take up space on your server.

Instead of storing multiples of essentially the same post, limit how many revisions you store through a plugin like WP Revisions Control. With it, you can customize how many latest versions to save so your server can devote its resources elsewhere.

With these tips in mind, you can speed up your WordPress website and boost conversion rates. Which one of these tactics will you use first to improve your site speed?


This is a guest post by John Stevens: Head Honcho, Marketing. When he’s not grooming his beard, John is working hard to get more visibility and brand awareness to HostingFacts.com.

Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

2 Comments

  1. Hi, Beka. I want to delete all of my revision files from WordPress. Will it occur any problem?

    1. There shouldn’t be any problem, no. I’d just ensure you have a recent backup available to ensure you have your most recent data and changes.

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