The speed and performance of your WordPress website is very important for a number of reasons. The reason most people worry about is the fact that Google take site speed into consideration when ranking it within the SERPS. The faster your website, the better it is likely to rank.
Of course this is just one of many factors that Google and other search engines take into consideration, and it is also arguably a very minor factor, however it is a factor none the less.
More importantly, site performance affects the user experience for your website and for this reason you should take it very seriously. According to Kissmetrics 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds. That is not a statistic to be ignored and it means having a slow site could result in losing visitors or at the very least it could mean the difference between closing or losing a sale.
There are many factors that will affect how well your website performs and how fast it loads. The main ones being:
- Your hosting provider and the performance of their servers
- The number of items that are called when your website loads
- The overall size of the page including all of its elements
- The number and size of images on your website
- The presence of features such as caching and compression
You can find various guides online that will allow you to optimize each of these things manually, including a guide that I wrote some time ago on Blackhatworld, which you can read here.
WordPress performance plugins
If you prefer to have the work done for you, rather than doing it manually, then I would recommend purchasing and installing a plugin called WP Rocket. At the time of writing they have a 25% discount available, as part of their 6 year anniversary celebrations.
However, with or without the discount they offer the best performance improvement for WordPress. Their plugin works better and provides a greater performance improvement “out of the box” than any other plugin that I have tested. Further more, there is very little that you have to do in order to get the plugin working efficiently, other than simply installing it on your site.
Don’t take my word for it, run a before and after test on a performance tool such as GTMetrix and see for yourselves.