Let’s face it, WordPress is slow.
WordPress is a great platform for easily creating websites, but it suffers from a flaw that can be fatal in today’s SEO world: It’s slow. Everyone knows it’s slow. The problem is, users are impatient, and you’ll likely lose customers when your WordPress site loads in anything more than the acceptable response time. And it gets worse: Google factors in website load time when determining search engine rankings so if your site is slow users never make it to your site at all.
Before we get started, we recommend testing your website’s performance with our free speed test. Our waterfall chart will break down the elements on your site, showing you where there is need for improvement. Take that information and apply the tips below, and you’ll have a faster running website in no time!
Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes made when creating WordPress websites and how to fix them:
Is your Website Speed Killing your SEO Efforts?
Instead of sprinting ahead, have your web performance efforts laid down for an afternoon nap? In addition to poor user experience, slow site speed may be affecting your SEO as well.
Your webpage looks great. You’ve optimized your keywords and you consistently update your content; so why isn’t your website ranking higher in search results? The trouble could be with your website performance. That’s right, Google and other search engines might be penalizing your site for how quickly pages load. Google’s thought process is easy to understand: a website that performs poorly results in a poor user experience, and sites with poor user experiences deserve less promotion in search results.
As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, website performance is critical to a good customer experience. If your site is too slow, you risk losing customers who grow frustrated with the time it takes to make purchases or navigate from page to page on your site. Even worse, potential customers may never even reach your site at all if it appears too far down in the page rankings.
The web performance industry is filled with words and terms that describe the actions taking place as a website loads. In fact, the process of measuring web performance has been broken down such that each discrete action and measurement has a unique term. This makes it easier for those that are measuring to track individual steps as a page loads and spot areas that need improvement. Across various companies, however, performance tracking terms can vary, so the same phrase can mean slightly different things. Most of the time-based metrics, noted in the list below, are measured in milliseconds.
“Word, words, words….once, I had the gift! I could make love out of words like a potter makes cups out of clay.” – from the movie Shakespeare in Love
Let’s take a look at some of these words and terms in order to establish a definitive meaning for them as they relate to measuring web performance.
Dotcom-Monitor HTTPS monitoring also includes Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate monitoring, which checks SSL certificates for problems and expiration. (try our free instant HTTPS web server performance test)
SSL Certificate Monitoring sends alerts when SSL problems occur or when expiration dates approach.
When a browser visits a website whose web address starts with https, communication with the site is encrypted to help ensure privacy. Before starting the encrypted communication, the website will present the browser with a “certificate” to identify itself.
If the browser cannot verify that the certificate is associated with the website then the user will receive a warning message, such as “This Connection is Untrusted” or “This site’s security certificate is not trusted!”. After receiving this type of message most users will abandon the website. Therefore, an SSL Certificate checker is important for retaining a user’s trust in a website.
Monitor SSL Certificate Problems
Dotcom-Monitor HTTPS monitoring checks the properties of the SSL Certificate to make sure the properties are valid for the website where the SSL certificate is installed. The SSL certificate properties, such as: Certificate Authority (CA), Certificate Common Name (CN), etc… - should not change. Therefore, if monitoring detects changes in the properties of the SSL certificate, then the SSL certificate may have a problem thereby exposing website users to vulnerabilities.
Your website isn’t performing optimally, and you don’t understand if it’s an issue with the size of your images, poor caching or if the sluggishness is caused by slow third-party or CDN content. It could even be caused by another factor altogether.
A waterfall chart, a form of data visualization that maps the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced values, can help. When tracking Web performance, a waterfall chart can help determine how long it takes for each action between the Web server and the user when a user accesses a website. This data can help website administrators understand how individual elements of a their sites are impacting performance.