It can be quite an annoying experience if your readers land on a page and they are forced to wait for it to load. These 7 Simple Tweaks Can help Improve Reader Experience On Wordpress
Page load time is one of the most important factors to improving user experience for website. It can be quite an annoying experience for your visitors if they happen to land on your page and they are forced to wait more than five seconds for it to load. This is an essential factor that seriously influences your visitors bounce rate. This mostly happens because of the amount of resources that the page loads from the server – overwhelming content, large-scale images and a high number of elements, etc. There are various simple solutions that require basic knowledge of coding and settings to make it really faster page loading in WordPress. Here are a few simple tricks that you can perform to improve your page load time:
1. Use appropriate image format
If your content is focused on engaging the visual experience of your visitors, than you need to have large-scale images, galleries, sliders, etc. By exporting them all to your server in large formats, you will make your pages “too heavy” to load. Recommended image formats are:
- .GIF for low color images such are logos
- .JPEG for images with high details such are photography
- .PNG for high-quality transparent images
2. Cache pages
WordPress, by default, dynamically generates your webpages thus, every time visitors go through your website – it reloads the complete information from data, themes and plugins. If you create cached copies of your webpages, the static version of them will be saved on your visitor’s device, thus loading will be much faster. Browser caching can be done by using plethora of simple plugins such are W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache. The cache plugins will not only cache posts and pages for WordPress but also static resources like CSS, Scripts and images.
3. Reduce Redirects
If you were to have a high number of redirected pages (pages which leads users to other pages), your page load time will increase exponentially. The request of the specific page from the server bounces off twice if it is redirected, thus increasing its page load time. Try avoiding redirects to the extent possible.
4. Clean and minimal Code
- Put style-sheets on the top
- Put scripts at the bottom
- Remove unnecessary HTML codes
5. Show excerpts
Excerpts are short descriptions of the content. If you present the complete content on the home page, category page or other such pages which lists posts, it makes those pages heavy unnecessarily. Use excerpts for them to not only reduce the amount of resources the page pulls from the server but also making it better for your users to scroll the content.
6. Optimal number of posts on a page
Depending on the theme you choose, your posts may differ in size but the recommended, optimal number of posts on the page should be no less than five and no more than twenty-five. This will improve both the visual experience of your visitors and the functionality of the pages.
7. Remove unwanted widgets
Sharing widgets should be where users has most visibility and not all over the site. These widgets will have the negative effect on your visitor’s experience, as if you haunt them to like you. On the other side, they are also adding many scripts and resources that can affect page load time.
Final Thoughts: Hosting
Hosting will always be bottleneck for websites and the solution is to start out with a shared hosting but as your site grows, don’t take shared hosting too far. Virtual Dedicated as well as Dedicated hosting offers more control of the whole server without having to share resources with others. It is rather expensive compared to shared hosting, but it will greatly reflect on the page load times of your whole website.
Further Reading …