by Maria Lahiffe
WordPress is an excellent platform. It is free, powerful, and flexible enough to help you create a website which creates a unique, enjoyable visit for people who stop by.
One weakness, though, is that it can be quite slow. A slow website can cause you to lose subscribers and customers.Why does this matter?
One research report found that a 2-second delay in page responsiveness reduced customer satisfaction by 3.8%, reduced revenue per user by 4.3%, and reduced clicks by 4.3%. So, if you get 10,000 visitors per month, like we do at Volunteer Ottawa, just a 2-second delay would lose you 430 onward clicks, and hundreds of dollars of revenue or donations every month.
Google includes site speed in its ranking algorithm. That means that a slow site will appear on the second or third page of a search, even if the content is exactly matched to the searcher's needs.
The good news is, there are things you can do to speed up your site, and retain those customers. Read on for some ideas.
A shared host may seem like a bargain, but you pay for it with slow site speed and frequent down time during high-traffic times, which is probably exactly when people are visiting your site. One host which comes highly recommended is WPEngine. They are fast and durable, with excellent customer service.
WordPress has fantastic flexibility, and developers are constantly creating new themes and functions which you can add. Be careful when you are choosing one. Make sure it has only functions you will actually use; other ones will just slow you down. A good one to start with is actually the default WordPress theme: the 2015 Framework.
Basically, caching is the process of creating static versions of your content and serving that to visitors. Most web content stays the same for a while at least. Consider this blog post, for example: once I post it, I won't change it. Static pages usually load quickly. Read this article for a more complete explanation. One good one to try is W3 Total Cache.
This is where people will land most often. If they experience a delay here, they'll probably just bounce away and not come back. Here are some things you can do to keep people around for a bit longer:
Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to organizational operations. Click here for more information, and to register. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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