The loading speed of your pages is the client’s first encounter with your website. When a person clicks on an ad, social media post, or a link and they are taken to your website, if what they first see is a loading screen, the chances are they won’t waste their time waiting.
As a result, the user experience suffers, and people leave your pages even before they understand what they are all about. This hinders the success of your content strategy, conversions, sales, and, ultimately, your business revenue.
Aside from being bad for business, page speed issues can also influence your Search performance. Lately, Google has been focusing on high-quality content and satisfying page experiences for the sake of a better user experience. This means that, over time, the websites that manage to deliver on that will outrank the rest.
In this article, we will highlight the benefits of hiring a professional page speed optimization service, and why it’s best to consider a WordPress agency, instead opting for a freelancer or doing it yourself. Read on to find out more!
What Do Page Speed Optimization Services Include?
Slow-loading pages are one indication of poor website health and can affect how these, WordPress included, perform. Furthermore, if these are not monitored and taken care of, they may affect your website..
You’ve probably already heard of core web vitals. These are website metrics that Google identifies as essential because they can identify speed setbacks, performance issues, and the user’s ability to interact with content.
The core web vitals are: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – a.k.a. loading time, First Input Delay (FID) – a.k.a. interactivity, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), a.k.a. visual stability.
Any issues with the above are usually caused by, but not limited to, problems with hosting, the server, content, coding, and plugins.
When you hire a professional page speed optimization service, such as a WordPress agency, they will be looking for the following issues:
Hosting and Migrations
The problem with low-cost hosting plans is that your website usually shares resources with hundreds of others. This makes traffic surges difficult to handle and may result in reduced speeds.
When you work with an agency, the team will review and analyze your website and suggest the best type of hosting for your business. Furthermore, they may assist with the migration of your website, so that no issues occur in the process.
In addition, most companies have affiliate partnerships with hosting providers and can offer you top prices.
When a user clicks on your link, the browser sends a request to the server, and waits for the information on the page to be processed and served. If the physical distance between the user and the server is substantial and the quality of the server is not optimal, the loading time increases.
In layman’s terms, if your server is located in Europe, but most of your traffic comes from the US, it will take longer for your content to load onto the customer’s screen.
Using a CDN can improve content delivery and decrease loading time.
Graphics and Images Audit
Bulky images take longer to load and may slow down your pages. Furthermore, when they are located above the fold, they can affect the user experience even if the rest of the page loads properly.
Compressing graphics and optimizing them can significantly improve the loading time of pages heavy on visuals.
Also, implementing lazy loading can ensure that images above the fold are prioritized before those below it. This way, once a user lands on the page, the first graphics are immediately accessible, while those further down are processed subsequently.
Time to First Byte (TTFB) measures your website’s response time. This refers to the period it takes for your server to respond to an HTTP request made by a client, so that the browser can start receiving the information (the first byte).
Implementing caching on browser and server level improves the response time. In addition, HTTP caching, and theme and plugin optimization can further boost the results and enable your page content to load faster.
Plugins are amongst the greatest benefits of WordPress, but stacking them can cause multiple issues in overall performance and loading time.
Moreover, more often than not,plugins that are free are often severely lacking in code quality and don’t integrate well with themes and other add ons. When you hire a professional WordPress agency, the team will audit your plugins, identify any troublemakers, and suggest suitable replacements. They will fix the code where needed, and may suggest developing custom-made solutions that are tailored to your needs.
Cleaning your website code doesn’t end with themes and plugins, although those can contribute greatly to a page’s poor performance.
For example, your theme may contain code that is on each page by default, but is not always necessary. Each time a browser makes a request, it has to read all of this code although it doesn’t need it. Removing redundant snippets will reduce the load and improve performance.
The same goes for HTML code. Optimizing it will ensure that all tags are in order so the server can read them quickly.
Redirects are necessary and, amongst other things, offer a great way to remove outdated content on your website without affecting its ranking. However, if you are running a large site and there are too many redirects, these may compromise loading times.
There are multiple other issues that can also cause a website to load slowly, but these are the most common ones. One of the top benefits of hiring a professional speed optimization service, like a WordPress agency, is that the agency will know exactly what to look for, and provide an efficient solution.
Benefits of Using Professional Page Speed Optimization Service
When businesses consider how to address page loading issues and speed up their websites, they are usually faced with three options – doing the task in-house, hiring a freelancer, or contacting a WordPress agency. And, depending on the specific case, all three can be a good choice.
However, just to be safe, we always advise partnering up with an agency. Not only because DevriX is one of the top WordPress development companies, but because the benefits significantly outweigh the disadvantages. WordPress agencies have experienced teams at your disposal, capable of handling large websites with thousands of pages.
That said, you can use GTmetrix, Google Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, or other tools to identify the issues on your website. These allow you to see how pages perform against various speed benchmarks, how they render on different devices, how long it takes to view them around the world, and so on. However, what really matters is what you do with this information and how you address these issues.
So let’s have a look at how your business can benefit from a page speed optimization service.
1. Full Website Diagnostics
In order to identify speed and loading issues, the WordPress agency you hire will have to make a full website audit and diagnostics. This way they can identify what is slowing your pages down so they can fix it.
While they are doing this, they may come across other issues that hurt your website’s performance.
For example, you may need technical SEO assistance, ad ops, and content marketing advice. The professionals may suggest how to approach these to improve your digital strategy.
After all, even the fastest site won’t engage the customer if it’s lacking content-wise.
2. High-Quality Execution and Results
Fixing speed and performance issues can be cumbersome and time-consuming. That’s why a professional team can handle it better and more swiftly than a freelancer or someone inexperienced.
On the other hand, while there are many tools and plugins that you can use to fix some of the issues, stacking too many plugins together may result in a whole new set of headaches.
Time is also of the essence. As mentioned, most users have little patience for slow loading pages. The longer you take to resolve your pages’ shortcomings, the more clients (and respectively, money) you lose.
Partnering up with a WordPress agency will ensure that your digital marketing funnel runs smoothly, and delivers conversions.
3. Expert Knowledge
Knowledge comes with experience. Expert developers are on track with the latest web and programming trends, as well as search engine updates and requirements. Professionals can not only improve the user experience on your website, but they can also help you boost your pages’ rankings. Knowing what search engines are looking for is part of the job description of WordPress agencies that offer professional page speed optimization services.
In addition, to remain relevant, a business has to keep their website content in great shape. High-end WordPress agencies have professional marketing and SEO teams on board that can assist in optimizing your existing pages and create high-quality content.
4. Brand Credibility
A slow loading website is bad for business. People rarely notice when pages load fast, because they simply expect this by default. But they definitely will notice when it takes too long, and thus, this makes them think less of your brand. Unsatisfying user experiences lead to negative reviews and those can ruin your business’s reputation.
5. Long-Term Engagement
Most WordPress agencies offer page speed optimization services on subscription plans. This means that, aside from the initial diagnostics and improvements, you will obtain access to long-term maintenance.
Fixing a website’s performance is not a one-off job, but an ongoing process. Sure, you may find a freelancer who will repair your site and leave it at that, however, you’ll be back to square one in no time.
Most websites, especially eCommerce stores and digital publications, constantly generate new content and new pages. If these are not properly optimized, high bounce rates, low conversions, and decreasing revenue will soon be part of your future.
The benefits we talked about only scratched the surface of what a fast and well optimized website can do for your business. Nowadays, a strong online presence can be the only thing that stands between you and success, and your website is the center of it.
Slow-loading pages can be a real traffic killer, and depending on the size and condition of your website, the investment may be a steep one, but the ROI of high-quality page speed optimization is worth every penny.
By hiring a team of professionals, you are ensuring that your website will be back on track in no time and meeting your digital marketing and business goals.