How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site: Part 1 – WordPress Hosting
Businesses that use WordPress have freed marketing staff and writers from relying on outsiders to manage their content. With WordPress, it can all be done in-house.
This also raises expectations for results. Marketing staff and content writers scrutinize Google Analytics for site statistics and conversion rates. One item they may not have paid enough attention to, though, is the site download speed.
You want your website to download fast!
WordPress Hosting and Website Speed
Your website speed is determined by two people: your host and in-house website management staff.
The host is the company that makes sure the site is live on the web and properly functioning. If you use WordPress, choose a hosting service that works specifically with the software.
A good host will advise on a site’s space requirements. Keep in mind that higher-quality graphics and videos eat up a lot of space and take longer to download.
WordPress sites perform best with managed WordPress hosting services for a few reasons:
- Their servers are developed and customized for WordPress-powered websites.
- They can launch or accept a migrated WordPress site quickly and seamlessly, with far less downtime (if any) than general hosts.
- Because they are created for WordPress, they can shave off as much as two seconds of download time, which, according to Kissmetrics, is about the maximum time a mobile customer will wait for a website to load on his or her phone.
- WordPress hosts can recommend or even customise specific plug-ins to boost download speeds and economise on space.
Test your site’s speed using Google’s Analytics’ Site Speed Reports. Go to the Reporting Tab, and look for Behavior on the left-side menu. There will be an item for Site Speed where you can see average speeds and compare speed at different times of the day.
How Websites are Hosted
Many websites are hosted on shared servers, where space is doled out to suit their needs depending on how many sites are managed on a single account. Good hosts pay attention to their customers’ growth and will ensure their sites have appropriate bandwidth (speed) allocated to them.
Website servers, at your service.
Very large websites, such as those from multinational corporations, often turn to dedicated hosting. These sites are the only ones on a server that is dedicated to them.
Virtual private servers (VPS) divide servers into dedicated spaces for websites. There is no sharing, but no one site owns the entire server, either.
Cloud hosting is similar to a VPS. The cloud is actually a team of servers that work together and manage space issues in real-time. They are good choices for businesses that find they get overloaded during sales and special offers.
Many shared hosting services use the cloud to backup their websites each day. Powerful firewalls and daily scans for malware and viruses make a cloud storage service safer than most hosted in buildings that can be subject to inside hacks, break-ins, and natural disasters. Many cloud services have developed WordPress plugins to provide automatic site back-up.
Sites With Fast Downloads Rank Higher
Don’t forget that sites with fast downloads get higher rankings from search engines. Mobile users – a growing force in South African – are notoriously impatient, with many dropping off if a site doesn’t load within two seconds.
Given WordPress’ growing popularity – it is the most popular web software in the world – it makes every bit of sense to pair your WordPress site with a host that knows it well.