Six Hidden Slowdown Symptoms That May Be Killing Your WordPress Blog

We live in an era where we’re told to constantly measure metrics to make informed decisions in regard to our business’ blog.

However, perhaps the most important metrics are those which we ignore altogether.

Consider, for example, the dangers of site slowdown. According to Kissmetrics, a slow-loading site can absolutely kill conversions and do long-term damage to your bottom line. Consider, for example, the following eye-opening stats on the subject:

  • Nearly three out of four mobile users regularly encounter sites that are “too slow” to load
  • 40% of visitors will abandon a site altogether if it takes more than three seconds to load
  • For every extra second it takes for your site to load, you lose approximately 7% of potential conversions

While we may obsess over metrics related to traffic and content performance, site speed is  a silent killer for many modern WordPress sites.

But how do you figure out where or not your site is too slow for your visitors?

Thankfully, you can detect the symptoms of site slowdown and deal with them rather swiftly. For example, you can use an SEO analysis tool to pinpoint potential problems that you can address immediately on-site.

Likewise, consider the following six common sources of site slowdown you can eliminate to keep your WordPress blog up and running smoothly for the sake of your visitors.

Bulky Themes

Remember: sometimes less is more when it comes to design.

Although responsive themes are certainly all the rage right now, don’t sacrifice user experience for the sake of a flashy yet sluggish site. If your site is slow to load, chances are that your theme is the root of your troubles. It may be worth sacrificing a few bells and whistles for the sake of speed.

Huge Images

Hero images have become a staple of modern blogs; however, they can be a huge pain for mobile users. Beyond testing your site across all platforms, make sure that your images load quickly and consider compressing them if you find they’re taking forever to render.

Poor Hosting

Sometimes the worst slowdown symptoms are actually beyond your control. You may consider double-checking how your webhost stacks up against competitors to determine whether or not they’re skimping you in terms of speed. Likewise, relying on a shady, discount webhost will only cause you problems in the long-run.

Too Many Videos

Video marketing has a massive ROI and is becoming more popular in the blogosphere; however, don’t make the mistake of slapping a bunch of videos on-site for the sake of it. Beyond VSLs and pages with long-form copy, try to limit the amount of onsite videos to one per page or consider taking your traffic to an external channel such as YouTube.

Useless Widgets

Again, your site should only be using what it truly needs to ensure optimal speed. If you have widgets and plugins collecting cobwebs in your plugin queue, it’s probably time to let them go.

Out-of-Date Plugins

Finally, for the sake of functionality and security, you should strive to regularly update your WordPress plugins. Allowing your plugins to miss crucial updates could not only screw with your visitors’ experience, but also needless bog down your site.

Take action against a sluggish site versus letting the aforementioned symptoms stack on top of each other. The easier it is for your visitors to navigate your site, the more likely they’ll stick around and engage with your content.