Google is tightening the noose. Websites that are not made by professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to appear in the rankings. It’s not bad content that’s to blame, but more and more often it’s the technology that throws a spanner in the works. We take a closer look at this topic and show you what you can do, even as a beginner, to avoid losing out completely.
Why loading times are so important
More and more users around the world are surfing with tablets or smartphones. The desktop PC or notebook – they are fading further and further into the background. The problem with mobile surfing is that the bandwidth of users is very extensive. Some still surf with ancient phones that only have 3G or LTE. Others have only weak WLAN or the network capacity is very weak where they are. Google has therefore made it its maxim to promote sites that only ever consume a minimum of the necessary capacity. Certain rules have been set up for this purpose. They can be viewed at the Google Pagespeed Inisights Tool. Anyone who has tested a simple WordPress site there usually gets a fright. As a rule, a bare installation hardly receives 50 or 60 points out of 100. What can webmasters do about it?
Choose the right host
A website is nothing more than a data package that is stored on a server. This server space can be publicly accessed by external users via the URL, i.e. the domain name. As it is with computers, the quality of the server determines how fast the page is built. If the server is a cheap piece of junk equipment, the page will take a long time to load. If, on the other hand, there is an ultra-fast SSD server with high-quality technology, then the page will progress much better.
In addition, the software on the server also plays a role. For example, there are LiteSpeed servers with extremely high speed. LiteSpeed is considered to be an extremely modern server software. With it, requests are processed faster than on many other mainframes.
This means that website operators can influence the loading times of their websites to a great extent by choosing their hosting provider.
WordPress is a CMS tool that works with the help of a database. Each time an article is called up, it is composed of building blocks that are distributed in a database: Texts here, design there… Images and similar components are imported into the article each time. Caching changes this so that a kind of finished copy of the page is stored on the server in simple HTML format. Like a photo that contains all the content. Users are presented with this when they call up the page, which makes a lot of things faster.
Various caches can be used for fast loading times for WordPress pages. On the one hand, server operators offer a cache directly from the computer. In addition, further optimisations can be made with the help of plugins and HTACCESS files.
Some simple commands in the HTACCESS file, for example, enable the compression of page elements. In addition, browser caching can be enforced.
In WordPress itself, it is possible to activate additional caching options with the help of plugins.
It is also advisable to load images only when the user is supposed to see them on the screen. This is called lazy load.
In addition, unimportant Java elements can be loaded in such a way that the content is already visible. This way, the user can already read while the page is still loading invisible elements in the background.
Pagespeed optimisation for WordPress is becoming more and more of an art. If you don’t do it, you will lose rankings. This is because Google is penalising more and more websites for the fact that page visitors can only load them slowly.
With the help of various plug-ins, corresponding optimisations can be made. If this is too complex for you, you should entrust it to a professional web designer.