Do you have a WordPress website? Would you like it to be faster?
Website performance is an important factor that can impact your search rankings and bottom line.
In this article, you’ll learn why performance matters and how to build a hyperfast WordPress website.
Why Performance Matters
Your website’s performance affects two crucial areas of your business:
Your search engine rankings.
Page speed has been a Google ranking factor for desktop searches since 2010 and mobile searches since 2018.
In 2020, Google announced that page experience signals in rankings would roll out in 2021:
“The new page experience signals combine Core Web Vitals with our existing search signals including mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.”
In addition to performance signals becoming ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm, performance affects visitor behavior and conversions as well.
In 2017, Google studied page load speed in relation to bounce rate – the rate at which people leave your website without interacting. Google found that when page load time goes from:
1 to 3 seconds, bounce rate increases by 32%.
1 to 5 seconds, bounce rate increases by 90%.
1 to 6 seconds, bounce rate increases by 106%.
1 to 10 seconds, bounce rate increases by 123%.
If people leave your website without scrolling, tapping, or clicking, they can’t convert into leads or sales for your business. Hence, a low-loading website can affect your business’s ability to generate revenue.
WordPress dominates as the most used content management system.
In 2019, WordPress announced that they powered one-third of the web. BuiltWith shows that 43% of websites now use WordPress out of a sample size of over 64 million websites.
In terms of performance, we can compare WordPress websites against those running Joomla and Magento, thanks to HTTP Archive. Their State of the Web report gives the following analysis about websites running each respective platform.
Over 2 million WordPress websites, 52,000 Magento websites, and 133,000 Drupal websites were sampled from July 2019 to July 2021. They found the following.
WordPress websites had a median total page weight of 2437.7 KB on desktop browsers and 2275.6 KB on mobile browsers.
Magento websites had a median total page weight of 3178.8 KB on desktop browsers and 3039.5 KB on mobile browsers.
Drupal websites had a median total page weight of 2192.1 KB on desktop browsers and 2061.6 KB on mobile browsers.
According to Google, the total size of a webpage should be under 500 KB. WordPress websites fall in the middle of the road on page weight, but still well over the Google suggested maximum page size.
WordPress websites had a median total number of 85 requests on desktop browsers and 81 requests on mobile browsers.
Magento websites had a median total number of 182 requests on desktop browsers and 176 requests on mobile browsers.
Drupal websites had a median total number of 75 requests on desktop and on mobile browsers.
Google suggests a maximum of 50 requests (individual pieces of content) needed to load a webpage. Again, WordPress websites fall in the middle of the road on page requests, but over the Google recommendation.
What does this information tell us?
To meet Google’s website performance goals, your WordPress website needs the best optimization possible.