Welcome back to our four-part blog series covering how you can form a WordPress strategy for your new business website. In this article, we’re looking at optimising your WordPress website and why it’s essential. So let’s dive in!
What Is WordPress Optimisation?
WordPress optimisation is all about making your website lightweight, consistent and fast. The optimisation of a website is a broad subject that consists of many facets of web development. All of these facets come together to produce the optimal result.
This can be anything from standardising your website navigation to ensuring that a consistent typeface is used across every page.
Predominately it is about ensuring that your website is fast. Not just from a user experience perspective but also a search engine optimisation perspective. Slow websites won’t typically rank too well.
Choose fit for purpose hosting.
My clients often ask me about hosting choices, and frankly, it’s an important question when deciding where to host your website.
If you’re serious about your website, using it for business purposes, and it forms a crucial part of promoting your business, you’ll choose dedicated hosting. Dedicated hosting typically comes at a premium, but it also means you’re not sharing space with other websites.
Shared servers are hosting solutions that share their resources across several websites. In most cases, shared hosting is subject to limited functionality, and your users may experience slowdowns if other websites sharing those resources misbehaves.
When deciding on hosting for a business website, you should hands-down opt for a dedicated hosting option. Of course, it costs more, but it’s worth it.
A tip for saving on hosting expenses: pick the right hosting for the right job.
It’s worth noting that not all service providers are alike. For example, some service providers come with overhead management and configuration, whereas others offer highly tailored solutions.
Jenkins Digital offers the latter of the two, with our tailor-made, Australian based, dedicated WordPress hosting service. That leads into our last point, location, location, location.
If your server is located in Germany and your customer is in Australia – they’re going to have a less than stellar experience. It takes time for data to cross the globe, and statistics show that most people are unwilling to wait for slow websites. So keep your hosting solution as close to home as possible.
Keep your website, lean, clean and fast.
It’s one of the issues that every web designer faces: putting your website on a diet and speeding it up. Alright, food jokes aside, keeping your website lean and fast is essential. Users don’t like waiting for websites to load, and slow websites can have trouble ranking on search engines such as Google.
It can often be difficult to successfully optimise your site to ensure that the user experience is smooth and fast. It usually requires significant technical knowledge, patients and attention to detail.
But getting through the blood, sweat and tears to optimise your website is vital for two reasons:
- Firstly, users who experience long load times won’t stick around. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, it’s a good bet you’ve lost that user, i.e. a potential customer.
- Second, page speeds form part of your websites search engine ranking. Slow websites rank lower in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) as most search engines are looking to provide their users with the best possible user experience.
It’s not uncommon for my clients to have invested in marketing and advertising, only to have forgone optimising their website. Failing to optimise their website is kind of like falling on the double-edged sword; a user who has decided to visit your website due to marketing may leave if the experience is poor.
Ensuring that your website is optimised for speed is a no brainer, and you should ask yourself: will my customers get a fast and responsive experience when they seek out my services?
User experience (UX) is paramount.
User experience or “UX” is a term that globally covers everything you do to your website to ensure that navigation is pleasant and intuitive. Sure, speed forms part of the UX, but there’s more it than that.
Here are a few key elements that you should consider when establishing your user experience strategy:
- Design: colours, visuals, logos, and images. These are the elements that will determine the bulk fo your website’s design, it’s atmosphere and above all your brand image.
- Impression: you should consider what kind of impression you want to give your customers, and what you want to inspire. It’s ok to take inspiration form other business websites to help shape your UX.
- Visbility: keep your message clear and accessible. Users are not a paitent bunch and they want to find what they are looking for, and they want it right now. Keep your navigation consistant and expose the information customers are looking for, in order to funnel them to the right page.
UX is often a process of refinement. You should seek constructive feedback from existing customers, friends and family about the experience. The critical question is, can the customer find the information they’re looking for and was it easy to find?