Having a beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing Joomla website isn’t enough to wow visitors and be successful. Your site also needs to be functional and easy to use. Unfortunately, so many websites do a poor job of facilitating an intuitive user experience that is fast and carefree. As a result, they end up frustrating users and unknowingly encouraging them to click the back buttons on their browsers.
When a website looks fantastic and has a bunch of relevant features, yet still has high bounce rates and low conversions, the most likely culprit is speed. Is your website’s page loading time affecting your success? Well, if you’re past a certain threshold, then the answer is a resounding yes.
According to a study by KISSmetrics, every second counts when it comes to your page loading time. Page abandonment increases proportionally as page load time increases. Nearly half of all users – 47 percent to be exact – expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. And for every one second delay your website experiences, customer satisfaction decreases by roughly 16 percent.
5 Tips for Giving Your Joomla Site a Boost
This is a serious problem for many websites. Would you count yourself among this contingency? If so, then you need to shift your attention towards speeding up your Joomla site for maximum conversions and faster loading content. Let’s take a look at some tangible tips:
1. Choose a Good Host
Everything starts with your host. While you can optimize your site all you want, it’ll always be limited by your hosting partner’s capabilities. It’s tempting to go with one of the massive hosting companies, but remember that your site will be thrown on a server with thousands of other websites. For some, this is fine. But remember that it could lead to slow speeds when people are trying to access the server at the same time.
If you need speed to be a priority/guarantee around the clock, consider going with a host who can meet all of your needs. Look at details like sites per server, server caching support, server hardware support and Joomla-specific support. When it comes to Joomla, hosts like Hostt, HostGator, and Bluehost are three of the best.
2. Enable Joomla Cache
When a visitor clicks on your website and loads a page, Joomla fetches the content from a database and loads all of the components required to deliver that page to the user. Depending on the page, this can take a few seconds. And while there’s no way to avoid this process the first time around, you can bypass it when the user visits the page again.
Do this by enabling Joomla cache. Once the plugin is enabled, the website stores each visitor’s information and shows the stored version of the web page on subsequent visits, instead of repeating the entire process of fetching content from the database.
3. Upload Media the Right Way
Images are obviously a very important part of a successful website, but did you know that your images may actually be damaging your conversion rates? If you aren’t uploading and optimizing them correctly, your images are more than likely slowing you site down and creating long page loading times.
Instead of simply uploading images from a desktop file – which can often be several megabytes in size – and pasting them into your site, consider using a free or paid tool to compress these files. When multiplied over many different images, the impact on your site’s speed can be noticeable.
4. Delete Unused Extensions
It’s time to do a spring cleaning of your Joomla extensions. How many of your installed extensions do you actually use? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize that many serve no other purpose than to slow your site down. Even worse – having too many extensions opens your site up to security issues and threats. Go ahead and purge your site of the ones you don’t need - everyone will be happier and it will help you 10x with your marketing efforts.
5. Constantly Reevaluate
Website speed is variable. While it may be fine now, it can change at a moment’s notice. In order to maximize conversions and keep visitors satisfied, constantly reevaluate your site speed and performance. There are a number of services that will allow you to quickly gauge speed – including Pingdom and Google PageSpeed – so check them out.
The Need for Speed
When it comes to your Joomla site, speed may not be everything, but it’s certainly important. In addition to quality design and intuitive functionality, speed is one thing every website needs.
If your users are forced to wait around four, five, or six-plus seconds for a web page to load, then you’re unintentionally asking them to leave. Assuming that’s not what you want, something has to be done sooner rather than later.
Keep these tips in mind and work on creating a lighter-weight Joomla site that delights users and keeps them engaged.