WordPress is the leading and most popular Content Management System (CMS) in the world. In fact, it currently powers over 43% of all websites on the internet and continues to gain market share year after year. Prestigious brands and organizations like Stanford, The National Archives, Creative Commons, Sony Music, Fortune, and even The White House use WordPress to power their sites.
In my 20+ years of working on the internet, I’ve used all types of platforms, such as Drupal, Joomla, Ghost, Medium, and many more. I think WordPress is by far the best solution for every sector: SMBs, educational institutions, high-traffic blogs, and even enterprise sites.
Why? Because WordPress gives you the most control and flexibility in building, managing, and marketing your website. However, just using WordPress isn’t enough; speed plays a big part in ensuring you succeed. And that’s what we’ll dive into below.
No one likes a slow website (including Google)#
While WordPress is incredibly popular, using it can also come with a performance cost if you don’t know what you’re doing. Initially, WordPress was primarily a blogging platform. But it has evolved into much more than that, as more functionality was added over the years. The problem now is that with so many different configurations and options, WordPress can run slow if not set up or optimized correctly.
Why does a slow website even matter? #
Because it will always be very detrimental to a visitor’s experience and first impression. It plays a significant factor in bounce and conversion rates. The days of dial-up are long gone, and people don’t have the patience they used to. If they have to wait a long time for a page to load, they’re most likely going to hit the back button and pick the next search engine result.
A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. — Kissmetrics
If you were able to increase your website by 3 seconds, that means an approximate increase of 21% in conversions!
Just like WordPress has evolved over the years, so has the measurement of performance. While total load time is still important, it’s not a measurement you should focus on anymore. Google now uses what they call Core Web Vitals. Your site gets a score based on a combination of things like the largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).