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Reduce Bounce Rate: 5 Easy Steps to Speed-Up Your Nonprofit WordPress Website

Increasing the speed of your website will reduce bounce rates significantly on your nonprofit WordPress website. Decreasing abandonment rates can help drive more donations, memberships, volunteer sign-ups, and engagement rates. 

According to an Akamia study, 47% of users expect your nonprofit’s website to load in 2 seconds or less.

Below are five simple things that you can do to increase the speed of your website. 

Leverage Browser Caching in WordPress

Caching is one of the most important ways that you can increase the speed of your WordPress website. Browser caching tells a user’s browser that they can store the website’s files on the user’s local computer. This will reduce the number of files that your server needs to deliver to the users computer, which reduces the load time.

We recommend using the W3 Total Cache plug-in for WordPress. It’s simple to install and setup. When you’re configurating the plug-in don’t forget to turn on object and database caching as well.

When you’re configuring the plug-in we recommend also turning on the object and database caching as well in the general settings.

There are also some hosting providers, like Pantheon, that provide caching as a standard feature of their service.

Minify Your Website CSS and Javascript to Increase Page Speed

Minifying your CSS and Javascript files will also reduce the amount of time that it takes for your website to load.  Usually your website loads a lot of different CSS and Javascript files. For each file that is loaded, your server must go find that file and deliver it to a user’s browser. By minifying, or compressing, these files all into one file you are reducing the number of times your server has to look for something and deliver it to a browser. Reducing those deliveries will greatly increase your page load speed.

The W3 Total Cache plug-in also has a setting to minify your CSS and Javascript files. We recommend turning it on.

Optimize Your Images Automatically in WordPress

Reducing the size of the images that are on your website is one of the simplest ways to reduce the size of your website pages, and reduce the load time. When your browser has to transfer half the amount of data to a user, that’s a good thing, right? It’s easy to compress or optimize your images without losing quality.  

Rootid recommends EWWW Image Optimizer. It’s easy to install and configure and will drastically reduce the size of your website pages.

Content Distribution Networks (CDN)

A CDN sounds fancy, but the idea is actually quite simple: rather than having one server do all the work to deliver your website to a user’s browser, use a lot of servers to do the same job. CDN’s are also really easy to install on your WordPress website. We recommend using services like CloudFlare (free) and Amazon CloudFront (paid, but cheap!) to increase the speed of your website.

You can use the CloudFlare plug-in to integrate with the CDN, or if you’re using Amazon, you can use the W3 Total Cache plug-in.

LazyLoading Images on WordPress

As we mentioned before, images often are the “heaviest” files that your server has to deliver. LazyLoading helps by only delivering the images that a user needs. The process uses Javascript to wait until a user’s browser window is close to where the image should load, then loads it.

We recommend using the BJ LazyLoad plug-in or Lazy Load plug-in.

Measure Your Success: Use Google PageSpeed Insights

As usual, Google has a great free tool to compare your site to industry best practices. It’s called PageSpeed Insights. Add your website’s URL into the tool, and it will provide a mobile and desktop score along with some recommendations on how to increase your website’s speed.

Need Help?

Rootid’s team of can help your website perform better. Talk to us about free website audit! 

Start your free WordPress audit!