Reasons to Make Your Church Website Fast
There are numerous reasons why a fast-loading website is incredibly important.
- Slow load times add resistance between your congregation and visitors and your content. If your content loads too slow, your website visitors may leave the website.
- Fast load times help your website visitors find the content they are looking for. It simply provides a better experience for your users. If it takes less time for pages to load as your users navigate, they can find content easier.
- Fast-loading websites perform better with SEO. Google wrote a great article on the importance of speed. While the article is geared more towards ads, it’s very applicable for any website.
If your church WordPress website feels slow to navigate, or you think it needs that extra “boost”, read on!
1. Delete Plugins You Don’t Need
Do you have two different plugins installed that offer contact forms, but only use the contact form of one of the plugins? Get rid of the other plugin if you’re not using features from it. There’s a thought that floats around the WordPress community that lots of plugins are a bad idea. This isn’t necessarily true in itself, but if any of your plugins are large, it can really make a negative impact on your church website. More plugins often load more scripts to load, thus increasing the load time little by little.
2. Compress Uncompressed Images
You should definitely compress images that aren’t compressed already. It’s not too late. There’s hope if you’ve already uploaded lots of uncompressed images. You can use a plugin such as Smush to bulk compress (or bulk smash as Smush calls it) your images. Please note that many of these image compression plugins generate multiple copies of your images in various sizes. This can lead to a much higher increase in storage space. Please weigh whether you have a decent amount of storage space available or not before trying this.
If you know of a plugin that compresses images without generating more versions, please let me know. I would love to include it here.
3. Migrate to a Better Website Hosting Provider
Another option that may improve your church website’s performance is switching to another hosting provider. As a recommendation, I don’t recommend switching to an EIG (Endurance International Group) owned hosting company. The reason is that EIG companies are known for providing poor support. Here’s a great article I found that has an updated list of EIG-owned web hosts to try and avoid.
If you’re interested in hosting podcasts with Easy Sermon Hub, make sure to find a host that supports byte range requests such as SiteGround. Reason being, podcast distributors such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify require podcast hosts to have byte range requests enabled.
I do offer website hosting through York Computer Solutions at a very competitive non-profit rate. Please let me know if you’re interested!
4. Use a Lightweight Theme
Using a lightweight theme is likely the last resort if you’re using a page builder. The reason I say that is many page builders uses shortcodes that most other themes can’t read. This causes your content to be stuck in limbo on a messy page of shortcodes. If you’re not using a page builder though, it may be more seamless to switch to another theme (probably not a page builder). The reason I say probably not a page builder is that you can run into the opposite problem that I describe above. You may have a difficult time importing existing pages into a page builder.
Need Help Making Your Church Website Fast?
I’m the owner of York Computer Solutions LLC, where I specialize in website design and development. If you need help to make your church website faster, please reach out. You can reach me directly by navigating to the Contact tab at the top of this page or use this link. I would love to get to know the needs of your ministry. I offer website care plans as well if that’s something you may be interested in.
Have more tips to make WordPress church websites fast? Let me know down below!