Elementor is by far the best page builder, not just for WordPress but for all websites. With unrivalled features and ease, you can produce amazing websites in really quickly.
However, sometimes the ends product is not exactly super-speedy! One or two minor problems can cripple your website and make it go from gazelle to snail.
Start with the theme
The theme for your website acts as the foundations. If the foundations aren’t built well, the house will crumble and collapse.
It’s very tempting to purchase an expensive premium theme because it offers an amazing range of features and added extras. I’ve done it myself and found out the hard way that it’s a mistake.
Every premium theme with loads of extra bits and bobs adds a tonne of extra bloat to your website. Those features will look great, but no one will ever see them!
We recommend using the Hello Elementor theme for your website. This theme is almost as basic as possible. It’s a blank canvas to start your website with.
That blank canvas is the important difference with Elementor. In the past you would’ve bought a theme that had everything you will need (and more) and have needed to strip out the unnecessary bits. Now, you build your own theme with Elementor from the ground up.
Whether you’re reading this before you start building with Elementor or after you’ve started. We recommend you avoid the bloated themes and go with the slimmed-down, barebones theme. It’ll save each user many seconds of waiting for your site to load!
Images – optimised and compressed
The number 1, most common problem we’ve tackled with slow Elementor website is that the images on the website have not been compressed and are loading as a massive image file.
Images can make or break the visual appeal of your website, but they can also make or break the loading time.
I fully accept I’m mad about image optimisation, so here is how I tackle this key issue:
Every PNG or JPEG image I upload to a website has been resized using Photoshop to ensure it’s the correct size (height and width) for the website. Every image is then compressed using TinyPNG to remove any excess bloat in the image’s code.
Once I upload to WordPress I will ensure the Shortpixel plugins are installed to further compress the image and ensure it is loading at the correct size for the website.
Within Elementor you can also specify the custom height and width of an image to ensure it will absolutely load in the correct size for the page.
Since the most recent major update for Elementor, I use SVG image files for any graphics or vectors. Most JPEGs will be around 150kb after compression, but an SVG file might be only 1kb in size – a big difference.
After all of these tweaks and bit of optimising I know that every image file on the website is going to look great but, crucially, load quickly and not slow down our website.
If your website is taking too long to load then look at your images as a great place to begin tackling the time problem. If you need help, we would be more than happy to assist.
Caching and minifying – bloat removal
If you’ve got any prior experience with WordPress you’ll know how important caching and minifying is.
If not, let me explain. A WordPress website is dynamic, it looks at the database for what to load each time a user loads your website. This is great for a news website, but not for a plumber’s website where the content is not being constantly updated. If you don’t need a dynamic website you can save a cached version of your website as a static file that will load much quicker.
As for minifying, sometime the code is too bloated and takes a long time for the browser to read all of it. Often you can have tens or hundreds of different small CSS or JS files. With minifying, you can create a slimmed down and joined-up bunch of code.
When you look for WordPress caching plugins you’ll find theres loads to choose from. However, not all plugins work well with Elementor and all of those plugins will need an awful lot of tweaking to make them work perfectly for your Elementor website.
If you’re not sure how to start caching and minifying your Elementor website, or have tried and can’t quite get in right, get in touch today and we can help you and your website.
Plugins – Plug-in or switch off?
Much like the themes, it can be so tempting to install that super-amazing plugin that offers a tantilising new feature for your website.
Much like with themes, every plugin you install adds bloat and slows down your website. Some plugins are essential (like security and backup plugins) and some are totally unnecessary.
I recently worked on a project where someone had a slow Elementor website. When I looked at their plugins there were around 50 plugins activated.
Some of these activated plugins offered SVG upload, Font Awesome integration and Google fonts integration. All great features, but features that come pre-installed into Elementor. Essentially, this website was bloated with plugins that were doing absolutely nothing!
Now, not all plugins should be deactivated. Some offer a great range of options and some can be slimmed down. For instance, the Essential Addons plugin for Elementor offers a range of extra features for Elementor. All features turned on can slow down your website, but you can switch off any feature you aren’t using and get back some speed lose.
If you think your plugins are bloating and slowing down your website, get in touch today and we can audit and improve your plugins.
Hosting and CDN
I have in the past spent hours trying to speed up a slow website only to find their hosting company is the problem. What’s the point in putting alloy wheels on a car if the engine doesn’t work?
No amount of caching, optimising or tweaking will make any difference if your website is hosted by a company that is unable to provide a decent level of service.
We can offer good hosting for your website. You can also get premium WordPress hosting from Siteground, Bluehost, Kinsta and more – read more here. Just don’t use Godaddy!
Having a great host is a good start, but a CDN makes the difference. A content delivery network (CDN) help store your website around the world and provide an extra layer of security.
Whether your user is from Australia or Austria, they will want your website to load quickly and a CDN helps speed up the loading time of your website and ensure every user sees it quickly.
We recommend using Cloudflare and we would happily help you get started with Cloudflare or add you to our account. Get in touch if you want more hosting advice or want to get started with a CDN.
Elementor provides an amazing opportunity for you to build your own website. However, it’s very easy to find the end result is slow and not as speedy as you would’ve liked.
We’ve taken websites from loading in 42 seconds to under 3 seconds in less than 30 minutes of work. We can help you get your website flying!