A full-fledged website is a huge investment; both in terms of money and time. Given the amount of efforts a website owner or admin puts into their digital properties, ignorance can make things bad and turn attempts futile. With the ever-evolving nature of the technological aspect of website upkeep and maintenance, every move is a dicey one.
Your WordPress website might quite be a stunner but speed issues can cause irreparable disruptions to your online reputation by killing the site visitors’ vibe. A sluggish site eventually develops other issues. So, it is very important to keep things working in the right manner. With some tips, you will be able to analyze your site’s performance and take the right measures. This blog post has a detailed guide to help WordPress users from around the world speed up their average or slow sites.
Why Speed Up Your Website?
A fast loading website increases site visitors, bringing in a good number of pageviews. It also assists the SEO of your website’s pages and boosts site’s performance. If your website has been slothful for a while now, chances are Google has pulled it down to penalize it. No one likes to lose potential revenue by losing subscribers. Also, considering the dropping average human attention span, this is a wise thing to do.
How to Begin?
If you are new to this ‘speed up your website’ realm, you better go to your browser and look for tools like Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Tools and many similar ones to assess the true speed of your site. Once you are done, follow this guide below to start speeding up your WordPress site.
A Good Hosting
One of the reasons as to why your WordPress website has gone slow, is the use of a cheap host which offers a shared database memory and bandwidth. These elements adversely affect the server downtime and security. If you make a poor choice, your end result is a slow website. It is highly advisable to go through WordPress website hosts like Bluehost, WPEngine,HostGator,Dreamhost, etc. and choose the one that is best suited to your requirement and carries a good hosting review from the experts.
Use of a Reputed Theme & Specifically, Plugins
If you have already overlooked this aspect, you have made the biggest mistake. Let’s us consider a scenario where you run a WooCommerce website and have employed a heavily coded WordPress theme with all sorts of free and paid as well as custom plugins. This is itself a blunder because being the payment and transaction specific site that your website is, it requires to be swift and responsive. So, always choose the right theme that has a good market rating.
While setting up your WordPress website, one has to be extra cautious about the selection of plugins,. Plugins extend a plethora of functionalities to WordPress websites of all sorts. But it might not be necessarily important towards the nature and character of your website. Make a curated list of plugins that you definitely need and skip the rest. Also, make sure to uninstall outdated plugins while you regularly check your website for maintenance purposes.
The Catch Here is the ‘Caching’
By default, a WordPress optimized hosting carries effective catching. For the ones who are not aware of the term ‘Cache’, it means that every time users visit your site, WordPress processes the asked information to put them together and generate the displayed result. If your website is experiencing a huge traffic, it tends to get slower because caching process accelerates.
To tackle this, the WordPress repository has ‘Caching Plugins’ that skip the page generation every time and instead, produce a cached copy to visiting users. The best plugin for this purpose is the W3 Total Cache plugin. If you like to have options, WP Super Cache and WP Rocket are the next best ones.
Image Optimization is the Answer
High quality graphics, images, and animations make up for the visual appeal of a website’s content. But, a huge amount of them also makes the website slower. Also, reducing the size of an image is not the answer to this because it leads to image quality distortion.
To help you cope with this issue, Smush.it is your answer. This Image optimization plugin reduces the file size without reducing its quality every time the admin uploads a new picture image.
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Most the big fish websites in the web market use a content Delivery Network to take their static files and let all worldwide users download them in a swift speed. Base on the visitors’ locations, a CDN serves these static files from the closest server.
To recommend, most of the big company websites use the Max CDN Content Delivery Network. Easy to setup, it offers a simpler dashboard and is economical too.
- Site admins can choose to display their posts the way they like but replacing full posts with just excerpts will serve the site loading time issue well. Showing 5-7 posts per page will optimize the site as well as reduce the page clutter, providing a pleasant view to the site visitor.
- Removal of unnecessary or outdated widgets is a preliminary step towards speeding up a WordPress website. Also, one should try to keep the page minimal because minimalist designing has been trending throughout the year 2016.
- Use the WP-Sweep plugin in order to optimize your WordPress Database so that unnecessary stuff like deleted posts, auto drafts, revisions, Duplicated post meta, unused tags, etc. are scrapped away.
- Keeping a check on the number of post revisions stored is crucial because they might affect some database queries run by plugins – leading to a slower website.
It is very important to sit back and review your WordPress site on a regular basis to infuse the important changes in the right direction. With this detailed guide, we sincerely hope that you will be able to speed up your WordPress sites.
Kiera Hayes is a passionate Blogger and Web Developer. She enjoys reading and writing articles whenever she gets time from her work.