WordPress is the best and simplest choice you can make when creating your own website. However, even with its many advantages, you have to take great care of how fast your website is. Almost 50% of your visitors are bound to bounce off if your website loads in more than 2 seconds. Furthermore, people that buy things online don’t have the patience to wait forever for your pages to load, so if you are running an ecommerce site, your site should load quickly. Finally, search engines rank sites that load faster better than the ones that load slower, so speed is an important part of your SEO efforts. Here are 7 tips on how you can improve your WP website’s performance.
Choose a Better Web Host
It’s a common mistake for people to get attracted to web hosting providers that offer low prices and market their services well, and end up with a hosting plan that gives you poor resources, which in turn leads to weak website performance. Factors such as the type of hard drive that they use, RAM speed and processors are all essential to your website’s speed. A quality servers should have a lot of RAM, multi-core processors and SSDs. Therefore, you should contact your providers and learn all you can about their servers. Some of them even offer website caching services for WP sites.
Pick the Right Theme
There is a wide variety of both free and premium WordPress themes out there, for different kinds of websites. Unfortunately, there is no standard for them, so there is also a great difference in how well they are coded and how fast they perform. This is especially the case for premium themes, which are often so extensive that they slow your website down. When you’re looking for a theme, check its performance with a tool like Googles’ PageSpeed Insights. If PageSpeed is more than 80, and loading time below 5 seconds, it means the theme will benefit your website’s performance.
Reduce the Size of Your Images
Image size is one of the biggest factors when it comes to the size and performance of your website. The solution is to make your image files smaller in size, without affecting their quality. Manual optimization of images with software such as Photoshop takes a lot of time. Lucky for you, there is a variety of plugins that can do your job for you, some of the best being WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer. These plugins will significantly reduce the size of your images.
Use a CDN
Your website visitors come from all over the world, so it goes without saying that the loading speed will differ for the people who come from places that are distant from your website host. There is a variety of CDN-s (Content Delivery Networks) which can help you keep the loading speed of your website to the minimum, regardless of where your users are located. What a CDN does is that it keeps a copy of your site in a number of data centers that are found in different locations.The main goal is to offer the website to a visitor from the nearest location possible.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Plugins
If you are using unnecessary plugins on your WP website, your web files will contain a great amount of junk. It will also make the size of your backup greater, and your server resources will be overburdened while generating your backup files. Therefore, the best solution is to get rid of the plugins that you aren’t using or that aren’t all that necessary to you. Furthermore, you should make use of third-party services such as IFTTT and Zapierto schedule and automate tasks.
Use Advanced Caching Mechanisms & Plugins
WordPress caching plugins, such as W3 Total Cache, will make the complicated tasks of implementing caching rules into your website elements a lot simpler. When you combine plugins like this with advanced caching mechanisms such as Varnish, you can significantly increase the loading speed of your website and improve WordPress’ performance in general.
Minimize the Amount of External Scripts
When you use external scripts on your pages, it inevitably brings in a whole lot of data to your loading time. Therefore, the best practice is to use as little external scripts as possible, focusing only on the ones that are essential to you, such ascommenting systems like Disqus,or tracking tools like Google Analytics.
Your WordPress website speed depends on many factors, such as your web hosting, the number and quality of plugins and themes that you are using, the size of your images and other files, the amount of external scripts, etc. In order to optimize it, you should take these 7 tips into consideration.
Steven Clarke is a business consultant at WordPress Website Design Sydney. In his spare time, he likes to write about his ideas and share them with the world. Steven is a regular contributor to several websites.