A slow loading site is often frustrating and compel its visitors to shut it down and switch to next one. A fast website, contrastingly, keeps visitors coming back for more. Here are a few things you can do now to optimize your WordPress site.
There’s no shadow of a doubt that WordPress is justifiably popular CMS solution used all over the globe to settle web projects on. Despite the fact that the software is extremely well coded, some people mess their WordPress installations up by choosing an awful web host, installing a pool of low-quality plugins, and filling their site with heaps of garbage. This article explores the most frequent performance issues with WordPress sites and offers some solutions to solve this matter.
Track How Optimized Is Your Current Website
Before we will go over how to optimize many of the elements that are typically holding your site back, make sure to check the speed of your website using a free performance services such as GTMetrix, YSlow or Google PageSpeed Insights. The services aim to inform you of your page loading time and the overall file size of your page.
WordPress Performance Optimization Tips
When it comes to speeding up your website, there are many ways to optimize WordPress site and here are a few of them:
Use WordPress Optimized Hosting
You can think of optimizing your WordPress site only after you definitely know that it’s not your host that’s slowing down your site. Because the majority of purpose servers are not optimal for WordPress – choose a host with servers dedicated to hosting WordPress-based sites. With “You get what you pay for” thought in mind, take your time to visit some communities filled with web hosting enthusiasts. Read the reviews of the host you are planning to go with, before actually going with it.
Use a Fast WordPress Theme/Framework
The choice of a theme can significantly impact your website’s speed. Therefore, you need to start with a fast and well-coded WordPress theme or framework built by some reputed WordPress theme company. In case you choose a theme shipped with lots of additional features that you don’t need, it’ll negatively influence your site performance. If you are trying to build a custom theme, make sure to use valid semantic code, avoid broken links and missing files. WordPress Theme-Check plugin is exactly what you need to ensure you respect the latest WordPress theme review standards.
Minimize Plugin Usage
The fewer plugins you use on your site, the less chance there is of performance and upgrade issues. Too many plugins usually slow down WordPress sites – thus, it’s a good idea to remove those you aren’t using and replace old ones with the latest versions. Feel free to use the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to see which plugins are slowing you down.
Optimize Images on WordPress
As one of the heaviest elements of a site, images take up a lot of storage making the pages longer to load. It is therefore in your best interests to optimise your website images before you upload them. There are a few ways you can optimize your uploaded images and the WP Smush.it plugin is your ally in this case. The plugin allows to upload images normally while it automatically optimizes them behind the scenes. In you do not want to sacrifice image quality, try out Lazy Load plugin that ensures the images to be loaded only when the area becomes visible to the user. This will greatly reduce page loading times.
Cache Your Site
If some pages of your website contain largely unchanging content pieces, you may want to enable page caching. What caching does is prevent load of content for users who are constantly visiting the site or have visited it previously. To reflect it, if you visit this blog post and in some time revisit it, it will load faster as it is cached in the system. However, browser caching is not for everyone. If a site is filled with a lot of dynamic content, this might not be the solution in this case. Customers may load an older version of your site and not get access to new updates. As soon as you install a plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, you’ll be able to tell that your site loads faster.
Try a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Enable Gzip Compression
You should serve compressed versions of your site to your visitors, as they’ll be less in size and will generally load a lot faster. Gzip compression allows a website page to be transferred to a browser at up to 70% of its original size. The browser will then decompress the page and display it to the user. Gzip can be enabled via the WordPress options page that can be found at www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin/options.php. To activate it, simply change the value of the Gzip field from 0 to 1. Otherwise, you can enable Gzip compression using a plugin like W3 Total Cache.
Optimize Your WordPress Database
Over time WordPress database can become bloated from spam, unapproved comments, page revisions, unused tables, etc. If the database is bloated, the information takes longer to be found and displayed. It is possible to automatically optimize the database directly from PHPMyAdmin or using plugins like WP-Optimize, WP-DB manager plugin. These plugins are capable of deleting all your pending spam comments, trashed posts, auto-saved drafts, post revisions to name a few. Besides, they can perform general MySQL database optimization queries without you having to access PHPMyAdmin.
What this all boils down to is that optimizing a website can make a big difference in site speed, encouraging visitors to stick around and engage with your content. Take your time to explore the aforementioned steps and therefore improve your WordPress website performance.
If you have any questions about optimization or have something else to bring to the table, we would love to hear from you, so comment below!
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