How to Speed up your WordPress Website
It’s impossible to overstate how important website speed is to every website owner. The reasons are plentiful. Most importantly, your page loading speed greatly affects the overall user experience. The user bounce rate, as well as conversions, are very much reliant on this factor. In case your site speed is not up to par with what users expect, they can simply give up on visiting altogether. There’s little chance those users could come back. In turn, this can also have a huge impact on your SEO score. A website with a high bounce rate is sure to be placed lower than others.
This is one of the reasons why the speed of your website plays a major role and can make or break your chance of success in the global market of today. Additionally, WordPress sites are bound to become slower over time; from time to time, you need to invest some effort into keeping things the way they should be. That’s why this article will show you a few simple ways you can speed up your WordPress site as well as how to keep everything up to snuff when it comes to performance.
Keep Everything Up to Date
One of the most basic points to make when talking about site speed is that you should make sure to keep everything up to date. This includes using the latest versions of HTML and PHP, as well as WordPress and all its components.
Updating the version of WordPress you are using as well as regularly updating all the plugins you have installed is very important when it comes to page load speed, however trivial that may sound. By staying up to date you ensure everything runs the way it is intended and you keep your site safe.
The same goes for the theme you are using. This can help boost performance and it can also rid you of bugs that may be slowing everything down.
Trim Things Down
There’s a number of things you could do to keep things lighter and put less strain on your site. This should naturally bolster your website’s performance greatly. All these tips boil down to some fairly basic actions, however, the impact they can have is not to be underestimated. Simply put, the lighter you keep everything, the livelier the performance gets.
First off, you can make sure to optimize the images you use throughout the site. The aim here is to make the images as small as possible, without causing a significant impact on image quality. The best way to go about this is to reduce the size of the images even before uploading them. Photoshop’s Save for web feature or perhaps the TinyPNG service can help you with this. Alternatively, there is a plenty of plugins which can take care of this for you.
Host Videos Elsewhere
Another thing you can do is to avoid hosting videos on your site. While you can host videos if you wish, that may cause a hit in the overall speed of your website. The solution here is to go with some of the video hosting sites like YouTube, Vimeo or DailyMotion.
Remove Unnecessary Plugins
It could happen so that your site carries certain plugins which you can uninstall or deactivate altogether. Unnecessary plugins can bog down the page loading time significantly. In case you’ve got some plugins you are not using, this is simply a must. The same goes for any other element that your site could carry. For example, if you are using a theme that comes bundled with different post types or shortcodes, disable the ones that your site does not utilize in any way.
Let’s also mention that, unlike video hosting, the best way to host images is on right there on your own site. Don’t hotlink from other sources, simply upload the images to your media library or web server. This can also help keep things quick.
Bits and Bobs
You can also do other small yet all-important things. One of them is enabling lazy loading to delay loading any images on a page until they appear in the viewport. Perhaps you can also decrease the number of posts, images, comments, and content in general shown on a single page. All this can prove helpful.
Pick the Right Theme
Here’s another very important step: choose your WordPress theme wisely. Some of the themes, while they can be dashing in the looks department, are simply bloated with unnecessary clobber. Do some research, weigh things out and take your time when choosing a theme. One of the themes we’ve had a great experience with is Bridge. Apart from having a whopping demo collection and a modern visual flair to boot, this theme already comes bundled with a caching plugin, which is a huge leap forward when it comes to obtaining and maintaining the page load speed. And here’s why.
Caching plugins can have a monumental impact on the page load speed of a WordPress website. They come in handy because instead of forcing WordPress to create an HTML variant of a page each time someone visits it, they help generate a ready-made HTML page which is accessible at all times. This impacts page load speed time immensely. One of the best ones and most user-friendly we came across is W3 Cache.
For more on some of the best caching plugins out there and how to go about installing them, feel free to check out this article.
Regardless of the type of content your website hosts or the branch of an industry you’re in, there’s little to no hope people will actually visit your site if pages take a lot of time to load or the site suffers other performance issues. However, there are steps you can make to keep everything snappy, and best of all -they are quite simple. Hopefully, this article has been successful in our intent of conveying the message of the importance of website speed. Moreover, we hope we helped keep your WordPress site as fast as it should be.