WordPress speed is one of the hottest topics today. Your WordPress website has to be lightning fast if you want an edge in your niche. No matter how beautiful your website is, if the page takes longer than 4 seconds to load, chances are you will lose a significant number of your visitors. Internet users are no longer patient enough to wait that extra second for your website to provide the information they are looking for, so, the speed of your WordPress website is of the utmost importance.
Fortunately, the purpose of this article is to provide you with a number of solutions to improve the page load speed of your WordPress website.
Before you begin –
Your first step is to find out if you actually need to improve the current speed of your website. While there is no such thing as too much speed, if your website is fast enough to meet the expectations of your visitors, there is really no need for extra optimization. You can find the current speed of your website by using Google’s test for speed or doing a speed test on Pingdom. Either of these tools will provide the numbers that will help you determine if your website is slow or fast enough for the average user. You can always come back to these tools after your speed optimization process, to see how your site has improved.
Use the right hosting solution –
There are millions of web hosting companies, all of them promising to give you 99.9% uptime, state of the art hosting infrastructure and 24/7 customer support. The truth is that not all of these companies are able to keep their promises, and their failure to do so will affect the performance of your website. Using the wrong hosting package can also affect the performance of your WordPress website. For example, using a shared hosting package means that your website will be sharing resources with countless numbers of other websites. This can significantly affect your speed, security and performance. Of course, you can decide to start with a shared hosting in the early days of your website, but you stand a better chance of growth when you use a more sufficient hosting package, such as a dedicated cloud server.
Update your WordPress files –
One advantage of using WordPress as a platform for your website is that this popular CMS is always at the top of its game in terms of security and performance. However, you also have your own part to play when it comes to keeping your WordPress optimized and secure. When your WordPress files are compromised or out of date, it can make your website sluggish and even pose security threats to your visitors. This is why you need to ensure that your website is always optimized for speed and security. This involves making sure that your WordPress installation is always up to date, from the WordPress core files to themes and plugins. Updating your WordPress website is not rocket science, you simply click on update. This will improve the security, speed, stability and performance of your WordPress website.
Use CDN –
Server location is an important factor when it comes to website load speed. You will definitely achieve a faster web page speed if your website is hosted close to the location of your target audience. Local hosting is a good idea if your website or business is targeted at a particular region, but if you are looking at a more global market, you will need a bit more help to provide content fast to visitors around the world. The best way to achieve this is by using a CDN service. Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is a service that places copies of your content across multiple servers all over the world. This way, the server closest to your visitors will provide the content they need. For example, if a visitor from Germany accesses your website which is hosted in New Zealand. Instead of waiting for the server in Auckland to provide content, a CDN service calls up content from the server closest to your visitor. There are a good number of popular CDN services available. Some of the most popular include MaxCDN and CloudFare.
Clean up your database –
As your WordPress website gets older, you will begin to have a lot of information on your database, some of this information will either be very old or not important for the running of your website. A bloated website will only slow down your website; therefore you need to clean it up regularly to get rid of all the unwanted and redundant data. Luckily, getting rid of unwanted information on your database is as easy as installing a WordPress plugin. One of the most popular plugins for this assignment is the out any critical changes on your website, to avoid losing important data.
Use caching plugins –
Another easy way to speed up your WordPress website is to make use of speed optimization or cache plugins. When a user visits your website, a lot of information is called up immediately – texts, web elements, images, videos, and so on. Calling up all this information at one time can slow down your website. Some cache plugins work by compressing the content of your website in a way that the most important content is presented first. Other cache plugins works by presenting a snapshot or HTML version of your website, instead of calling up the heavier dynamic version. Two top cache plugins to try are WP Super Cache and WP Total Cache.
The biggest advantage of improving your website speed is that it will significantly improve the experience of your users. However, apart from the performance of your website, using a catchy domain name will also attract and engage users.
Once you are done optimizing your website for speed, you can go back to test your page load speed one more time. Once you have a fast enough site, you will experience better page ranking and less bounce rate on your website.
About the Author
Hello, I am Che and I have been designing websites for over 12 years now for small businesses across the globe.
I have a real passion for helping small businesses achieve their online goals. I am a big believer in educating my clients so that they have the necessary skills to perform daily tasks on their web sites and online. All clients are provided with one on one training, and our training videos can be viewed on our website.
I started CheDesigns back in 2012 when I moved to Australia from the UK with my small but awesome family.
I believe that every small business, just like YOURS, should be able to have an online presence at a reasonable price, but with a website that will help generate leads and sales. I have spent enormous hours developing the perfect website platform that clients can easily use but that also helps gain them success online.
Even after CheDesigns builds your website we will still be here to answer any ongoing questions you might have.