WordPress, as a platform, is extremely well coded. However, some people mess their WordPress installations up by installing tons of low-quality plugins, choosing an awful web host, and filling their site with heaps of garbage. Even if you don’t do something as stupid as these with your site, there’s still a lot of room for improvement when it comes to speeding up your WordPress site. WordPress remains the go-to platform for website builders because it is free and easy to use. The only problem is that it tends to run slow, particularly without any intervention.
Speedy websites are essential if you want to drive traffic and create meaningful interactions with visitors. Only a two-second delay in responsiveness can result in decreased user satisfaction and lost revenue. In fact, if your site does not load right away, it is likely that users will leave before it even loads.
Today, I would like to share with you thirteen quick tips on how to optimize your WordPress blog for speed and decrease page loading times. If you follow these techniques and best practices, your website will load much quicker.
How To Speed Up WordPress
1. Choose a good host
Finding a cheap host is tempting, but it is more important to find a reliable host. The best website hosts are able to keep your site up and running even during high traffic periods, which is essential if you want to grow your business or create viral content. If your site goes down for even a few minutes, you can lose huge amounts of revenue, and visitors are not likely to return.
In addition to a speedy host, make sure they offer plenty of support. If and when you do experiencing hosting problems, getting up and running again is significantly easier when you have help.
2. Choose the Theme Carefully
With millions of themes available, there is little need to code one yourself unless you need to create a specific or unique theme. A design that has been coded badly, or uses images throughout the design, will add unnecessary weight to your page. It is not uncommon for some WordPress themes to be a few megabytes in size. Such a design could add a few seconds to your page loading time.
Choose a design that has been optimized for desktops, tablets and mobile devices. Search engines favor responsive designs as they ensure all pages have the same URL, however adaptive designs that were created specifically for mobile phones can improve a mobile user’s experience considerably (it is not uncommon for an adaptive design to reduce page size by over one megabyte).
3. Install A Caching Plugin
WordPress plugins are obviously quite useful, but some of the best fall under the caching category, as they drastically improve page loads time, and best of all, all of them on WP.org are free and easy to use. As Plugins are one of the biggest causes of WordPress websites being slow. The more plugins you install without research, the more likely you will face performance issues; however the sheer number of plugins you have installed is not the reason a WordPress website can slow down.
Caching is a web term that means storing part of your site for later use. When you have a caching plug in, your visitors only need to load the full site the first time they visit. Return traffic does not need to load the whole site, which means it runs more smoothly the second, third, and twentieth time around.
4. Optimize Images
Images are a basic requirement for any website, but getting them wrong is worse than not including them at all. The images on your site will generally take the longest to load, but optimizing them for the web can dramatically reduce that downtime.
It is therefore in your best interests to optimize your images for the internet before you upload them to your website. There are a number of tools you can use to compress images, including expensive software like Adobe Photoshop and free web apps like TinyPNG. For the best results, choose the system that best represents your image needs.
5. Optimize your WordPress database
Databases get clogged up with useless data overtime, and all the unnecessary data slows them down over time. Maintaining your database is an important maintenance mission for your website as well as for optimizing your site’s speed.
Once your site is backed up, go through unnecessary data and get rid of it. Delete plugins that you do not use. Delete data left behind by the plugins. Take time to get rid of spam comments, too, and do not forget about all the comments waiting for approval by the moderator.
6. Optimize your homepage to load quickly
This isn’t one thing but really a few easy things that you can do to ensure that your homepage loads quickly, which probably is the most important part of your site because people will be landing there the most often.
Things that you can do include:
- Show excerpts instead of full posts
- Reduce the number of posts on the page.
- Remove unnecessary sharing widgets from the home page (include them only in posts)
- Remove inactive plugins and widgets that you don’t need
- Keep in minimal! Readers are here for content, not 8,000 widgets on the homepage