To me, WordPress has proved itself to be the best of the best amongst other Content Management Systems platforms. I have worked over the years with Joomla, Wix, Squarespace, Magento, Shopify, plus other website building platform including Wix. It’s quite obvious that globally websites are getting designed by wordpress simply because it gives you the freedom to pick unique themes and plug-ins. However, conversely, it also has some weaknesses which can end up making your website being more sluggish. Let's go through now and talk about Website Speed Optimization.
Is Website Speed Important on a WordPress Website?
A website with a slow loading will make your potential users leave the page in a jiffy. A case study which involved Google, Amazon and other large websites, says that if there’s 1 second delay in the loading of a page, it can easily lead to loss of 7 percent conversions, 11 percent lesser page views and 16 percent reduction in consumer satisfaction. So this means there’s very little time for you to show your users the content and persuade them to hang on to your website.
Checking Speed of a Word Press Website
I recommend you regularly test your WordPress website speed with this website load test tool named Pingdom. This is an online tool that tests the website’s speed using different locations and it’s absolutely free. It then gives you an overview of what is slowing down your website and what you need to work on.
Optimize your WordPress Website Speed by following these points.
1.Choosing Right Plan for Word press Hosting
Firstly, get started with picking a web hosting provider which is right on your WordPress website. If you are a small business owner and like the whole Do it yourself options, I personally recommend Siteground. I have been working with websites since 2005 and have used many different websites hosting providers from Hostgator, GoDaddy, Bluehost to name a few. Yes, they all have their good points and if you are a small entrepreneur with low traffic then don’t stress too much. I personally recommend Siteground as it has way less downtime, a faster server, fantastic customer service are affordable and offer free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates. Now if you prefer not to worry about plugin and theme updates, website security and any type of hosting management then we offer a managed hosting option on our 100% Australian owned and operated hosting server that has all the benefits of Siteground plus more. So remember, a website’s speed majorly depends on the hosting speed. Hence, a good hosting bandwidth can surely give your website a boost to perform wonderfully. Websites with servers that take ages to process the MySQL commands and HTTP requests will always have a bad speed. 2. Choosing Right WordPress Theme/Framework Opt for a theme/framework which is optimized for tablets, mobile devices, and desktops. If pages aren’t coded correctly and there’s a usage of loads of images in the design, it will add unnecessary weight to the website. However, nowadays theme developers have started optimizing their themes, as a result, they’re faster and responsive at the same time. Using right theme /framework gives good performance and better speed to your website, so try to make a right selection. I personally recommend Elegant Themes Divi, it has thousands of different layouts and it’s an easy drop and drag system that you can manage your tablet and mobile settings easily. 3. Making Use of Effective Plug-Ins A Plug-in is the biggest cause of a word press website slowing down. If you install a Plug-in without proper research, the website will always give performance issues sooner or later. A complete research about the compatibility and functionality is very important before you pick a plug-in. Now there is a plugin that helps you find out the exact loading time of each plugin called P3 Profiler plugin, however as its untested in the latest WordPress version and it has been updated for 3 years, I would think this would be a security risk, so I personally no longer use it, and do it the old-fashioned way. Only use up to date plugins and test each one as I upload them.
I am a strong believer that adding more plugins slows down the website as it needs to use processing time and memory.
4. Choosing Content Delivery Network Cache Plug-in and Enabling Browser Caching.
5. Optimizing the Images
Web pages containing plenty of images may take a long time in loading, therefore it's best if you choose to optimize the images before uploading them to the word press website. Editing software such as Photoshop or canva is great. Doing this before uploading your images will optimize the images and maintain the quality as well. Ideal image size should be below 100KB. Think that you have a web page with 20 images, each sized 500 KB. This means 10MB of data is required for just loading these images. I would also recommend using the lazy load plugin as it would speed up website load time by just loading the images visible on the screen if you haven’t optimised your images to start with. An awesome tool to use if you use Chrome as your internet browser is Page Ruler, it lets you measure the size of your website so you can plan to resize your image to that size before uploading it online.
7.Enabling Gzip Compression Word Press gives you the ease to enable Gzip compression. This can let you transfer your website page to some browser at 70% of the original size approximately. The browser will then decompress that page and put on view to the end user, this helps a word press website to perform well. For enabling Gzip, just change the Gzip value from 0 to you’re.htaccess file. Any standard plugins like Check and Enable GZIP compression do the same job but doesn’t go adding more plugins as this will just add to the site loading time anyway.
8. Reducing Drafts, Spams, Pingbacks, Post Revisions and Trackbacks It’s extremely important to delete spam comments, unwanted pingbacks, and trackbacks on a regular basis. Word Press by default saves numerous revisions in the drafts but this isn’t required because it only adds to your database. The plugin Akismet plugin is one of the powerful tool to combat against spams. I add custom code to restrict access to XML-RPC and server-side authentication to wp-admin files, in-case if the website is under DDoS attack. Also, I delete old revisions and inactive posts data from database manually, as it is much better option than depending on plugin such as WP-Optimize or WP-DB Manager
9.Disabling Hot linking and Leaching of Content Hot linking is a kind of “theft” of your bandwidth. This happens when other websites directly link to your website images through their articles and this puts a good amount of load on your server. A Content scraping website will automatically make posts by actually stealing your images or content from the RSS feed. So disabling Hot linking as well as Leaching will save your WordPress website from these activities. Again you can add some code to your .htaccess, file but this is for another article.
10.Optimizing Word Press Database For enhanced performance, always optimize the database of your word press website by removing all unnecessary information. WP-Sweep plug-in easily manages the database optimization by allowing you to delete database like trashed posts, unused tags, revisions, etc. However, this can also be done manually to save adding more plugins online.
Conclusively, without the correct precautions to speed up your website, you will lose your Google ranking and this can affect your website’s SEO. Remember, faster-loading word press website will always improve your user experience, increase the page views and make the SEO of your website better. Contact us if you would like further help.
I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant. I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people. I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life. If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.