Tips and Tricks to improve performance and speed of WordPress website.
Have you ever considered how much your load time is affecting your bottom line? It can be quite tremendous. According to Kissmetrics, a company that makes a 100k a day from commerce sales would end up losing 2.5 million dollars a year as a result of a 1 second load time delay. Now, that’s no small change!
And the thing is, many load-time problems can actually be prevented quite easily. It doesn’t require you to move to a faster provider or to completely overhaul your page. Instead, some simple tweaks can make a huge difference and save you stacks of money.
How fast in my page?
The first thing to look at is how fast your page actually is. A good place to start is with Google’s Page Speed. Just plug your website into the tool and it will tell you how fast your website is as well as give you a breakdown of some problems you’ve got both for mobile and for desktops.
The goal here is that you aim for a score of 80 or higher.
Another good place to look is in Google Analytics, which will give you a breakdown of your page’s speed under the heading ‘behavior’. Here you can look at your load time per day (or per hour) over a time. This will let you see how you do on average and overall.
It will also allow you to look at pages individually.
How to make your WordPress faster
Is your WordPress up to date?
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to make sure that you’re running the latest WordPress release. This is good practice anyway, as it makes it far less likely that you’re going to get hacked.
How are your plugins?
If you’ve got any plugins that are unnecessary you have to get rid of them. These will drag down your load speed considerably and again will open you up to hack attempts. This last point is doubly true as quite often people stop updating the plugins that they’re not using, making it far easier for people to use these as entry points.
Is your Database optimized?
If it isn’t, then that’s another easy place where you can make a big difference. And it’s easy to make it, too, you’ll be happy to know. All you’ve got to do is install the plugin wp-optimize and it will do the rest.
Are your images optimized?
Make sure that you don’t use images that are larger than they have to be. Sure, a higher-quality image will look prettier, but if that means that you’re losing most of your audience before it’s even fully loaded, well, what’s the point?
For that reason, try to limit how big your images are.
Don’t stop there, however. Install an image optimization plugin, which will further reduce image loading times.
Is your theme optimal?
Some themes are Road Runners. Others are more like Woody the Woodpecker, hammering away at the same problem over and over again and slowing down the operation of your websites tremendously.
The best thing to do is find out which of the themes are renown for having a high loading speed and going for one of them. Yes, that might require to you to change a few things, but if that means that your load time is boosted significantly, it’s worth it, don’t you think?
Heck, you could even use this as an excuse to give your website an overhaul, update it and get everything in order and running smoothly again.
Have you installed a WordPress Caching Plugin?
If you haven’t, then that’s another thing that you’ve definitely got to do. This will make sure that when a lot of people are visiting your page, your WordPress doesn’t slow down unnecessarily as it individually constructs your page to cater to all of them.
Instead, it will put pages into the cache and serve that up to subsequent users. This can make your page load anywhere from 2 to 5 times as fast.
How big are your pages?
It is perfectly possible to make great pages without ever having any of them go over 200 kb. To do that, all you’ve got to do is stay away from unnecessary videos and images. This will greatly speed up the load time on almost all of your pages.
Feel you can’t do without the images? Then it’s time to boost your content, don’t you think. Get some better writers, or get some editing done by a site like get academic help.
Are you using excerpts on your main content page?
If you’re not, then every time people hit your main page, WordPress is loading every single article completely. That can be a lot of data, in fact, it almost certainly is more than the 200 kb that I advised above.
And as the main page is very important, that’s not a good way to go. So, instead use excerpts. This is only a bit of text from your article, with the interested user clicking on to the article that they want to check out.
Are your comments split into multiple pages?
If you’re in the fortunate position of having an active user base, then you might end up with a lot of comments on your pages. That can take a lot of load time. So why not split them up into multiple pages?
In that way, those people that really want to see all the comments can still leaf through them, while those people that aren’t really that interested don’t have their load time slowed down to a crawl because you got into a 1000 comment discussion about the nature of the universe at the end of one of your posts.
How are your PHP queries?
PHP queries slow down your load time tremendously. For that reason, avoid them wherever possible. For example, instead of using <?PHP get_bloginfo(‘wpurl’); ?> put in your WordPress installation URL. That will allow the browsers to simply read that instead.
Are you using external scripts?
If you aren’t, you’ve got to start doing so! Why? Because if you’re using external scripts instead of dumping everything into your header.php, the user’s browser can just load it into its cache, meaning that it doesn’t have to load it up every time that they load a new page. And that can shave milliseconds off of every load time.
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways that you can speed up your page’s load time. Some of them are quite technical, others only require that you can log into your WordPress websites as an administrator and tweak a few settings.
My advice? Start off with the things that you can do quickly, even while you check how much that boost your load time. If you manage to get into an appropriate range without having to get too technical, good on you! You’ve just saved yourself a lot of work.
If not? Then it’s time to start getting a bit more technical. Yes, it’s a drag, but as said right at the beginning of the article, the amount of money a slow load time is costing you is anything but pocket change. So bite the bullet and get your page going faster than a speeding train.
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