WordPress is one of the best and most widely used content management systems available today. Around 35% of is powered by WordPress, making it a great option for you to choose.
One thing that you'll want from your WP site is lightning speed. Why? Because it not only contributes to your online visitor's user experience but also towards your SEO efforts.
Want to speed up your WP site? Here’s what you need to do:
Get better hosting.
Hosting plays an important part in your WP site speed.
If you're just starting a WP site with no experience, it won't make sense for you to invest in high-speed hosting. That's fine.
But when your website starts to grow, and you’re getting more traffic than what your current hosting option can handle, then it’s time to move on to better hosting.
Choosing a dedicated server will make your website much faster. It will also come at a higher price than a shared option, but when it comes to hosting, you’re getting for what you’re paying.
Only use the essential plugins.
Plugins are what arguably makes WordPress, WordPress.
A mistake that a lot of beginner WordPress users make is that they fill their website will make all kinds of plugins. While plugins are great and provide a lot of additional functionality to your website, they also take a toll on your website's load speed.
The best way to go about choosing your WP plugins is to use only the ones that you really need. Ideally, you should be using high-performance plugins that are known for providing value to other WP sites.
It makes sense for your site to have plugins that bring joy to your audience. Having a plugin for a live chat app will help improve your audience’s experience on your site.
Another thing with plugins is that some plugins can interfere with the working of other plugins. This may cause a loss of site speed, among other things.
Use a fast theme.
Themes play a big role in how your WP site looks. Choosing the right theme can be difficult if you're new to WordPress, but it's not that hard.
There are several factors that you need to consider while choosing a theme for your website. One of them should be how fast your WordPress theme is.
You should not choose a theme that is aesthetically pleasing but isn’t fast. The tradeoff just isn’t worth it.
So, stick with a theme that looks amazing but provides you the performance that you want and needs.
Optimize your images.
To make your website faster, you'll want all the content on your website to be optimized and to the point. You'll notice that some blogging websites aim for each of their blog posts to be below a certain word count. So, optimizing your content is really important.
Images are an important part of your website. They help your visitors visually understand the content and message you are trying to communicate on a web page of yours.
Generally, you should try to include high-quality images. But that contributes to more data on your website. And more data means more load time.
To make the most out of images and not slow down your website, you’ll need to optimize your images.
There are all kinds of tools for image optimization. But why use a tool when a plugin can help you. Plugins like TinyPNG, Imagify, Optimole, are all great choices.
Spam comes in many shapes and forms. One of the most common kinds of spam is comment spam.
If you've seen an unmaintained blog, you'll notice that it's filled with spammy comments. These comments are off-topic, sometimes inappropriate, and are only present to insert a link.
These spam comments are not contributing anything of value to the website. They are also taking up space on your website, making it slow if there are enough of them. Also, some of these links might try to load malicious external resources on to your site.
To eliminate spam from your WP site, you'll need to monitor your website for spam manually. Worried? Well, you should be.
Manually eliminating spam is going to take too long and is not a viable solution. You’ll need an anti-spam plugin for your WordPress site like Akismet, that filters spam comments.
Having a plugin is not the only thing you'll need to do. You should also make sure to review your website for spam every month or so manually. You can vary this period depending upon your needs, but a month is pretty standard.
Limit the number of external resources.
External resources can take a lot of time to load. The time it takes for elements and assets to load on your website will contribute to your page load speed.
Try to use external resources sparingly.
If you choose to embed videos on a web page, you will be making the smarter choice. But still, that does not mean that you can embed as many external resources as you want.
Another thing that is classified as an external resource but often ignored is advertisements. Most people want to make money from their website, and showing ads is a great way to do so.
There’s just one problem with that. Most ads have to be loaded externally, and that can take time. If your goal is to make your website fast and speedy, then you should consider limiting the number of ads on your website.
Consider using a CDN.
Content Distribution Network, CDN, is a great way to make your website faster.
Think of it this way. What a CDN does is places all your static files on servers located closer to your audience and traffic sources. This helps your audience to quickly have access to the files that they want to see as the servers are geographically closer to them.
While CDNs are a great way to increase your page load time for your audience, you’ll want to use them after careful consideration. Not knowing what you’re doing can result in an undesirable effect. Study up on CDNs and make sure you know how to use CDNs effectively.
WP is a forgiving platform. All you need to do is to do the basics right and make sure that you are only using essentials addons to your website.
Hamzah Adil is a digital marketer with a background in computer science. He's currently working for a startup that has released a new live chat app called SwiftChat.