It’s no more news that websites are facing competition than ever before. And as an avid internet user, I guess you will prefer fast websites to slow ones.
Also, if your online business depends on WordPress, I’m going to guess you’re currently striving to secure yourself in the former category.
No doubt speeding up your WordPress site will go a long way in helping your website.
Your search engines will be happier, your users will be delighted, and your bottom line will be the happiest of all. Alas, it’s not always easy to deliver blazing-fast pages to visitors on WordPress.
And here comes the good news, there’re various ways to improve the performance of your WordPress website, and you can try them out now without sacrificing time.
It just needs a bit of elbow grease on your part. In this piece, we’ll discuss the importance of website performance, then we’ll share some tips you can utilize to improve your WordPress website for your visitors.
- 1 Why Is Website Performance So Important?
- 1.1 1.Make Use Of A Good Hosting Service
- 1.2 2. Optimizing Images
- 1.3 3. Make Use Of Page Caching
- 1.4 4. Turn Off Pingbacks And Trackbacks
- 1.5 5. Use A Lightweight Theme
- 1.6 6. Use A CDN
- 1.7 7. Delete Every Unused Theme And Plugin
- 1.8 8. Use A Slider On Your Home Page
- 1.9 9. Update Everything
- 1.10 10. Paginate Posts
- 2 Conclusion
Why Is Website Performance So Important?
The pace at which your website loads pages when a visitor land is very crucial in several ways.
Do you agree? Firstly, the longer it takes for your site to load, the more visitors you’ll forfeit, as we’ve already cited.
When a visitor lands on your website, they visit to get the information they want without any delay, so if your site is taking longer before it loads, you will have visitors scurrying for the exit button.
The second reason that makes website performance so important is from the search engine optimization perspective.
The speed at which your website loads pages is one of the factors being considered by Google when it comes to website ranking.
A page that loads slowly is considered to be an awful user experience than a page that loads quickly. Thus, ranking the page lower in the results.
Now that you understand the importance of WordPress optimization, let’s take a look at how to carry it out. Below are some strategies you can implement to optimize your WordPress site.
1.Make Use Of A Good Hosting Service
Storing all your site’s files and serving them to visitors when the search in your URL is the work of a web host.
If your host drops the ball, all of the site optimization in the world won’t do any good.
Hence, it’s very vital to choose a WordPress hosting provider that provides fast speed and high uptime assurance, as well as dependable customer support.
Moreover, you’ll want to go for the one that offers WordPress-specific features like updates and automated backups.
You now see the reason why many site owners choose to host through WordPress.com.
Hosting on WordPress comes with many features like super secure, lightning-fast servers specifically designed for WordPress.
All the team members are specialists, and everyone on the team is focused on providing WordPress sites with anything they require to thrive.
If you encounter any technical difficulties on the site, professional and delightful engineers are there to provide real, human-centric support.
2. Optimizing Images
Images are a crucial part of your website because they contribute to SEO ranking.
However, do you know images take up a large part of a site’s file size? And this can be a major contribution to slow loading at times.
If your site is running slower than you’d want, and you’ve never once optimized your images, then try out this step.
As pointed out before, large images may take longer to load, thus you’ll want to reduce the size of your files before publishing them to your site.
We’ve just a few ways of optimizing images in WordPress; one is to resize your photos before uploading them, by using some image editing platform or a compression tool like Photoshop.
Another option is making use of WordPress plugins that optimize images when you upload them, such as Smush.
You can also use it to compress images that are already in your media library. Also, have you heard about the jetpack plugin?
It’s an exceptional option with in-built automatic image optimization. It also resizes files for mobile devices as well as improves speed where it’s needed most.
3. Make Use Of Page Caching
When a visitor lands on your website, their browser undergoes the process of loading every image, file, and piece of code on the page.
Caching helps in speeding this up by storing a copy of your site in a visitor’s browser so that a large part of the loading process can be skipped when they return.
There are various caching plugins that you can implement to enhance this for your site, including w3 total cache and wp super cache. These need varying levels of experience.
Some have fewer customization options and are easy to set up. Others enable you to modify every detail but are tedious to use.
Here, you have to be very careful because incorrect caching settings can break your site.
However, if you have a WordPress.com website, no caching plugin is required. They will ease the stress off your shoulders, with no need for panicking about complicated settings or website breakage.
4. Turn Off Pingbacks And Trackbacks
These are two WordPress features that don’t contribute much value to your site.
They help WordPress websites in communicating with one another, but today all you’ll get are just spam warnings.
Disabling pingbacks and trackbacks is a necessary step that will help you to boost your WordPress performance.
To halt them, navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on setting >discussion.
Then deselect the preference that says “allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”.
5. Use A Lightweight Theme
The theme you choose for your WordPress can place an excessive burden on your web server thereby hurting its performance.
Don’t be deceived – you might be tempted by themes that are packed with high-quality images and cool effects, but they come at a cost.
Fancy effects can require a lot of code, and many themes are programmed inefficiently, both of which increase file sizes and hamper your page performance.
Instead, you can go for a simple theme incorporated with the necessary features for your pages. You can choose to add effects later through a plugin or custom CSS.
6. Use A CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a set of geographically distributed servers that works together to deliver content to visitors more effectively.
When visitors visit your website, your pages are loaded from the server that’s closest to their location. Hence, CDN can help to boost your WordPress website performance by lessening the distance between your visitors and your servers.
Plugin-enabled plans come with a built-in CDN, but you can also make use of third party services such as Cloudflare CDN if you want to.
7. Delete Every Unused Theme And Plugin
When it comes to WordPress plugins, you should be after quality and not quantity.
Each plugin is like a piece of mini software on your website, excessive running at once will inhibit your site’s load times.
The more plugins you’ve installed on your website, the slower the website will be.
Therefore, start going through them one by one and discover those that are responsible for sluggishness on websites and deactivate them instantly.
However, if such plugins play a necessary role, then you can try and find a lightweight alternative.
8. Use A Slider On Your Home Page
A WordPress slider plugin enables you to showcase images, videos, and other content more effectively in a confined space on your site.
They are mostly used on the front page of business or portfolio websites. They assist in showcasing your best-selling products and related content to your audience.
For instance, the slideshow can be used on your homepage to boost products and holiday sales (if you own an e-commerce store).
Or a smaller slideshow on your “about” page to display customers’ or clients’ testimonials.
Whether you want a simple image slider, a full-screen video slider, or an impressive slider with a mix of photography and video for extra visual impact, a WordPress slider can be made exactly how you desire.
9. Update Everything
The WordPress core, themes, and plugins should be updated regularly. Updating them introduces new features, bug fixes, and curbs any security defenselessness.
You can boost your overall performance by running the latest WordPress components on your sites.
Most importantly, keeping your website up to date will ensure that your website is secure and you won’t have to face any difficulties that can bring down your site.
Truth be told, there’s nothing slower than a site that’s been hacked.
10. Paginate Posts
Last but not the least, this method is highly efficient if you want to improve the performance of your website.
Post can be split up into multiple pages if you don’t feel a piece merits multiple blog posts.
This strategy is not only for performance improvement but also for readability.
For instance, a post can be split into different sections by chapter to make it easier to process in chunks.
Remember that this method is adoptable for long posts which contain several media, which would otherwise load slower than you want.
Thus, keep your shorter post to one page and minimize clicking between pages.
To aid readability in this case, you can introduce a table of contents section with jump links to each section.
What made WordPress sites more popular is as a result of being fast and reliable, they work best with some purposeful effort to promote site speed and user experience.
As we’ve listed, there are various ways to improve your site performance. For example, you can optimize images, deactivate unused plugins, and paginate posts.
You can also employ tools designed to help with performance, like a CDN.
A major compensation for hosting with WordPress.com is that you will have access to outstanding hosting services, alongside various built-in performance tools that take care of a lot of heavy lifting for you.