Every WordPress site is superspeedy after its creation, just like an operating system. But, as it ages, it slows down gaining clutters and bugs, just like an operating system! Few things get affected by a slow-running WordPress site. These are:
Number of Visitors: Google tends to rank-down slow running websites in SERP, as it loves only fast websites.
The User Experience: Not just Google but the users too are not much in liking with slow website performance. To create a best first impression, you should have a super fast website. That makes it always a pleasure to come back visiting the site. (Have this in mind: Each Second Counts!)
Conversions: Faster a website, better will be the conversions. A slow website will always crawl on knees with conversions. As studies say, there is a 7% loss in conversions with every extra second that a page takes to load.
All these make speed optimisations for websites a serious business. Fortunately, you can surely do this by fine-tuning your WordPress site a bit. In this article, we will discuss seven things that can improve your website’s wordpress performance and speed.
1. Image Optimization
Images make your website impressive and attract high user attention. However, they are comparatively immense resources which can slow down your WordPress site. Earnestly saying, a website spends most of the time loading images. Getting the user wait for a long while for loading images will create severe damage to the user experience.
To optimize the uploaded images, you can install an image optimizer plugin to your WordPress site.
2. High Quality Hosting
No matter how much time you spend optimising your WordPress site, it will all go in vain if you have a poor hosting service. Do yourself a favour and buy a dedicated or well-respected hosting service so that half your tension subsides.
As WordPress is always promoted as an inexpensive website solution, it seems to go hand-in-hand with shared or cheap hosting services. But on a hand, when these hostings split your cost and help you save, your website also shares the resources in the hosting with others, which will slow it down.
Even though you are saving a bit here, you are losing big at sales with your suffering WordPress. So to have a fast and undulated website experience, we recommend you to spend some good money on hosting so that there will be no pain later. If you need names, there is WP Engine, FlyWheel and SiteGround. These services provide you with lighting speed and unparalleled support, and their services feed to the specific requirements of each WordPress website.
3. Install a Caching Plugin
Caching data in a browser is the easy-winner in performance boosting. So, a caching plugin should be a must in your plugin list.
And now, what is caching?
Cache store the files on the website to a temporary storage location on your computer. When you visit another page on the site or come visiting later, the browser will retrieve some static files from the cache, and there will be much less information to download.
4. Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Since a hosting service serves you from just one server, there is a significant flaw in this regard from the website performance perspective. The larger the geographical distance between you and the server, the larger will be the load time and latency. And that becomes crucial when your website is serving an international audience.
The solution is all but simple. Connect your website to a Content Delivery Network (CDN). The CDN automatically connects the WordPress site to the nearest available server and helps the site to load faster. That ensures elimination of latency and provides the website with breakneck speed to your viewers.
There are various CDN service providers available. Using these CDN services can be easily configured to your WordPress to work fine with the caching plugin.
5. Database Optimization
All data in a WordPress site – from usernames to blog posts, to comments – sits in a MySQL database. Just after installing WordPress, the database will be a streamlined one. But as the saved data increases, it will be difficult for the server to retrieve it from the database.
With an optimizing plugin, you can efficiently optimize the database.
6. Use Excerpts on Main Pages
WordPress usually displays full articles on a site’s homepage, archives, and author pages. That compels the users to load the complete thing with images while they surf your home or archive pages. Since there will be multiple articles on a single page, it will slow down the page significantly.
This problem can be solved using little effort. By providing excerpts in these pages instead of the full articles, you can speed up the pages considerably. Not only does it improve the page views, but also save you from Google’s plagiarism penalties.
7. Lazy Load
A website need not load completely to become usable. Who cares if an image at the bottom of the page doesn’t load at the beginning? You are not going to see it until you decide to scroll down the page. That means, as soon as the visible parts of the page are loaded, it becomes usable.
And that is the basic idea behind the concept of Lazy Loading. Images, videos and social media icons further down the page can be delayed, with the top content given priority. The bottom contents are only loaded when you scroll down the page.
There are plugins in the market like WP-Rocket which supports lazy loading, or you can install other dedicated lazy loading plugins according to your requirements.
Website speed and performance is never a lot of work. Neither is it a luxury for the lucky few. It is somewhat a pressing WordPress concern for all developers. More than just the lightning speed, a whooshing WordPress site gives better conversions and better search engine ranking, and moreover, this will be an asset to your business or reputation.
All the seven tips above are almost mandatory for a WordPress site, and we recommend every WordPress developer to follow them. And, the rest rests on you.