WordPress is an excellent content management system, but if not optimized properly it can end up performing very slowly. Around 40% of users will simply abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Page loading speeds are one of the main factors which influence Google’s ranking algorithm. Slow loading speeds attract a penalty from the search engines and push your site down the search results page.
The low ranking position results in low traffic and loss of potentially new customers. Whether from impatient users or reduced ranking, loss of visitors can quickly turn into a loss of revenue. This is especially imperative for e-commerce websites which depend on traffic to drive their sales. So how can you make your WordPress website faster? Here are some simple tips and trick you can use to improve your page loading times. By doing that, you will also prevent visitors from abandoning your website in the first place.
Choosing the right hosting solution
Hosting plays a major role in the performance of a website. Shared hosting providers such as BlueHost or GoDaddy are an excellent choice for beginners. But using a shared provider means that your website is sharing the server’s resources with a number of other customers. It takes only one neighboring website to start getting a lot of traffic before it burdens the entire server. This makes your website load a lot slower than it normally would.
If shared hosting isn’t really your thing, there are other options. A dedicated hosting solution in a managed hosting for your WordPress website, for example. Managed hosting offers some of the most efficiently optimized configurations when it comes to WordPress running servers. Not to mention that most of the providers who offer managed hosting also offer automatic backups and WordPress updates. You also get some advanced security features to protect your website from hostile and malicious attacks.
Using a good WordPress caching plugin
Using a content delivery network
Compressing and optimizing images
Colorful images are an excellent way to promote a message and engage the users. The problem is that most of those images come with a fairly large file size. This increases the time it takes for all of them to load. To avoid such a beginner mistake, it’s best you optimize all your images before actually uploading them to the server. The only downside to compressing image files is that they lose some of their quality. This becomes evident when you zoom into the image. The best course of action is to use JPEGs for colorful images and PNGs for transparent and more simple ones.
Reducing the number of plugins
One of the most common mistakes people make when using WordPress is to install a number of different plugins. They don’t realize that too many plugins running at the same time can end up overloading the server. This will significantly slow down a website. This is why it’s important to keep the number of installed plugins to a bare minimum. Professionals from Nirmal web design Sydney recommend you only install those you are absolutely sure about using. If a certain plugin is slowing down your website, try changing it for a similar working plugin.
You can use a plugin called P3 to check which plugins are slowing down your website the most. It’s from GoDaddy and it offers a lot of information regarding the functionality of your WordPress website. This includes all active plugins and their runtimes, page loading times, the number of MySQL queries, and more. If P3 isn’t doing the job for you, you can always try the WP Performance Profiler. The Profiler offers more advanced measures of your plugin’s performance.
We’ve covered some of the more basic techniques used to speed up your WordPress website. From finding the appropriate hosting, optimizing the images, using a CDN, caching tricks and reducing the number of plugins. When you execute these techniques properly, they will reduce the loading time significantly, and also protect you from penalties.