How To Optimize WordPress for Speed (And Keep It Running Fast)
Are you someone with an awesome website that’s taking a not-so-amazing time to load? If your answer is yes, chances are that you may be at risk of losing visits due to the slow loading speed.
Now here’s the good news!
Websites that are powered by WordPress can be easily optimized for speed. Doing so will keep your audience coming back and your website well-ranked on search engines.
You may be wondering how to optimize WordPress for speed, though. And you’re not alone.
All you need to do is find the best WordPress speed optimization service to fix the matter for you – or follow the 7 steps below.
Website Optimization – Why is it Important?
Your website is often the starting point of a business relationship between you and your audience. There are many aspects that contribute to making your website stand out from the rest. One of the most important among them is the website load time. Why? Because a fast-loading website is less likely to lose visitors who get bored waiting longer than a couple of seconds for your site to load.
Optimizing a website’s speed also plays a crucial role in converting visitors into buyers. Whether it’s on mobile or desktop, if loading your site or the next page in sequence takes more than 3 to 4 seconds, visitors are more likely to seek out an alternative website for what they need.
Checking the load time of your website on the desktop is not enough. Since most of us like to scroll on small screens, considering mobile load time is a must as well. According to Google/SOASTA Research, the search engine itself stresses the importance of the speed of mobile sites and considers it a new industry benchmark. Google pushes slow websites down even if it contains excellent content.
You have little time at your disposal to make a lasting impact on your customer. A speed-optimized website can improve that first impression. And not only will fast-loading websites get more traffic than their competitors, operating a slow website puts your business at risk:
According to a study, you are likely to lose almost 7% conversions, and 11% page views when compared to other websites.
Top 7 Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Website
Whether you have a new website or an existing one, bringing more traffic is the number one priority for every business. Here are 7 top ways to optimize your WordPress speed for better performance.
- Your Hosting Matters
Since your hosting provider is where you will store all your content, images, and other data, it is important to choose the right hosting for your website.
One of the most common options people opt for while hosting their website is shared hosting. This budget hosting tends to be in the $20 or less range, and although the cost of such service can be appealing, it can come with a major drawback.
Shared hosting providers are hosting many sites at a time, meaning if any of the sites on your shared server increase in traffic demand, other sites on the server will slow down.
WordPress-optimized hosting, like wpDuo, offers users several amenities including automatic backups and updates. They are built to specifically serve WordPress websites rather than splitting resources among many sites.
- Cache Plugins
Using a Cache Plugin is very helpful for increasing the speed of your WordPress websites. Since WordPress is dynamic, when many visitors visit your website at once, there is a chance that your website may slow down.
Thankfully, there are plugins available like W3 Total Cache to help you with that. Using a Cache plugin can increase your speed tremendously by making copies of your pages instead of loading them from scratch every time.
- Image Compression and Optimization
These days, almost everyone uses images to make their content colorful and attractive. However, if the images on your website are not optimized, they are likely to slow down your website. Hence, it will have an adverse effect on your customers, and they will most probably leave your website.
Fortunately, there are many ways to optimize your images before uploading them. You can use editing software such as Canva, Photoshop, and online resources like tinypng.com to reduce the size. You can also make use of plugins like Imagify and WP smush to handle this automatically (although we also recommend reducing the total number of plugins to improve site load speed as well).
- Use of CDN
Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is another way to optimize your website’s speed. While your website hosting is the place to start for speed improvements, using it in combination with CDN can make your website even faster.
CDN is a chain of servers that stores static copies of your website content on more powerful proxy servers through caching. Hence, whenever a user visits your website, they are provided with a copy from the nearest location to facilitate quick content distribution.
CDN servers utilize improved SSD and RAM storages to produce the entire data on your browser when requested. The closer the proxy server is to the user, the quicker the loading time.
- Avoid Directly Hosting Audios or Videos
While it is possible to directly upload videos or audio to your WordPress website, it is not something you should do. Trying to host large video or audio files will have a huge impact on your website’s speed and performance. Also, this will make it hard for you to back up your site with such a large amount of data.
- Minimizing Additional Components
Another factor that adversely impacts the speed of a website is adding too many plugins. In the same way, some JS and CSS files can affect the speed of your website. Adding all of these features should be carefully considered.
When your website loads, increasing the plugins and features means that many more scripts are loading with it. The most basic step to prevent slow loading is to minify your CSS and JS. Some other ways to enhance the speed of your website include using a plugin like WP Rocket and Auto optimize.
Make sure to minimize the use of additional components such as extra widgets and plugins. They can extend the functionality of your website but at the cost of hindering its performance, speed-wise. For example, The Facebook Like Box may be a popular component, but it can add more than 40 HTTP requests to the website, increasing its page load time dramatically.
You should also consider reducing the usage of external scripts for speeding up your website and host audio/video media via services like Soundcloud and Youtube instead.
- Testing Speed of Your Website
When maintaining your WordPress website, it is important to test your website speed. This will provide you with a report as to what steps to take towards optimizing the speed of your website. If you get stuck on what steps to take, you can contact a WordPress speed optimization service.
Take the First Step
Even the best website is of no use to visitors if it has a poor page load time. When you optimize your WordPress website for speed, you will notice a significant rise in the number of visitors engaging with your content. For that reason, optimizing your WordPress website for speed is essential to your website’s success.
Make your visitors want to stay on. Your site, and improve chances of conversions, by implementing the seven methods mentioned above. And remember, if the thought of doing so on your own seems overwhelming, you can always opt for a WordPress speed optimization service like wpDuo and make sure updates like speed optimization are taken care of easily and efficiently.