Most people choose to use WordPress Themes to create their websites, but sometimes we have to deal with a painstakingly long load time. A sluggish site can damage your brand and lose you visitors. Having a fast site is essential if you want to provide your visitors with great user experience and rank well in the search engines like Google which take the loading speed of your pages into consideration. Therefore,optimizing and speeding up your WordPress Website becomes very important.
Choose the Right Host
Choosing the right host is the first step in optimizing your website correctly.There are thousands of web hosting companies — the services that essentially connect your site to the internet. To ensure that your hosting company supports your business needs and doesn’t create unnecessary hurdles to your website’s success, you first need to understand the major types of hosting. Then, consider some basic criteria to help choose the best plan for you.
When choosing the host, you need to consider what you need first. There are three general types of servers offered by web hosting companies: Shared servers, virtual servers, and dedicated servers.
- If your website is on a shared server, it will share server resources with other websites on the same server. This is often the most affordable solution, but can lead to the worst performance if other sites are hogging your resources. These are generally not recommended if you are trying to run an eCommerce site.
- Virtual servers are virtual dedicated servers, and can provide a lot more stability and greater resources. These are highly recommended for small businesses that run an eCommerce store or have a decent number of monthly visitors.
- Dedicated servers are entire physical servers dedicated to just your website. These are typically used for corporate websites or small businesses that do a lot of business or have very high traffic. Dedicated servers are the most expensive option, but have the least downtime and most resources.
Then you need to check your customer service. Customer service is one of the most important factors in choosing a web host, because down-time and technical issues can really impact your visitors. Check the support section of each host to see what kind of customer service options they provide. At last, you need to Test the connection speed. The time it takes for the server to respond can make or break your website. The speed of the server often goes hand-in-hand with the bandwidth limits. If a server offers unlimited bandwidth, it will often put as many websites on the same server as possible, which can severely impact the speed. Find a few sites that are hosted by the company and test how long it takes pages to load.
Images are essential part of every website, however they also take up a lot of storage. Therefore, pages that contain many images can take a long time to load. It is important to have them optimized.
- Use images with the proper size. Do not upload big images and then scale them with HTML. Make sure that your photos and other images are not bigger than the size you’re actually displaying them in.
- Smush your images. Smushing them will remove all the additional data from your photos – creation date, camera used for the photo, gps coordinates, etc. There is a nice little plugin that does that for you called WP Smush.it.
Monitor your plugins
Plugins are one of the best things for WordPress to extend your site’s functionality.But loading your site with too many plugins can cause your site to consume too many resources on your server, slowing your site down.
Remove those that aren’t essential and if your website still takes ages to load, try to disable one plugin at a time and test your load time. You’ll detect which plugin is responsible for this. Then look for a lighter alternative and if you find nothing similar, try other ways of improving your load time. Once you do your testing, you’ll also notice that limiting plugins is not about their number – it’s about the number of operations they need to perform to render your website in the browser.
Have a look at your plugins and detect which ones add extra database queries to every page, load lots of assets like scripts or styles, or perform complex operations and remote requests – those are the ones responsible for the slow load time of your website.
Once you do your testing, you’ll also notice that limiting plugins are not about their number – it’s about the number of operations they need to perform to render your website in the browser. Have a look at your plugins and detect which ones add extra database queries to every page, load lots of assets like scripts or styles, or perform complex operations and remote requests – those are the ones responsible for the slow load time of your website.
Enable Gzip Compression
It is great to speed up your websites by emabling Gzip Compression, the Gzip compression technology used for web pages makes it possible to reduce the size of a typical web file to about 70% or less of its original size before it gets sent to this visitor. This compressed file is served to the browser of your visitor which then decompresses it automatically whereafter it serves the full file to your visitor. Enabling Gzip compression is great for speed because the browser of your visitor needs to download much smaller files when browsing your web pages.
You can actually use two mods to compress your files: mod_gzip or mod_deflate. Mod_gzip enables Gzip compression and mod_deflate makes it possible to compress output from your server before it is being sent to your visitors.
Use a Content Delivery Network
Content delivery networks (CDNs) can give an equally fast web experience to your users across the globe.They are server networks that clone your site on all of their location nodes. This means that when your visitors request your site, it will be served by the closest server location, rather than the main datacenter of your hosting provider.
Choose one with a simple dashboard and reasonable pricing. Setting it up will take only a few minutes of your time and can drastically improve the performance of your website.
Among top CDN services, you’ll find MaxCDN with lots of peering partners in Europe and North America, as well as servers all over the world, or Cloudflare, a well-known CDN service that won’t charge you for bandwidth usage if your website becomes extremely popular.
Nothing could be better for you to optimize your WordPress website to gain more visitors.