Speed is an essential feature. Is your WordPress site fast enough?
It is pretty simple, the faster your website the happier your audience will be. Here, it is crucial to understand that when you optimize your website for speed it not only leads to improvement in customer experience but also in conversation rate and finally your sales.
In fact, by improving your website page load time you can bring positive impact to your entire marketing pipelines.
According to a survey, more than 75% of web shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website performance less likely to buy from the same website again. Even 44% of those shoppers share their bad experience with their friends and relatives. The survey discloses that every website owner must try every possible course of action to optimize the speed of his website.More than 75% of web shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website performance less likely to buy from the same website again. Click To Tweet
As WordPress has the biggest market share, we will be sharing some tips that will speed up your WordPress site for sure. However, before that, we would like you to know how to test the loading time your WordPress site.
How to Test Load Time
Before moving to the solution section, you must analyze the actual load time for your website. It will help you choose the most precise solution. Keep in mind that your website page speed may vary from page to page because it depends on various factors such as the how many requests a page is generating, the size of that particular web page, whether the page is cached or not, what kind of content (dynamic or static) it hosts.
Generally, we take homepage of a website as a benchmark to test the load time. Though there are a plenty of tools that can test load time yet the following 3 tools are used on the large scale across the globe.
These tools are quite different from each other in terms of features and performance so choose the one that best suits your requirements.
Great! Now you know how to run the speed test. Now it is time to move to tips section where you will find some amazing ways to boost up the speed of your website.
1. Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Provider
Most of the website owners take hosting back seat but it is one of the major factors that may influence the speed of a website.
It may seem a good idea to choose a shared hosting for your new website that offers unlimited bandwidth, disk space, domain hosting, emails, etc. However, most of the shared hosting providers are notorious to offer bad uptime. So the point is if you need to choose a shared hosting always make sure it is offering at least standard uptime otherwise you will have to compromise on uptime, especially during the peak traffic hours.
2. Choose an Optimized and Lightweight WordPress Theme
Undoubtedly, a beautiful theme lends your website an eye-pleasing appearance but do you know sliders, widgets, icons and other dynamic elements of a theme may cause slow loading of WordPress? If you’re using a theme that has too many shiny elements, higher page sizes, it will surely cause your web server to take a more time load your site.
Therefore, you must pick a lightweight WordPress theme which is optimized for speed. The above-mentioned speed testing tools can give you accurate speed score idea for a particular theme. To make it easy for you, below, we have listed few lightning-fast WP themes that have good speed score as well.
- SEO WP
4. Minimize Your Image Size
There is no doubt that websites with images get more views. Effectively used images can help your drive more visitors to your site and ultimately achieve sales goals. However, for the same, it is important that all the images on your site are appropriately scaled and optimized for speed.
Any types images such as photographs, GIFs, infographics and other visual elements on your site contributor to web page space and can make your site heavy. However, it does not mean you have to choose low-quality images. There are numerous ways and tools using which you can reduce the image sizes without compromising on the quality.
Luckily, there are various plugins for WordPress owners that offer complete image optimization. Some of the worth mentionings are:
5. Use Caching Plugins
When it comes to optimizing a WordPress site, the importance of caching plugins can’t be underestimated. Indeed caching plugins create static copies of your posts and serve them your visitors (Whenever there is a request for them) without sending a request to outside server. That way your users get a fast experience on your website.
W3 Total Cache is one popular cache plugins that have been used by thousands of WP users across the globe. You can combine this plugin with Varnish advanced caching mechanism to achieve better loading speed.
6. Minify CSS and JS files
If after running a website speed test you get a suggestion to minimize the size of your JS and CSS file, it means these files are causing slow website loading.
7. Make Use of Content Delivery Networks
If you are running a global WP site which is visited by people from different locations in the world then you must try using CDN to boost up the speed of your website.
It goes without saying, the loading speed of your website would be different if a visitor is located far away from your server location. Well, CDN can help you improve the experience for your long-distance visitors.
In actual, Content Delivery Network creates a copy of your site for various data-centers located in different places. The main objective of a CDN is to serve your website to a user from the nearest possible place. You can easily integrate CDN with your WP site. MaxCDn and Cloudflare are two renowned CDN services you may use.
8. Cleanup Your WP Database
By eliminating unnecessary data from your database you can speed up your site to great extent. If you want to keep your database size to a minimum, you must remove spam comments, unnecessary drafts, fake user accounts available on your site.
It is also important to uninstall unwanted plugins that are no more in use. Keeping such plugins will add a huge amount of junk. Moreover, they also take more size of your backup and put an unnecessary load on your server.
You may also consider using alternate options for various 3rd party services (for which you rely on WP plugins). For instance, for scheduling tasks, you may use Zapier service.
9. Enable GZIP Compression Plugin
We compress files on our computer to save disk space. Likewise, we may use GZIP compression for the web. It will reduce your bandwidth usage and the time it takes to load your site. GZIP plugin keeps potential to compress the files of different types.
This way when a visitor will access your website, his browser will first unzip your site. The process will definitely bring down the bandwidth usage to a substantial extent. You may try GZip Ninja Speed Optimization plugin on your WordPress.
10. Deactivate Trackbacks and Pingbacks
For those who don’t know trackbacks and pingbacks are two core components of WordPress that inform users whenever their website receives a link. Nevertheless, these tools put a huge amount of strain on server resources, resulting in slow website speed.
If you don’t find these useful, you must disable them. Instead of them, you may use Google Webmaster Tool to check the links to your site which is a more easy option and don’t interrupt your website loading speed.
By speeding up your website you not only improve user-experience but also enhance the chances of conversion. And when it comes to conversions, every single second matter so, speed up your site using these tips.
Hopefully, this article will end up your hunt for WordPress speeding solutions.