If you want to rank high in search engines, offer great user experience to your visitors, increase page-views, then it is essential for you to have a faster website.
When someone visits your site for first time, it is important to grab the attention. You might be having very satisfactory content, products or services, but if your site is slow, it can result in losing subscribers and customers because users don’t like to wait.
According to a research by Microsoft Bing, a two-second delay in loading the page can reduce the user satisfaction by 3.8%, decrease revenue per user by 4.3%, and reduce the clicks by 4.3%.
So, if your website takes too long to load, chances are higher that you lost customers even before they peeked in.
This article will provide you some of the most useful tips to optimize performance of your WordPress website, and help you attract more traffic.
Go for a good web hosting provider
Before making a decision for choosing a web hosting provider, consider a number of factors like excellent services and better support. Sometimes, the users go for economical and attractive plans which hurt the website performance.
Also, don’t go for shared hosting for your WordPress site. Shared hosting has its advantages but it comes at the cost of slow website speed. When you use shared hosting, the several other customers also share the server resources. Hence, if some of the other users are getting a lot of traffic, it will have impact on yours.
The solution to this problem is a managed WordPress hosting plan. This can not only optimize server configurations, but also automate the backups, updates and security configurations for your site. It will not have any impact of any other site on yours, and increase the speed of your site.
Install a caching plugin
The pages on WordPress are dynamic, and are built on the fly whenever users visit a page or post on your site. In case of high website traffic, the dynamic approach is unable to load the pages simultaneously as fast as it is expected to be.
To address this issue, you need to install a caching plugin on your WordPress site. What caching plugins do is make a copy of the page when it is loaded for first time, and then serve the cached version (copied) of that page to all the users. hence, your site runs faster even when there is high traffic. It can increase the speed of your site by two to five times.
Optimize the images
As per a study, if you use colorful visual/images with content, the users will 80% more likely read the content on your site. However, if the images used are not optimized, it can negatively affect your site.
For image optimization, you can utilize some photo editing application before uploading them to media library. A lot of users upload media to WordPress site directly from phone or camera, which is a terrible mistake resulting in slow website speed.
The original images generally are of large sizes, which can be compressed before uploading. The size of images can be reduced by up to five times. When the image size is low, the web pages load faster consuming less data.
Whenever someone visits your site, he lands on the homepage. So, it is important for you to optimize the homepage so it loads faster. A number of things can be done to get the best out of homepage.
First, display the excerpts of the posts rather than showing the full posts on homepage. This reduces the content to be displayed on homepage, and can boost the site speed.
Second, if you have a lot of posts on your site, then show only six to eight on one page, and guide the users to next pages for remaining posts.
Keep your site up to date
The WordPress frequently releases updates to fix the bugs, add new features, and to improve security. Whether you are running a blog or business website, it is your responsibility to keep your website always updated.
Furthermore, also update the themes and plugins you use. Keeping everything updated not only makes your site fast, but also more reliable and safe.
Use quality themes
Most of the WordPress users are unaware of the fact that themes also contribute to website performance. The use of lightweight and speedy themes can accelerate your site. One mistake site owners make is buying themes from unauthorized sellers because of low cost and attraction. However, many of such themes don’t have security things in place, affecting the site performance.
Delete unused plugins and themes
When you no longer use any plugin or theme, chances are you don’t update them. This leads to security vulnerabilities, ultimately affecting the WordPress site performance.
You need to figure out the plugins and themes you want to use, and then trash the ones you find unnecessary.
Clean up database
When you leave the WordPress database unchecked, it starts accumulating clutter with time. You need to clean the temporary disk space and unused data from uninstalled plugins, post revisions, spam comments, MySQL queries etc.
You can clean up the database manually using phpMyAdmin. If you are not a tech whiz, then you can use some plugin to automatically get rid of clutter from database.
Don’t host videos on your own site
WordPress allows you to upload and host videos, but doing so is a bad idea. When you upload videos to media library, it costs you bandwidth, and makes your site considerably larger and harder to back up. It terribly affects the website speed.
What you can do is to upload that video on YouTube or any other video hosting site, and then embed the link to WordPress editor. The video will be clickable on your site but wouldn’t have any impact on performance.
Speed is a key factor for the success of a website. It impacts bounce rate, search ranking, conversions, and much more. Even a couple of seconds can make the biggest difference.
Thankfully, the tips described above can effectively