WordPress is a great platform that suffers from bloatware and can be quite slow. Without taking the right measurements, you could end up with a website that is slow and unpleasant to use. Slow performing website could cause you to lose your repeat visitors and potential business.
In this quick and first post, I will cover a few techniques that will help you to speed up your website and improve your SEO.
Choose a good web hosting
When starting out shared hosting seems ideal as they are fairly cheap and easy to set up. You know everything positive usually has negative consequences and in this case is SPEED! Shared hosting plans can be incredibly slow and frustrating. Choose your host wisely and if you are having a problem choosing the right one you can always contact us.
Lightweight Themes and Plugins
Choosing the right theme for your project could be daunting. There are so many theme frameworks out there with amazing functionality that are just bloated and require a lot of optimisation. It’s hard for me to point out the best themes, but just make sure you do some reasearch before commingitng to one.
The same goes to plugins – Less is more. You might have heard of Revolutions Slider? It’s by far one of the best slider plugins in terms of functionality, but the bloatwere makes is a lot slower than others. Try to disable the Revolution slider plugin and check your website speed again – you might be suprised.
Optimise. Optmise Optimise. Large image files, Unconpreseed CSS & JS can dramatically slow down your website load speed. Here are a few plugins and ways of optimising images that you should consider.
To optimise your images you could use free software like Caesium or TinyPNG. If you are planning to do batch processing of images Caesium might be easirer and more effective. Now that we are working on WordPress site you could use a plugin called WP Smushit which will automatically compress all of the images for you.
Another thing you can do is adding LazyLoading to your images. Some themes/plugins already have this option but for those who don’t you can install the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin.
There are a few plugins that you can use to dramatically improve the performance of your WordPpress site. Consider trying WP Super Cache and WP Performance Score Booster.
WP Super Cache
“This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.”
WP Performance Score Booster
“This plugin speed-up page load times and improve website scores in services like PageSpeed, YSlow, Pingdom and GTmetrix.”
This plugin will:
- Remove any query strings from static resources like CSS & JS files
- Add Vary: Accept-Encoding header, and
- Set expires caching (leverage browser caching).
Remove unused plugins / Choose better plugins
We are all guilty of installing too many plugins that make or websites better. Just think about that the more plugins you have the more processing will need to be done to render your website pages. Here is an example of some the most famous slider plugins and their speed time.
|Slider Plugin||Page Load time||Requests||Page size|
|Soliloquy||1.34 secs||26||945 KB|
|Nivo Slider||2.12 secs||29||1 MB|
|Meteor||2.32 secs||27||1.2 MB|
|Revolution Slider||2.25 secs||29||1 MB|
|LayerSlider||2.12 secs||30||975 KB|
If you are using the bottom four sliders to do something super basic like a simple slideshow, you might want to consider changing the plugin. Remember that loading speed could be crucial to your website success and every millisecond counts.
Use a Contend Delivery Network (CDN)
To save myself of explaining what CDN is here is a good explanation from Wikipedia:
A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers. The goal is to distribute service spatially relative to end-users to provide high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large portion of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.
Two of my favorite CDN companies are Cloudflare and MaxCDN. Both fairly easy to setup on WordPress website. You can always find some tutorials how to do it on YouTube or ask any web developer to help you out.
Optimise WordPress database
To optimise your databse you can simply use the WP-Optmize plugin, which I use on all of my websites. This plugin will help you clean your spam, post revisions, drafts, tables ,etc. to reduce their overhead.
I will try to update this post in near future do add a few more technical methods of making WordPress websites fast!
Thank you for reading this post and I hope it helps some of you.