Everyone wants to rank their website on the number one page on Google. There are thousands of guides on the internet that will teach and guide you on the several tips and tricks you can use to rank better on Google or other search engines.
Our guide will focus on 7 speed optimizations that you should definitely know about.
Without further ado, let us begin:
Why speed is important for your website
The average user on the internet has an extremely small attention span. If your website does not load as fast as what the user expects the website to load, they will close the website without looking at anything.
How to check your website speed?
You can check the speed of your WordPress based website through the IsItWP’s Speed Test. It is a free tool, and can help you determine what kind of issues are plaguing your website that have resulted in a major slow down.
A good practice to check your website’s speed is to open a private browser, with no cookies or cache on, and then load your website.
What slows down your website?
There are several things that might be slowing down your website.
Some of these things are:
Unoptimized images – Images that are of extremely high quality, like above 675p will most likely cause your website to lag. These are the biggest perpetrators.
Unconfigured web hosting – Your web hosting server is not properly configured.
Unconfigured website/WordPress – You should check if your website/WordPress needs to be configured. Because if you don’t, the website might crash.
Bad Plugins/Too many ads – Using too many plugins, or just a single bad plugin can result in a major slowdown. Additionally, too many ads will slow down the website’s loading.
How to speed up your website
These are the 7 tips that will help you speed up your website:
Install a caching plugin
The fastest way to speed up your website is to install a caching plugin. This will allow your website to get loaded lightning fast the second time the same person loads the website. This will not only lighten the data consumption for the traffic user, it will also reduce the overall stress on the server.
Most people leave this step out of their way, when they are doing blog-posting or writing articles. Almost every popular article website on the internet will use an image of no more than 720p when they are displaying them for a single page. Websites like IGN will alternatively allow you to view the full quality image when you click on them.
You can optimize images using compression tools available on the internet, or photo editors. Use a resolution of no more than 1280×720, and a size of no more than 1 MBs. JPEG format images are small in size.
Frequently update WordPress
WordPress is an open source project, so it is updated on a very regular basis. Most of the additions in WordPress will not negatively affect your website. In fact, most of these updates will help you fix issues and optimize your website. A good practice is to update WordPress a week after the update is out.
This will also help make your WordPress website more secure and less prone to hackers and bots who are trying to DoS you.
Optimize background processes
Just like a real computer, there are some background processes being done on your built WordPress website. You may have added them some time in the past. Here are some of the processes that are being done in the background of your website:
- Backup plugin’s tasks
- Cron jobs (scheduled tasks)
- Search engine crawlers
Use Excerpts on your homepage
By default, the average WordPress website will show all the content of your page on your main page. This can make your website look very clunky and reduce the speed of your website dramatically.
Try using Excerpts (summary) that can be found in Settings » Reading.
Split/disable comments into pages
You can either split comments that you are getting on your webpage into pages or disable them completely. Either way is okay, and will help you optimize your website further.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Content Delivery Network or CDN is a network made of servers around the globe that can store files that make up your website. Every time a user visits your website, the traffic user’s browser tries to fetch those files from one of these servers.
Hosting your own web server and using plugins such as StackPath CDN are a great way to increasing your website’s speed.
Don’t host multi-media
Multi-media like videos and other digital content are usually very big and can take considerable amounts of time to load on your WordPress website. It can get quite tough, especially if you are working in a server that isn’t able to hold much storage anyways. Instead of hosting multi-media content directly onto your website, try hosting the content on another website, and linking that website in your article.
Use faster theme/plugin
Try to use a theme or a plugin that is optimized for speed. A good example is a minimalistic theme and a plugin that is good for speed.
Advanced tips for speed
There are some advanced tips that you can use to optimize your website’s speed:
- Split long posts into pages, otherwise long posts could hurt your loading times.
- Reduce external HTTP requests by disabling requests & scripts/styles.
- Reduce database calls, that will require basic knowledge of PHP.
- Optimize WordPress database by eliminating unnecessary information & plugins.
- Limit post revisions because previous revisions are technically stored on the website too.
- Disable hotlinking & leaching of your content by adding a .htaccess file.
- Use lazy loading features when you don’t have time to optimize your website.
- Use DNS level website firewall which will help you protect against malware and increase performance
- Fix HTTPS/SSL errors manually to optimize and increase in performance
You can use all of these tips that will help you optimize the speed for your website. Hopefully these tricks will also help you get more organic traffic than before.