Page speed can break or make your website performance.
Kissmetrics reported that 40% of visitors would exit a website that took more than 3 seconds to load. Moreover, 1 second in delay can result in a reduction of 7% for conversion rate. Having a fast website does not only help with better user experience and conversion but also SEO ranking.
Here is a list of 11 things that you can do to optimise your website speed today.
1.Always use the latest WordPress version:
Since WordPress update regularly, you could miss a lot if you are not using the latest versions. They usually offer better features, better speed, compatibility, security and not to mention bug fixes. Just click on the Dashboard icon on the WordPress sidebar and select Updates from the drop-down menu.
From this menu, you can see the latest WordPress version available, your current version and also update your plugins.
2. Use a good hosting provider
A reliable host is like the backbone of your WordPress site(s). They served an important role in website speed. There are normally two types of hosting that you can choose from: shared hosting, cloud hosting or managed WordPress hosting.
Shared hosting services are often really cheap and affordable for newcomers. With shared hosting, a server’s bandwidth is divided up among many users. This means that if your neighbour uses much more traffic than you are, your website will end up being much slower that it should. However, this pricing is very competitive.
On the other hand, cloud hosting allows you to use the resources of multiple servers. Your website will handle a significant amount of traffic better and will not be confined to a single server location. Cloud hosting does not only guarantee better speed but also better uptime. Hostgator WordPress cloud hosting service is one that offers near-perfect uptime, fast speed and affordable price.
Managed WordPress hosting are services that are optimized for WordPress website and can be considered a done-for-you WordPress service. They handle your updates, security and back-up automatically and provide ample support. The only downside is that managed hosting can be much more expensive. Wpengine hosting cost around $29/month for a single site.
3. Use a cache plugin
Caching is also one of the most effective ways to improve your website page speed by storing copies of your pages so that visitors’ computers won’t have to load them when they come to the site again. There are many cache plug-in but you can always trust W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, both are free and full of features.
There are even paid options such as WP-Rocket which offers an all-in-one package that includes database optimization, lazy load, etc…
4. Image optimization
Uploading huge images won’t guarantee better image quality but also slow down your website considerably. If possible, crop and resize the images correctly before uploading to your site. Of course, you should only use the JPEG or PNG formatting for images.
Next, install WP-Smushit to automatically compress the images to reduce their sizes while retaining quality. There is no reason not to install this plugin.
5. Enable compression
High-quality contents often weight more than other pages especially when you want to serve your reader as much as useful content as possible. However, by compressing those pages, your content will be faster to load and therefore, improves user experience tremendously. That’s what the tool Gzip is for.
Gzip can speed up the response time by up to %70 according to Yahoo. You can enable Gzip in your cPanel options, theme option or W3 Total Cache, WP-Rocket. Please note the first two options will depend on your hosting or theme provider.
Alternatively, you can manually enable Gzip within your .htaccess file by adding these lines of codes:
6. Database optimization
While you can do this task manually using PHPMyAdmin but there is always a simpler way: using plugins. For example, WP-Optimize can help you remove unnecessary data such as trashed/unapproved/spam comments, post revisions, drafts and optimize your MySQL tables.
7. Post revisions control
There is absolutely no need to store 8 to 10 revisions of a published blog post. By limited the number of revisions that WordPress keep on your site, you can always roll back to an earlier draft when needed and still don’t take up too much space.
A simple plugin such as Revision Control allows you to set the maximum post revisions, delete all the unnecessary ones and help optimize your WordPress database.
8. Homepage optimization
Many sites stuff too much information on their homepage that makes it too bulky and slow to load. Here are some few tips to optimize your homepage for better efficiency.:
- Show excerpt, not the full post.
- Reduce the number of posts. Depend on your blog’s type, this may vary but try to keep it to a minimum.
- Don’t use sharing widgets on the home page. Include them in posts only.
- Manage your plugins and widgets. Deactivate and delete any inactive one that no longer works or serves no useful purpose.
Applying all those steps and you will get a cleaner homepage that serves your visitors better by showing only what they want to see.
9. Plugins monitoring
Plugins management can be tiresome when you have too many plugins installed. There is one easy way to see if a plugin is causing a performance problem with your site: P3 Profiler.
P3 Profiler breakdowns how your plugins affect your website’s performance and page speed. You can narrow down what is causing problems or just get a glimpse at how your plugins are functioning.
10. Replace PHP with HTML
WARNING: This tip should only be considered by advanced users.
Since HTML is much faster to process than PHP, replacing them can give yourself a huge boost in page speed. For starter, choose PHP functions such as your site’s name, favicon, stylesheet, RSS which required to be executed every single time you page loads.
<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php bloginfo('description');?></title> <link rel="shorcut icon" type="image/x-ico" href="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/favicon.jpg" /> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>"/> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print" href="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/print.css" /> <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS .92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
After changing to simple HTML, it should look like this:
<title>One Man's Blog - Specialization is for Insects.</title> <link rel="shorcut icon" type="image/x-ico" href="http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/themes/rapid-access/favicon.jpg" /> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/themes/rapid-access/style.css"/> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print" href="http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/themes/rapid-access/print.css" /> <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS .92" href="http://onemansblog.com/feed/rss/" />
You can read more about this method here.
11. Try Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Image via Stackpath.
Optimizing your WordPress site is no an option but a must for any website owner. Search engines are getting smarter and web users are as strict as ever. Understand your site and keep it performing at peak level is vital to keeping up with the competitors.
Do you have any other tips that you recommend for WordPress sites? Please let me know in the comment section down below.