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WordPress Speed Optimization: 6 tips to improve your site's speed quickly

WordPress Speed Optimization: 6 essential tips to improve your WordPress website

WordPress speed optimizationtips

Nobody likes a website that takes too long to load no matter what their doing – shopping, reading articles or looking up a business online.

Speaking of businesses, speed should be the highest priority for any business website owner out there, across all niches.

In this article I want to talk about ways that you can speed up your WordPress business website. Since its the leading CMS, I feel like many administrators could use the advice to improve their speed data and as a result their SEO positions as well.

So, without further adieu, here’s a few valuable tips on improving your WordPress site speed.

First things first: What causes your WordPress site to slow down?

The way your website functions depends on a number of technical factors, that all play some kind of role in the overall picture. If you ever did a WordPress speed optimization test for your website you’ve probably seen a lot of factors listed on it.

I’ll break the most important things down below:

Web Hosting

Your hosting plan plays, arguably, the most important role in determining what speed you’ll have on your website. You have to be very careful when determining what type of hosting to choose for your website and whether the plan will give you enough resources for your website to function greatly at all times.

A shared hosting plan, while cheap, usually means lackluster resources to work with and not enough of them as your business website grows. If you choose a proper plan like managed wordpress hosting – you won’t have any issues with website hosting at all, and you’ll be able to optimize your resources the way you see fit.

Website configuration

Setting things straight in your website’s core is another essential step you need to take in order to have proper WordPress speed optimization.

If your WordPress website struggles with storing cache, has bad URLs or an unstable server your site will not only slow down but it may completely crash as well.In order to set everything up write have your own (or hire) a qualified programmer who’s capable of configuring WordPress business websites and taking care of important technical stuff.

Page optimization

Having great and in-depth content on your website is awesome as it attracts visitors and sends signals for Google to rank your website better.

However taking care of the technicalities and making sure your website pages are properly optimized is no less important.I’m talking about media like videos, image optimization level, audio files as well as the code of the pages. You see, Google appreciates clean code on websites one that doesn’t have any loose ends it to it.

This will also make it much easier for search engine bots to scan whatever you have on your website. Clean and optimized pages are key in order to boost your website speed. A programmer can help you out in this regard as well.

Plugins and scripts

Plugins are useful for many reasons as they basically take your website to another level. We’re talking neat contact forms, SEO, support and many other aspects of your website can be improved via help of an extension.

However, you need to be careful in this regard as well as a poorly developed plugin can do more harm than positives to your website. Clean coding matters here as well. Sure the plugin might look cool or work great from a visual point of view but its clumsy code could be the reason your website is slowing down significantly. Same goes with scripts.

If you run ads on your website you’ll need scripts that are properly programmed for your website performance.

Now that we discussed the 3 main parts which influence your website speed let’s move on to my list of tips.

WordPress Speed Optimization tips for beginners

speed optimization tips

1. Choose a WordPress theme that’s built for speed

Selecting a proper theme is very important in terms of having a speedy website, however, not many people realize it. Sure, a theme may look beautiful to the eyes with its animations, fonts, transitions and such, but are aesthetics really worth sacrificing performance?

A poorly coded theme can cripple your website’s speed without you being aware of the source of the problem. Many experts recommend choosing a simpler option for your business site, instead of one that has over-the-top visuals.

Improving your visuals can actually be done with high-quality WordPress plugins later on. All you need to do is choose a properly programmed theme from a quality theme provider.

2. Make regular updates to your WordPress website

WordPress is a CMS that’s loved by many. As such, the community is very active in terms of maintaining and improving this open source platform.

You can expect new updates for WordPress every month, each improving a certain aspect of the CMS – security, programming bugs, providing you new features and so on.

Not only the platform itself, your themes and plugins will get regular updates as well. So, you need to keep everything updated if you’re to avoid any issues with your site as much as possible.

Updates fix and improve everything, including your website speed so by no means forget that aspect of your site.

3. Proper plugins

I cannot emphasize this enough. Plugins should be chosen very carefully for your website as well and taken care of, just like any other part of your site.

Your website extensions can not only optimize it for better performance but add some great functionality that users will greatly appreciate.

If you want to have proper WordPress speed optimization – choosing quality plugins will be the way to go. Poor programming will only lead to frustrations from decreased site performance.

Some quality WordPress plugins include:

  • WooCommerce – this platform is a real giant when it comes to marketing and shopping. If you’re planning to open an e-shop you MUST have this plugins installed. Thank me later.
  • YoastSEO – this tool is one of the leading WordPress plugins for SEO. It’s simple, yet effective design allows you to take care of your website’s meta titles and descriptions so that search engine bots would have an easier time indexing your site.
  • Disqus – if you want to spark discussions and comments on your website don’t look any further than Disqus. The plugin allows anyone with a website revolving around content to engage their audience more.
  • WPForms – a very fast and beginner friendly plugins to create various forms and collect leads for your website. If you’re looking for a means to improve this part of your website, then WPForms is definitely the right plugin for you.
  • WPRocket – caching plugins are great for improving the indexing of your website on search engines and being smarter with your resources in general. This tool is great because not many caching plugins can offer such flexibility and customization options for website owners out there.

And many others… Just know the things that you want to improve and research the best plugins for that website aspect.

4. Take care of background processes

Background processes are tasks that happen in the background while your website is operating normally.

They don’t interfere with your site’s functions and aren’t visible to the public, however they still can have a crucial role in determining your WordPress speed optimization level on your site.

Examples of background tasks include:

  • Backup plugins – Website backups need to be done on the regular as to not lose any important data in case of crash or data breach.
  • Crawlers – search engine crawlers visit your website from time to time and scan its content for indexation
  • Scheduled check-ups – plugins also perform certain cron jobs in the background like checking for WordPress updates. While their impact on performance is the least felt, it’s this worth noting.

How do you manage your background processes?

It’s quite simple.

For backup plugins, you need to make sure that back ups are performed when your website is receiving the least amount of traffic. That way, your resources won’t be stretched thin and visitors won’t experience any speed issues whatsoever.

If you’re posting an article once a week or so, full daily backups will surely be unnecessary. So, schedule everything the way you see fit.

For crawling, a great way to see how often your website gets crawler attention is through Google Search Console. There you can adjust the frequency of your crawling rate as well.

Find out more why Google Search Console is such an amazing free SEO tool to use for a website owner in a related article.

5. Group your content properly

I saved the best for last since I think content is the most important part of any business website.

Articles

By default, WP is programmed to display full content from your articles right on the homepage.

As you may already guess, this slows the website dramatically.

Another negative from this is the fact that visitors don’t want to see a full article immediately. If they’re repulsed, they’ll bounce immediately and find a website that looks more professional than you do.

If you want to improve this part of your website you need to enable the display of article excerpts. This way you’ll speed up loading times significantly.

Comments

Another type of content on your website are comments. While receiving a lot of them is wonderful news is great for any site owner, they can also impact your loading times.

A great solution for that is to breakdown comments into pages. WordPress has this function built-in, just go to Settings -> Discussion and you’ll see the “break comments into pages” option.

Use CDNs

A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a great solution to stabilize your website’s loading speed for visitors from across the globe.

Why is this important?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, hosting has an impact on your WordPress speed optimization level. Let’s say your server is in Europe. A visitor from Europe will get significantly better loading time than someone from Asia for example.

A CDN is a network of servers ranging around the world. Each of these server will have a copy of your websites static files as to ensure equally fast loading for anyone visiting.

By static I mean anything that doesn’t change – your style (CSS), images, videos, JavaScript functions and so on.

This will help for better display on mobile devices as well. The more database and WordPress Speed Optimization is done, the less loading will be needed.

Trust me, the impact is felt immediately. I’ve been using CDNs across all of my websites for the past couple of months or so and I can see that my speed results are much better than they used to be.

6. Avoid uploading media files directly

You probably already know that you can directly upload audio and video files to WordPress to use for your content posts. However, this is VERY bad practice.

Not only do you waste your disk space, you cripple your website’s loading speed.

With more media files to work with, you backups will weigh a tremendous amount and make the whole process of backing up more draining as well.

Instead you should use services that CAN afford working with large amounts of media. Youtube is great for videos and other visual content, and if you work with audio – SoundCloud or Bandcamp are great solutions.

After you upload, you can embed the content on your WordPress website.

Back when I was a complete rookie I used to upload and post recklessly, but I learned about the impact of this the hard way!

All in all,

In this article I’ve discussed the most effective ways of improving your WordPress speed optimization level. Simple adjustments like these and being smart with your resources are the key factors to proper speed on your site.


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