Website speed plays a vital role when it comes to ranking.
A slow website speed and download time affect not only your site’s traffic but it also affects your brand’s credibility and as such, it is important that you fix this issue immediately, in order to enhance user experience and boost your conversion.
Now, on one hand, while WordPress is an awesome CMS to start your website or blog with, on the other hand, if it is not well-maintained, it could slow down your website considerably making it sluggish.
Thus, if you want to speed up and optimize your WordPress site’s speed and performance, then here are 9 easy steps that can help you achieve it.
Why Website Speed Matters?
A simple fact, if a customer lands on your website and it doesn’t load in seconds, chances are that he will get frustrated and move on to another site.
In this fast-paced world, where there are plenty of options available, no one has the time to hang around and thus, you are losing out on potential leads if you fail to make a good first impression.
Moreover, Google loves faster websites. Plus, having a fast loading website helps reduce bounce rate and improves user engagement.
Hence, it is crucial that your test your site’s speed on a regular basis using tools like GTMetrix, PageSpeed Insights, and Pingdom and fix all issues & errors post-haste, in order to facilitate faster search engine indexing and to provide visitors with a superior browsing experience.
9 Easy Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Website
Bellow, you will find 9 steps you should take to improve your website speed which will give you better rankings, an improved user experience, and ultimately more sales.
#1 – Switch To A Faster Host
The speed of the host and the hosting package you have purchased plays an important role when it comes to your website page speed and load time.
While shared hosting is a good option for beginners, it does limit your site as it begins to grow, the reason being that you are sharing hosting resources with other customers which impact the server speed.
Similarly, the speed of the host largely depends on the server infrastructure and technology being used and thus, if your site is sluggish than you need to check your hosting resources and upgrade to a new plan or switch to a faster host, in order to speed up your WordPress website.
#2 – Pick a Lightweight and Faster WP Theme
Choosing a theme that looks great but consists of too many unnecessary features can have a negative impact on your site’s speed and as such, you need to be judicious when selecting a theme for your WordPress website or blog.
The best way to handle this issue is to pick a WordPress theme that is simple, lightweight and optimized for speed, as this would ensure that your website is functioning optimally at all times.
#3 – Uninstall Unnecessary WordPress Plugins
One of the best things about WordPress is the availability of tonnes of useful plugins. However, having too many plugins unnecessary plugins on your site can decrease your site’s speed.
Hence, it is important that you deactivate or uninstall plugins that are not in use, in order to optimize your database, which, in turn, will help boost your website speed.Furthermore, you can easily identify and remove plugins that are slowing down your website with the help of this amazing plugin – P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler).
#4 – Install an Effective WordPress Caching Plugin
By enabling browser caching and site compression you can make your site load faster, especially, for repeat visitors. Serving a cached version of your site will reduce server process time for each new query.
Thus, it is essential that you install an effective caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache if you want to drastically speed up your WordPress website. If you’re looking into paid solutions I recommend you WP Fastest Cache and Wp-Rocket as come with more plug and play features. We’ve tested both here on Monetize.info with great results.
#5 – Minify JS and CSS files
Minifying means removing any extra spaces or unwanted white-spaces from your website’s coding. By doing this, you are able to reduce the size of these files making them lightweight and easier to download, which helps improve site’s load time and performance.
Best part, for a hassle-free process, you can make use of the Autoptimize plugin that will help you to minify not only JS and CSS files but also help you optimize the HTML files on your WordPress website.
For more technical optimization you should do to your website, check our Complete SEO Checklist.
#6 – Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A server’s location can have a huge impact on your site speed and loading time. For example, if your hosting server is located in India, then a visitor from India can view your site faster than a visitor in London and this where a CDN comes into the picture.
A CDN, or a content delivery network, helps bridge this gap by taking all your static files and serving them to your visitor on servers closest to them, which ensures that your website loads faster for all, across the world. Thus, for a faster load time, using a good CDN like MaxCDN or Cloudflare, is imperative.
#7 – Optimize Your Site’s Images
Large media files and unoptimized images are one of the biggest reasons for a sluggish website speed. When uploading images or other media files to your site, you need to ensure that they are well-optimized, as this could greatly help reduce your site’s page load time.
Best part, there are a number of plugins such as WP Smushit, (check there WP Smush Pro) and Image Recycle that can help you to not only automatically optimize your images but also help you to compress them effectively. If you use WP-Rocket or WP Fastest Cache both these plugins come with built-in add-ons to auto-optimize images right after upload.
Also if we talk about images, you should optimize your images for Google Search.
#8 – Optimize WordPress Database
Over time, as you are using WordPress, your database tends to be filled with unnecessary data such as post revisions, trashed drafts, unused tags, tables, etc, which could affect your site speed if left unattended.
Thus, to prevent this, you need to optimize your WordPress database on a regular basis. Moreover, while you can perform this task manually, to save time, I would recommend that you use a plugin like WP-Optimize or WP-DBManager, that will help you to automatically optimize your database at-a-click of a button.
#9 – Clean Up Spam Comments, Trash, and Media Library
Spam comments can take a lot of your website space affecting your site’s speed and as such, you need to delete these permanently. However, instead of manually doing this task, you could make use of the Askimet plugin which automatically checks and blocks spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your WordPress website.
Similarly, any post, page or media file that is moved to trash will continue to take database space until they are permanently deleted leading to slow loading web pages and thus, this is yet another culprit that you need to deal with.
Lastly, temporary and redundant media files in your WordPress media library can clutter up your storage space big time slowing down your website. Hence, in order to optimize your site, you need to remove these files, which can be easily accomplished with the help of the Image Cleanup plugin.
Optimizing your site to improve its speed and performance is crucial if you want to get a higher ROI. The above easy steps will help you enhance your site’s loading time and as such, make sure to implement these on your site, in order to reduce bounce rate and to increase website traffic & ranking.