If you haven’t been living on a desert island somewhere for the last fifteen years, you’ve been to a WordPress based website. One thing that’s great about WordPress, it’s fast…or at least it can be if you play your cards right. Sometimes, WordPress can get bloated and bogged down by some simple, common mistakes and we’re going to go over some of those mistakes to see what can be done to solve them. Anyone that has used a WordPress website knows that it can be something that is absolutely amazing; a complete content management solution that can handle any sort of work you throw at it, at it’s completely free. And as we know, free is a very good price. It’s a great tool that many kinds of businesses use to express themselves, meet new people, win new customers, grow their business and expand their horizons. That may sound a little over the top, but it’s true, WordPress is a valuable tool, which is why nearly a quarter of all websites on the internet today are powered by WordPress. One thing for sure, WordPress is needed and many are glad this cool CMS exists. Although it is something that is well liked by many, there has become a consensus on one particular part of WordPress… it can run really slow at times. While this can be something that you find extremely bothersome and it can be inconvenient at times, there is something that can be done about this. There are ways in which you can increase the speed at which the page loads and how quickly the work you are inputting into WordPress is being performed. But if you do not know what you can do to help the speed increase, how can it work for you? It cannot… that’s why you need to know how you can increase the speed of this remarkable site.
Generally speaking, anyone who is using a website, regardless of what the website is, expects the website page to load quickly. In most cases the expected time for a page to load is between two and three seconds. If a site has not loaded in that time, most users will leave the page… so loading time is of the essence. In most cases, if a website is having difficulty with the page taking too long to load the person visiting the site will not only leave, but they will not return back to the site; no one likes to try to deal with a site that has given them trouble. Not only do you have to deal with that person not returning to the site, but then you must think about the word getting around that problems have been had on the website; this fact alone could cause more people not to want to visit the site at all. This is not good… this means that you’re losing people that visit the site and you’re losing out on potential visitors because they will not visit the site at all. It is safe to say speed is a very essential aspect of your website and it can make a huge difference if the speed of your website is not going at a high rate like it should be. The speed of your site being slow is not good… but there is one aspect of it that is good; you know about it. Now that you know about it, you can do something about it!
Getting the speed of your site going at a faster pace is extremely important. Not just because of the reasons mentioned before, but also because you could lose out on people who have subscribed to the site and those that frequent the site to make it a success. It is important that you get the speed of your site up because it helps you with those that are visiting. When you have someone that is on your site for the very first time, if the speed is slow then you can lose their attention. The saying “first impressions are lasting impressions” does not just go for when you are meeting someone in person for the first time. The first time someone visits your website you are making a first impression on that person. You do not just want to impress them with the visual aspect of the website only… all things come into play with the impression that is made; and speed is a huge factor in this. No one wants to feel like their time has been wasted, and that includes when they are surfing the internet. Not only is the speed of your site important so you do not lose visitors; it plays a role in your site’s SEO… the slower your site is running the lower you will be ranked in search engines, and that’s never a good thing.
While your site may be running slowly, thankfully there are some things that you can do to help improve on the speed of your site. Some may think that it would be a difficult task to do, but small changes can make a huge difference, and in all honesty it’s not too hard to handle.
- Make sure the framework is lightweight and quick. You do not need framework that is loaded down with a lot of features that you do not really need, every little bit of code helps. Too much extra will slow down the speed of your site; you want a solid framework so you can have more speed. Makes sense, right? A good one to have that always has premium framework is Thesis Theme Framework.
- Have all images automatically optimized. There are some free plugins that are available to handle this for you; you do not want to have to reduce the file sizes manually (it can be really time consuming). WP-SmushIt will automatically process the any image that you upload them and it will reduce the file for you. It will save you time, and you will not have to worry about your site being slow due to the fact that image sizes are too large and slowing everything down
- Make sure you have LazyLoad added to all of your images. This is a program that will only load images that are visible the persons browser window that is visiting the website… so when you move on the website page the other images come into view and the previous images go away. This will allow speed to come to your website and it will save bandwidth because it loads less data for those that do not have to scroll all the way down the page.
- Utilize a caching plugin that is efficient. It’s important that elements of your page are cached… if they are not then your page is probably running slow. Once you set up a program that caches your website you will see a drastic change in the load speed. It’s a easy way to make a great improvement to your website.
- Pick a good host that is not a shared one. Using a shared host may sound like a good idea and you may feel like you’re saving because you’re getting a good deal but you’re really making it hard on your website. You’re going to cause it to be slow and no one will like that. You want your site to run fast… downtime on a site can be murder to your site.
- Have a revision control put in place. You do not want too many post revisions stored on your website. You should have a program in place that will get rid of the drafts that have been saved to your device once the posts have been published. You do not need all the drafts that you have worked on leading up to the final published post. There are programs that you can put in that automatically delete the post once you have the published one posted to your site. When the site does not have to hold on to all of the drafts, it has less clutter within it and that will allow more speed to come to your site.
- Make sure you do not have pingbacks and trackbacks turned on. WordPress has other sites and blogs that it interacts with; whenever any other blog mentions your site it will send a notification to your site which can slow down the speed on your site. If you turn the notifications that you will receive off then this will add in speed to your site.
- Use a content delivery network on your website. What a content delivery network does is take the static files that you have on your site and allows those that are visiting your website download items with the highest speed that is possible for them to do so with. This happens by using having the files served on servers that are near them making sure it does not take a long time for it to download for you and so you do not have the speed of your site slowing down trying to download a lot at the same time.
- Optimize your websites homepage to load at a quick speed. This requires you to do a few things that will make sure your homepage loads at a quick speed. This is important to have in place especially because any visitors you have will go to the homepage and it’s the most frequented page you have on your site. What you can do to make sure this happens is: show snippets of the posts on your homepage and not the full post; do not show so many posts on the homepage… have a limited number there; do not have sharing widgets on the homepage only put them in posts that you have; if you have plugins or widgets that are not needed have them removed; and keep only what is needed on the homepage, your visitors want content not a lot of extra unneeded content.
These simple steps can make a world of difference in your websites speed… try them out and see how much your speed increases!