WordPress offers a lot of convenience when it comes to setting up and running a website. While the themes, widgets and plugins are all great, they can contribute to a slow loading time. A website that takes a long time to appear on the screen is annoying to the audience and it will also have a negative impact on SEO efforts.
If you’d like to speed up your WordPress website, you may want to try a couple of simple strategies.
Pick the right theme
The default WordPress theme (the one that just about everyone changes upon setting up a website) is lightweight and excellent for maintaining a fast website. Some other WordPress themes, especially the ones put together by questionable developers, can have a detrimental effect on loading time.
A good framework should be simple and clean. Numerous additional effects, multimedia and clutter will all contribute to a website that’s heavy and difficult to load.
To choose a fast WordPress theme, you may want to do a speed test on the demo version. Also, don’t get more than what you need. A certain theme may seem fancy but if it doesn’t add a lot to the user experience, you don’t really need it.
The right hosting provider will speed up your WordPress website
Sometimes, website speed problems have nothing to do with the WordPress framework that you’re running. Such issues may be linked to hosting quality.
Hosting is a major factor that impacts website performance. If you don’t have a lot of experience, you may choose the wrong provider or plan. When this happens, you’ll either be paying for a service that you don’t need or you’ll be getting hosting that can’t accommodate your needs.
Shared hosting is usually the most inexpensive option and the one that leads to the worst performance. It’s suitable for very small projects like personal websites.
If you’re serious about building your website and growing its audience, you may want to opt for a more efficient hosting plan. Cloud hosting and virtual servers are ideal for people like you. The new technologies are bringing the cost of hosting down while speeding up your WordPress website and improving the quality of the service.
Image size reduction
Do you add a few pictures to every article you upload? Chances are that you’re not paying attention to the size of images. Eventually, the megabytes will add up and make your website clunky and slow.
Some people like to do manual editing, reducing the size of the picture before uploading it. This isn’t the only way to get things done.
WordPress has a number of great plugins that can be used to accomplish image compression without reducing quality. WP Smush is one of the simplest to use and most effective WordPress tools in the field. Find out more about the appropriate types of images to use on your website and speed up your WordPress website.
A caching plugin is your friend
There’s one more WordPress plugin that you can use for the purpose of reducing the website’s size and speeding up its loading.
A good caching plugin is an absolute WordPress essential.
Caching refers to storing website parts that need to be loaded a single time instead of every time someone visits the website. If you do a basic search, you’ll come across dozens of WordPress caching tools that automate the task.
W3 Total Cache is one of the plugins that have managed to maintain an excellent reputation. It’s also quite user-friendly.
WP Super Cache is another popular plugin. According to some, it’s simpler than W3 Total cache and as such, a better pick for newbies.
WordPress homepage optimisation
Apart from picking the right theme, you can also optimize the homepage to guarantee a fast load time.
Most high quality themes out there provide opportunities for picking the homepage format and features you’re most comfortable with.
For the purpose of fast loading, you may want to show only excerpts and thumbnails on the homepage instead of full posts and large images. Other things you can do for the purpose of homepage optimisation include showing a smaller number of post excerpts, removing inactive plugins and getting rid of elements that should be appearing solely on individual pages (like an article page, for example). Such elements may be social sharing buttons. You don’t really need such on the very first page of your website.
Optimising your WordPress database may sound like a scary task but it’s actually pretty simple.
Do you know how to handle this task? If you’ve said that you can download a plugin for the purpose of automating the process, you’re correct.
When done manually, database optimisation is quite tedious. One of the alternatives you can try is a plugin like WP-Optimize. One of the most popular tools in the field, this one automates the process and creates a database optimisation schedule so that you’re free from having to deal with it.
Remove plugins you’re not using
This one may seem like a simple and obvious thing but many WordPress website owners forget about the importance of doing a cleanup every now and then.
WordPress gives you a chance to experiment with different plugins and add-ons. After you pick the best ones, you may still leave a few of the other options you’ve tried on the website.
Deactivating plugins you’re not using is insufficient for improving website speed. Rather, you’ll have to go manually through those and deinstall anything that’s not contributing to a more functional website.
Get rid of pingbacks and trackbacks
Pingbacks and trackbacks enable WordPress to interact with other websites on the platform.
The purpose of pingbacks and trackbacks is to give you a notice every time somebody mentions you or quotes your content. While such tools may be practical, they can potentially slow down your website.
You can disable these automatic signals through the selection of a plugin. No Self Pings is an excellent tool for the purpose of getting rid of pingbacks.
To remove trackbacks, go to your WordPress administrative panel, visit Settings and click on Discussion. Under this menu, uncheck the box next to “Allow link notifications from other blogs.” That’s it, you’re done!
A good WordPress website requires a bit of careful planning and maintenance. Optimal speed is all about getting rid of clutter, automating some process and being mindful of everything that you add to the platform. Once you get to know your audience better, it will be easy to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.