A slow loading website fails at two key fronts: user experience and search engine rankings.
If you run a WordPress website, you really need to pay attention to its loading speed.
According to a recent survey, a website which takes more than 3 seconds to download, frustrates visitors.
Plus, Google considers website loading speed as a SERP ranking signal.
Fast loading speed paves a website’s path to better search engine rankings and conversions as a result.
If you plan to increase the number of repeat visits, get more customers and subscribers, you should definitely test the speed of your website.
After analysis, you’ll have a clear picture of where your WordPress website stands in terms of speed and, if it’s sluggish, you should apply those tips for speeding it up.
There are multiple ways to make your website load faster. And you don’t have to be a tech geek or an SEO expert to do that.
Below, you’ll find seven tips that I’ve implemented to boost the speed of my own WordPress websites.
So, you too can apply these and quickly turn a sluggish website into a faster one.
1. Choose a Faster Web Host
While every web hosting service provider claims to be better than others, nothing could be further from truth.
It’s quite tempting to fall for a low-priced web host.
However, what you may not know is that a bad web host is the prime reason behind the sluggishness of a website.
To have a lightning fast WordPress website, you should think wisely and choose a web host that is equipped with adequate server resources.
Evaluate your web hosting service, know about its servers and what you are getting for your hosting plan.
If you find it’s services are poor and not worth paying for, you should opt for a better, faster web host.
2. Reduce the Size of Your Images
Images add visual appeal to a WordPress website and blog posts. They attract and engage visitors.
But lots of large size images also slow down the speed of your website.
The solution doesn’t lie in using fewer images. You must use high quality, stock photos.
What’s required is that you optimize the images that you use on your WordPress website. You need to compress the images so as to reduce their size, without ruining the quality.
There are many WordPress plugins that you can use to fulfill this purpose.
These plugins do a wonderful job of optimizing the images in a way which doesn’t sacrifice the original quality.
Many of these plugins are free and can be installed without any hassle.
3. Use a Lightweight WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme contains a variety of files, all of which function together to create a graphical interface.
Its underlying design has multiple dynamic elements and widgets.
As a result, a theme is usually heavy and takes its toll on your web server and slows down your website.
There are all types and sizes of WordPress themes. The idea is to pick one that is lightweight.
Look for a theme that offers a solid, easy to customize framework. DIYthemes is a good one you can go for.
Whether you have a business website or a personal blog, it offers you a perfect solution for controlling every minute detail of your WordPress website.
You can customize it easily and boost the speed of your WordPress website.
4. Use a Strong Caching Plugin
WordPress plugins enhance the look and functionality of your website.
Whatever you want to do with your website, chances are you’ll find plugins to make your job easier.
But some of the best plugins are those that belong to the website caching category.
Caching is a technique which involves temporary storage of posts on your website.
This is helpful in the sense that there’s no need to load every page when visitors arrive on your website again. There are temporary static pages that can be served to them.
5. Limit the Use of External Scripts
One of the key reasons behind the sluggishness of a WordPress website is the use of too many external scripts.
Take a re-look at your website and find out how many external scripts you are actually using.
Remove those scripts that you don’t really need. Keep only those that you think you can’t do without.
For example, if you have external scripts to track the performance of your website, make sure you’re using only the essential ones (like Google Analytics).
6. Lazy Load Your Images
Lazy load is a fast, lightweight script which, when added to your website, loads only those images that are above the fold.
The fact is when all the images on a web page load altogether at a time, it slows down the website.
Thanks to the developer community, you now have a script which can be used to solve this problem. Load images as they come into the view of the visitor.
In this way, you can both speed up your WordPress website and save bandwidth by loading less data because you never know whether the user will scroll down to the bottom of a page.
7. Give Your WordPress Database a Spring Clean
The size of your WordPress database increases over time.
Lots of additional data like revisions, spam, drafts and plugin data that is not in use anymore together slow down your website.
Cleaning up this unwanted data is one surefire way to speed up your website.
Each of these plugins will first show you a report of how much unnecessary data you have accumulated and give you an option to clean them up.
This is an exercise which you should regularly follow to reduce the size of your database and increase the speed of your WordPress website.
Just make sure you create a full backup of your website before you begin the cleanup.
I hope these tips helped you.
If you are doubtful about implementing these tips or if you are too busy to do them yourself, just contact us and we have a dedicated speed optimization service!