10 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Website
WordPress is a great platform and definitely one I would recommend. One thing that it can suffer from is speed though. The last thing you want is a sluggish site, it’s bad for SEO (site speed is included as part of the google algorithm) and bad for your User experience. You will lose clients and sales. Follow these tips and will help you very quickly speed up your site.
Let’s Get Started (in no particular order)
1. Choose a good host
A shared host might seem like a bargain but they sometimes have incredibly slow servers and non existent support. Go for one whose server is close to you, whom you can pick the phone up and speak to and who specialise in wordpress. I use Vidahost if you are looking for a UK recommendation and they have never let me down
2. Make Sure Your Site is built using a solid framework/theme
You need a light weight speedy framework, the default twenty fifteen is not bad. A lot of the frameworks out there are bloated with features you will never use and will slow your site down.
3. Use A caching plugin
WordPress plugins are wonderful and the best are the caching ones. They will drastically improve your page load speed. The one I use and would recommend is W3 Total Cache, it has everything you need, is extremely easy to install and even easier to use. You just have to install and activate, your pages will load faster because the elements are cached.
4. Use a CDN – Content Delivery Network
I use the Max CDN Content Delivery Network on my WordPress sites, as their dashboard is simple to use, has video tutorials and takes just a few minutes to set up. Free-CDN is also good (It’s also free!)
5. Optimize All of Your Images
It is hugely important to reduce the file size of your images whilst not affecting their quality. Doing it manually can take a lot of time but there is a great free plugin called WP-SmushIt which will do this to all of your images automatically as they are uploaded. Easy!
6. Optimize your WordPress database
This can be a long laborious task and will need a developer or you can run the WP-Optimize plugin, which will optimize your database (spam, post revisions, drafts and tables) to reduce their overhead. You can also use the WP-DB Manager plugin, which will schedule dates for a database clean up.
7. LazyLoad Your images
LazyLoad is the process of only loading the images above the fold (those images which are visible in the visitor’s browser window) then, when reader scrolls, the remaining images begin to load, just before they come into view.
This will save bandwidth and speed up page load by loading less data for users who don’t
To do this automatically, install the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin.
8. Control the amount of post revisions stored
WordPress would store every single one of your blog post drafts, indefinitely. Very helpful in case you lose your content but you don’t need them all and it will clutter up your server with huge amounts of draft posts.
The Revision Control plugin will keep post revisions to a minimum. I set mine to 2 so I have something to fall back on just in case.
9. Replace PHP with static HTML, when necessary
Drop me a note and I’ll send you a separate tutorial on this topic!
10. Use CloudFlare
To put it bluntly, CloudFlare, along with the W3 Total Cache plugin discussed above, are the best and most amazing combination. As a bonus, they integrate with each other. They will massively improve not only the speed, but the security of your site. The best thing? They are both free!
As always, I hope you found this useful. Please go ahead and use some of the tips, tricks and techniques shown and feel free to let me have any comments. I would also love to hear any tips you may have which could be of benefit.
All the speediest…