We all have often heard that life goes by really quick. From innocent childhood to teenage years, from new-found responsibilities in the young adulthood to creating your own family – we go through all the leaps and time doesn’t stop to wait for you. With the pace of digitalization moving so fast, nobody is interested in waiting in the wings anticipating of something else, the next big thing, especially when surfing a website- be it a blogging site or an eCommerce site.
Keeping your readers waiting is a big demerit more like committing a sin these days. Over a span of few years, one of the significant turn-offs for users is when websites aren’t developed to perfection usually cause problems like sluggish performance, frequent ANRs (App Not Responding) or high page load time. And maybe that’s the reason why website owners are receiving a low amount of conversions despite of receiving a good amount of traffic. Increase your website load-time can easily piss your end users off.
However, worrying about your page load time might seem a waste of time at first, but it does matter when you find a sudden increase in your visitor’s churns. We hate to wait, especially when we are all vying for attention, this factor can easily kill your revenue. It may also interest you to know that Google, as we all know, is also obsessed with load time speed, and had made it an integral part of its ranking system. Which boils us all down to one question how to make your WordPress website run faster?
Being one of the leading content management systems, WordPress powers more than 30% of the world’s website (quite commendable!). Impatient consumers with short attention spans will gladly take their commerce elsewhere within seconds of a site not loading properly. Herein lies the problems that you may have resorted to plugins.
Unknown to many of you, plugins put extra unnecessary weight on your site. Honestly speaking, you don’t actually need much of them so uninstalling a few of them can aid a lot in making your website faster and easier.
Apart from that,
Keeping your consumers aside, the speed of your WordPress website will also affect its ranking on search engines, further diminishing your chances of attracting more visitors and generating good conversions. Hence, it is highly essential that your WordPress website loads and performs faster than your competitors.
Time to test the loading time of your website
Firstly, analyze the current load time of your website. Also keep this in mind that this speed may differ from page to page, depending on various factors, namely:
- the size of a particular page,
- the number of requests it generates,
- If cached or not,
- And lastly, what kind of content (static or dynamic) it hosts.
Remember, your homepage will often be used as a benchmark when it comes to testing the loading time. Try your hands on tools like WebPageTest.org, Tools.Pingdom.com, PageSpeed Insights to get the things done right.
Further below, I would like to get you acquainted with certain ways to please your readers with a fast loading site.
#1 Optimized Hosting- One of the many reasons for your website running slow can be less or slow resource provisioning or simply because the hosting server is not adequate enough to hold your website. WordPress being used across the globe tends to increase its size just as your traffic and popularity increase. So in such cases, choosing any mediocre hosting solutions turns out to be an ideal solution, especially for SMB businesses. Think of proficient and smart hosting providers who have the potential to garner effective functionality and uptime from their website.
#2 Fast WordPress Theme– Speaking more about WordPress optimization, a theme plays a very crucial role here! Choosing a well-coded theme featuring an appropriate balance of images and content, will not put excessive load and will thereby, and fasten the loading time of your website. The sole idea is to keep the theme as simple yet as effective as possible. And since this directly affects the speed of your website, more and more WordPress website themes are designed craftily to provide the best user experience to the website owners as well as the visitors. Premium WordPress themes are generally better optimized and have support options that can be used to correct issues.
With MyThemeShop or Thrive Themes or StudioPress Themes in stores, feel free to visit them and choose the right one for your needs.
#3 Reduce image sizes- In case you have done the first and second point right, time to move forward by reducing the image size. The key is to reduce the image size without compromising on the quality. Say, for example, you are optimizing the image using Chrome PageSpeed insights extensions or Photoshop or any other tools, it might take a bit long to reach the end goal. Like I said before, there are a plethora of plugins available at your service about everything you can think of, including image optimization. To name a few:
· WP Smush
· EWWW Image Optimizer
In addition to reducing the size of the images, it is also recommendable to eliminate affiliated banners. Now many of you have this misconception that having 10s of affiliate banners would bring more money. How pathetic? Using a single yet effective one could generate more income at the end of the month. This hack works wonders for those who are willing to create a blogging site. No matter the niche you’re, it is very important to give away plenty of helpful information which will eventually boost your conversion rate. Incorporating one or two affiliate banners is ideal for any corporate blog. At the same time, it is crucial for those who’re still virgin to make money opportunities – otherwise, remove every banner and concentrate on selling your skills like copywriting, search engine optimization, graphic design, consulting, coaching, auditing, etc.
#4 Delve into Technicality- If you are running your website through Google PageSpeed Insights tool, chances are there you will be notified about minimizing the size of your CSS and JS files. In a layman’s language, reducing the number of CSS and JS files can improve the site loading speed. Also, if you know your way around WordPress themes, all you have to do is study guides provided by Google and do some manual fixing. If not, then some plugins will help you achieve this goal; the most popular being the Autoptimize that can help in optimizing CSS, JS, and even HTML of your WordPress website.
Another exciting way is using advanced caching mechanisms with a caching plugin; Varnish could help you better the loading speed of your website and ultimately speed up WordPress considerably.
Just add these codes to the .htaccess file in the WordPress root folder to speed up your WordPress website’s performance!
## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##mod_gzip_on Yes
mod_gzip_item_include file .(html?|txt|css|js|php|pl)$
mod_gzip_item_include handler ^cgi-script$
mod_gzip_item_include mime ^text/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude mime ^image/.*
mod_gzip_item_exclude rspheader ^Content-Encoding:.*gzip.*## ENABLE GZIP COMPRESSION ##
#6 Deactivate or uninstall unused plugins– Another common yet crucial factor is keeping unwanted plugins on your WordPress websites for long. This will add a tremendous amount of junk to your web files. In addition to this, it will also increase the size of your backup and put an overwhelming amount of load on your server resources while backup files are being generated. It is better to get rid of the plugins that you don’t use and also look for alternate methods to use third-party services for automating or scheduling tasks (like sharing of your latest posts to social media).
IFTTT or Zapier are two web services that help in automating such tasks and reduce the burden on your website and server resources.
#7 Disable pingbacks and trackbacks- For those who aren’t much well-versed with such technical jargons, Pingbacks and trackbacks are the two core WordPress components that alert you whenever your blog or page receives a link. It might sound useful, but you also have things such as Google Webmaster Tools and other services to check the links of your website. Keeping pingbacks and trackbacks on can put an undesirable amount of strain on your server resources. This is so because whenever anyone tries to link up to your site, it generates requests from WordPress back and forth. This functionality is also widely abused when targeting a website with DDoS attacks.
You can turn it all off in WP-Admin -> Settings -> Discussion. Just deselect “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks).” This will help you speed up WordPress some more.
Optimizing your WordPress website is not any rocket science. Anybody with a basic know-how can do the task. The main objective behind writing such content is to convey exactly where to look and what to do in order to take your website’s speed optimization to a new level.
And you are done!