Categories: Internet & Web Dev

Optimizing Your WordPress Website For Speed

By M.B.
June 20, 2016

Although it may not seem like that on the surface, in practice it has shown that a small difference in website loading speed can have a big influence in visitor numbers.

Nobody wants to wait, and impatience has become only more pronounced with faster Internet speeds. In the past, Google asked users if they want 10 or 30 results per page, and most of them said they want 30. Bigger screens, higher resolutions, faster Internet… They made a survey and found that there was a 20% drop in pages that had 30 results. The reason was slower loading times. Half a second slower. Similar results were made by Amazon in their research. There isn’t a concrete number, it varies from case to case, but be certain that you are on the losing end if your website isn’t loading fast enough.

Some common things you can do to speed up your WordPress website are picture optimization, CSS optimization, optimization and using Google libraries for JavaScript and web-fonts, using sprites for graphical elements on your website, using static web servers for serving static files, and many other things. The difference you will achieve can be very significant, and it is surely desirable to implement everything you can.

If your choice of website platform is WordPress, it’s possible that you are encountering performance issues. Simply, WordPress was initially made as a fairly simple platform for leading an Internet journal, but in time it became a much more complex matter. Not WordPress as itself, but rather the themes and additions that are used for it. The fact is, you can get a lot for a little, but that probably won’t work that well. So, if you are making a complex website in WordPress, think about developing all the needed functionalities that WordPress doesn’t have by yourself, or use a tried and tested plugin, and not the first one you bump into. There are a lot of them, and not all them are high quality.

You can try installing a cache plugin. There are several of them, and you’ll find one that works best for you. The difference these plugins make is big, especially when it comes to a large number of visitors.

Optimize your photos. A blog or a magazine just wouldn’t cut it if it wasn’t for pretty pictures. Still, they can often be a part of the problem when it comes to optimization.

Control the amount of revision. WordPress saves the copies of the things you write from time to time. And that’s great, in the case of a problem, because you can always go back and retrieve a text if there was a problem with it. But, if you gather a large number of revision, that can be a serious problem.

Delete inactive plugins. Think about whether all your plugins are useful to you. Use the ones that truly have a purpose. Everything else, either delete it or deactivate it.

There are many other ways for optimizing your WordPress websites, and these are just a few things you can do, but if you do them, they will make a big difference.

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Proud dad of two. Passionate writer from Europe. He is a contributor to various blogs on the web.

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