It’s a no-brainer; sites that perform well are more likely to experience the improved customer engagement and better conversion.
Considering the fact how web users are increasingly becoming impatient, in addition to mobile devices becoming the main sources for accessing the Internet, the performance of your website matters more than ever!
Loading time is the main reason behind poor website performance. More importantly, with growing numbers of Smartphone and tablet users, never before has the speed and performance on mobile devices been so important. In this post, we’ll discuss ten of the best and useful tips to improve performance of a WordPress site.
Before you get to know about the tricks to optimize your WordPress website performance, it’s a good idea to test the performance of your site first. Doing so, will help you identify the areas in your site that needs improvement. Below is a list of some most popular tools to consider for measuring performance of your site:
For example, below screenshot of Google PageSpeed Insights suggests areas that need improvement in the mobile and desktop versions of a web page:
Once you’ve acquired data concerning your WordPress website speed and performance issues, next you must try isolating problems based on the level of their severity. For this purpose, you can enable or disable a plugin or can choose to activate any other WordPress theme and so on. Another viable alternative is to make use of tools such as P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler), Theme-Check, Debug Bar, etc.
For example, the Plugin Performance Profiler is an excellent tool that provides a breakdown of the time all of your website plugin takes to load:
Choosing the right hosting provider develop a solid base to make your site run faster and performs well on all the devices. But remember that not all the hosting plans offer commendable services, especially when you opt for a cheaper hosting service. So, if you’re concerned about better performance of your site, it’s imperative that you pick the right hosting provider. Ideally, you must search for a reliable and reputed hosting service provider, offering a hosting plan that suits your budget.
What’s more? You must carefully pick a suitable hosting plan that can fit to your specific WordPress website needs. Some of the distinguished hosting plans available online are:
All of the above hosting plans come with their set of pros and cons. In case you’ve been seeking to use an affordable hosting plan for your new WordPress site with limited traffic, then you should consider choosing shared hosting plan offered by companies like HostGator or BlueHost. But, in case you’re running a heavy traffic website then choosing dedicated or VPS hosting plans will likely prove a better option for you.
If you’re ready to shell out hefty amount of money, then undoubtedly managed WP hosting plans can give you piece of mind in ensuring faster website load time and improved performance.
Below is a chart offering comparison between the types of hosting plans:
As beginners we have a tendency to stuff our site with too many components that can impact the performance of the site. And so, your WordPress site needs a little housekeeping to continue to perform in the right manner. To do so, it is recommended that you must schedule certain tasks to keep your site well-maintained such as:
Other than keeping your website clean, it’s also a good practice to optimize your website data periodically. As our website grows with time, the database becomes overcrowded with unused records, entries and duplicated data. Increase in database size eventually puts a lot of load on the server resulting in increase in page loading time. You can keep your database clean using the WP-Sweep plugin.
The plugin helps in cleaning up any unused and redundant data in your site. WP-Sweep, essentially, analyzes the database of a WordPress site and provides a report (referred to as the sweep report) with suggestions regarding the clutter (like user meta, comments, posts, etc.) that you can clean from the database.
Thankfully, enabling gZIP compression on your web server helps in decreasing the data size. If gZIP is enabled on the server then the compressed version of the requested webpage or file gets loaded on the browser. And further, browser decompresses the received data before interpreting it. This ultimately helps in reducing the size of transferred information, which drastically lowers the page loading time.
Content delivery networks (CDN) are an absolute requirement for your site if you want to ensure a faster response time and content download time to remotely located users. A CDN is basically a network of geographically distributed servers. That means that whenever users request some data from your site, they’ll be provided access to the website content from the server in close proximity to their location.
So, using a CDN essentially helps improve the delivery performance of your WordPress site. However, with several content delivery networks online, choosing the right one can be a tough job. Some of the worthy CDN options worth exploring are: MaxCDN, CacheFly, and CloudFare to name a few.
Images without a doubt are one of the most crucial components of a website. Any site devoid of images is just like a lifeless entity. Of course, content plays a significant part in attracting visitors; however adding images boost website traffic to a much greater extent. But not having them optimized makes a page to load slowly.
Also, make sure to avoid using large size images in your site and instead use the ones with the proper size. Besides, make certain that the pictures are not large enough from the size that you want to display them in. There are two different ways that can help you in optimizing the images of your site in the most efficient manner possible.
You can either use WordPress plugins to perform automatic image optimization. For example, using the WP Smush.it plugin compresses the image using a lossy algorithm. Or else, combining the images of your WP site using CSS Sprites into a single image also boost performance. Implementing the CSS technique exhibits one single image containing all other small images. That way a lot of your time is saved from having to load dozens of images.
Just like images, it is also makes sense to minify your CSS and JS files. Doing so, help in removing uncalled for data from the files – be it comments, empty lines, etc. Getting rid of the unnecessary data in due course increases the performance of your site.
Thankfully, browser caching helps in storing the copies of your webpage static files locally in their system. And so, browser does not require downloading the requested files over and over again. This is because the browser will retrieve data stored in the cache instead of requesting the server for it.
For instance, the logo image of a website hardly changes and caching the image will quickly upload it without making any request to the server. In essence, browsing caching helps minimize the burden on your server. To enable the browser caching technique, you just need to add the following lines of code at the top of your theme’s .htaccess file:
So, there you have it – top 10 tips to perk up your WordPress website performance. Most of the tips usually discuss ways to speed up your site, since it is the most dominant factor responsible for optimizing performance of a WP site.