WordPress is an amazing CMS or Content Management System that allows you to host your websites and blogs and store your content in a most convenient and organized way. That is way it is very popular. If you want to start blogging most of the people will recommend to start from free version of WordPress. Not only blogging, almost all kinds of websites are supported by WordPress infrastructure.
It is imperative that you optimze a WordPress site for speed in order to get the best results. Now a days studies show that users leave if the page load time of a website is greater than 3 seconds. In this article we are sharing some useful tips to optimize a WordPress website. Many of these tips are applicable to websites in general too, but all have been proven great for WordPress.
10 Creative Tips to Optimize a WordPress Website
1. Choose a fast hosting provider
The choice of a proper hosting provider is essential in providing a good foundation for website to perform in the best possible way. It is easy to say go for the fastest wordpress hosting however making the right choice is a difficult task. It depends on your requirements. Usually for beginner’s websites, managed hosting is preferred as it hides away the technicalities and makes the process of hosting and maintaining your website relatively easier.
Managed WP hosting based on cloud is not only fast but also reliable as well as easy to scale up and down depending on the needs of traffic and transactions.
2. Optimize Images and Videos
While it is good to embed images and videos in your blog posts, remember that adding too much of them can definitely slow down the speed of the website. Instead of using images directly first optimize them for size using photo editing software like Photoshop. PNG images are not compressed but JPEG is compressed, however, the issue is not as straightforward, as when an image is compressed some of the information is lost from it and becomes of lesser quality. So you have to decide about creating a fine balance between the two so that the image looks beautiful on the web page but it does not slow down your site too.
3. Use caching to limit calls to server
Caching is a great way to speed up your website. In WordPress, it is very easy to enable caching. You can use a caching plugin that will automatically enable it. What caching does is that it keeps some information saved so that every time a page loads is does not have to make a full call to the server. So by saving some elements of the webpage the website can load easily and quickly.
4. Keep the website updated
A healthy website is always great for optimization. Not only the website but also all the plugins and themes must always be up to the latest version. Whenever there are updates available make sure use the latest versions of the software and platforms that are used for your website.
5. Fix the errors by regular crawls
Big websites are prone to many errors. Crawling is one way of checking whether the website has any errors like broken links, unresolved redirections, etc. Minify the code so the website is not heavy. Also, the minification of the code can be done without even interacting with the code. It can be done by CSS compressor or any WordPress plugin. If there are any pages which are deleted or content removed make sure there are no 404 errors. All should be given a 401 redirect. Make use of a WordPress sitemap which will help in identifying errors and indexing of all the pages of the website.
6. Use plugins efficiently
As any WordPress user knows, plugins are an inevitable part of WordPress. They are add-ons that make various functionalities possible on WordPress. Every WordPress site has a number of plugins installed on it however, too many plugins can slow down the website so we must include plugins efficiently. Before installing any plugin make sure to read its reviews online. There may be many plugins to do one task so we have to make sure that we install the one that people give good reviews too.
Deleting extra plugins which are not in use is also a good practice. In fact check your page’s load speed before and after installing a plugin. If there is a significant difference it is better not to use that plugin at all.
7. Use a light theme
There are thousands of WordPress themes available today. Even if you want to make your site look beautiful and attractive, installing a heavy theme that will slow it down is not a good trade-off. Better to use a lightweight theme. Do experiment with some free themes before deciding on one finally. Also, make sure you are using a high-quality theme even if it is a little expensive so that performance is not affected.
8. Optimize your database
Database is the part that can get easily and quickly cluttered. It is easy to lose track of data stored in the database. Database queries take a lot of time to be processed if your DB is not efficiently optimized. Once again you can make use of plugins here. There are a number of database cleaning plugins available for WordPress. You can run one of them regularly to get your DB cleaned out of all the junk.
9. Paginate posts as well as comments
There are always some posts that you consider as pillar content and which are very long. Although as a good SEO practice, it is encouraging to write long posts, of course with all the relevant information, but if the post it too long that is takes too much time to load then the best thing is to divide it into pages. Alternatively you can divide a post into sections and add a table of contents at the beginning to jump to various sections. The comments section should also be paginated with a limit to number of comments on a page. A huge number of comments on a single page can slow down the site.
10. Use a CDN
Sometimes nothing works to speed up your website as the reason for delay in page load is geographical limitation. Fortunately with CDNs available for locations all over the world, and it can solve your problem. Distribute your content especially which is difficult to load like images, videos and infographic on locations from where there is heavy traffic coming. Make sure your WordPress servers are located in places which are geographically efficient.
So these are some useful tips to speed up and optimize your wordpress website. Do make sure you check the site speed regularly with multiple tools like pingdom, page speed insights, GTmatrix etc.