WordPress is the king of all CMS systems. It is not only easy to set up, but it is also easy to manage and operate. We are sure; you have plenty of time to read and tweak your site after you have loaded daily content on your blog or updating comments and discussions on your website.
Slow pages can become the reason for the downfall of any website. No matter how popular your products are or how much people love your services; you need to keep the site speed up. If your site speed dwindles, so will the traffic and very soon people will forget about your existence.
Start by measuring how fast you are going
Let us be realistic here. Just because the top dogs are loading their sites within 1 second, does not mean you can. It takes meticulous planning, rebuilding site architecture and a decent amount of money.
Since increasing site speed may cause you a few nice bucks, let us start with free tests that can tell you about your page speed. You can try either Google PageSpeed Insight or Pingdom to measure your site performance.
The results will include your loading time and the possible reasons for any page loading delay. You will get a score out of 100. This should tell you how SEO friendly your site is regarding speed.
Check your hosting services
To save money, many website owners and bloggers start out with shared hosting. Shared hosting is okay for the first couple of weeks when you are trying to recuperate from the cost of getting a website. Shared hosting comes with a lot of added baggage. You should check for storage space, bandwidth, user allowance and data transfer speed before you sign up for an extended contract.
WordPress comes with an array of hosting solutions. Since it is an open source platform, you can check for the best solutions in the user forums. You can choose the best option that meets all your needs and fits your budget. Getting an exclusive hosting is often the answer to extended page loading time.
Use caching on your WordPress site
If you can maintain a WordPress site properly, it will be super-fast and super-smooth. There are two ways to cache a WordPress site:
- Use a WordPress pluginYou can use a plugin like the WP Super Cache or WP Total Cache to manage your database. Clean Out old data that you will not need anymore. Even general caching is a breeze with these plugins. You can appoint individual settings for each page while using any of these WP plugins.
- PHP MySQL server side cachingIf you know a little bit about scripting, you can make use of that to boost the backend of the website. You can add PHP/MySQL caching scripts to the server side of your site. You should check out Redis or Memcached for improving your website speed.
Front-end optimization is possibly the reason we all love WordPress so much. While we can use caching plugins and scripts to keep the backend tidy, we can maintain the front-end nifty by installing plugins the provide Lazy Load effect for videos, images, and iFrames. You can also select from a slew of image optimization plugins to edit images according to SEO standards.
Many developers reduce the total number of HTTP requests from a page by grouping a large number of images together to form a single PNG image by using CSS sprites. You can use plugins like Sprite Pad to create compact image files. This plugin provides a drag and drops editor to the users for generating a corresponding CSS Sprite code.
Content delivery networks or CDNs are the steroids for WordPress sites. They are ideal for websites who regularly deal with global traffic. If you are looking forward towards expansion, you should consider CDN. It works by hooking your original server at your Milwaukee office up and constructing discrete data caches on the server. Services like CouldFlare, BootstrapCDN, and MaxCDN are ideal for websites that deal with medium to heavy traffic from all corners of the world. These CDN servers aka PoPs deliver the cached versions of your data to your users in different countries. This boosts the speed of your website tremendously.
Wrapping things up
If you have already tried and tested all the steps above in vain, you should go ahead and check your theme. Sometimes, themes slow websites down considerably. If your theme check comes back with massive codes, and PHP errors you need to get a new theme. The easiest way to run a theme check is by getting a plugin like P3 that can analyze your traffic and your plugins performance at one go!
A smooth-running, fast website is necessary for conducting a profitable business. Sometimes, adding a couple of extra plugins and removal of a few is all you need for increasing your website speed.
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