How to Optimize Page Speed in WordPress
Did you know that 53% of mobile visitors will abandon a web page it if doesn’t load within the first three seconds?
Moreover, around 70% of consumers report that page speed affects their willingness to purchase a product from an online store.
And here’s the kicker: Page speed is a direct ranking factor. That said, loading times will influence your web pages’ positions in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
In other words, slow websites have a lot to lose, be it visitors, customers, or SERP rankings. Be sure to speed test your website to see whether it’s up to standards.
If it isn’t, here’s the good news: Fixing the problem isn’t that hard. The task is even easier if you use WordPress. There are plenty of plugins that will handle the job for you.
So let’s have a look at how you can do so.
Large image files are one of the common causes of slow websites. They take up a lot of space, and the larger they are, the more information your website will have to load in.
One of the first things you could do is to resize images by cropping them, rather than using width parameters. That’s because, with width parameters, the website will still load the image in full before adjusting it to the correct size.
Also, compress your images before uploading them to your website. That’s where Smush comes in. This plugin allows you to compress images in bulk and enable lazy loading, which is especially handy for image-heavy websites.
Uninstall Unnecessary Plugins
Speaking of plugins, make sure to get rid of the ones you don’t need. Although having all sorts of plugins might be tempting, they add plenty of weight to your website, slowing down its loading speed.
Furthermore, this will increase your backup size, putting an unnecessary load on your server while it generates backup files. Not to mention that the more plugins you have, the harder it is to update and maintain them.
That said, target the plugins that strain your website the most.
How can you do this? Well, with another plugin. Plugin Performance Profiler analyzes your website’s plugins and identifies the ones that drag down loading times the most.
Minify CSS, JS, and HTML Files
Minification trims down code and markups on script files or web pages. For instance, as you write a code, you may add line breaks, comments, or white spaces for readability.
The thing is, browsers do not need these elements to run the code. In fact, it will add unnecessary weight to your files, which ultimately slow down your website’s loading speed.
That’s what minification is for. It eliminates any redundant character within a code for better performance. It can also rename variables to trim down characters even further.
You can minify your code by using online tools like CSSMinifier, or WordPress plugins, like Autoptimize. You can also minify code manually, but since you’ll work with large amounts of code, you’ll likely make a mistake at one point or another.
Note that you shouldn’t rely only on minification to boost website performance, though. This practice works best with other page speed optimization tactics, as it’s supposed to squeeze every last drop of unnecessary weight.
Switch Hosting Providers
In some cases, your hosting provider may cause slow website performance, which is to be expected. As your website grows, it demands more resources from the provider’s server, and sometimes it may no longer be able to meet your requirements.
That said, choosing the right hosting provider depends on the hosting type that suits your needs.
Speaking of which, there are three types of hosting:
- Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
Shared hosting is the cheapest option, making it suitable for brand new websites. You’ll share resources like RAM, CPU, and disk space with other websites hosted on the same server.
The main drawback is that traffic spikes from other websites may affect your site’s performance directly. That’s because all sites within the server have access to the same pool of resources.
VPSs work much like shared hosting providers. However, you’ll have a dedicated portion of its resources. Consequently, other websites won’t affect your performance.
That said, VPS providers strike a good balance between reliability and price.
Lastly, dedicated hosting is an excellent option for websites that generate lots of traffic. You won’t have to share the server’s resources with anyone. Thus you’ll always experience peak performance.
Speaking of hosting providers, check out SiteGround. It offers hosting specifically for WordPress websites, and it packs plenty of handy features, like free SSL certificates, collaboration tools, and more.
Besides, with DontPayFull.com, you can find discount codes for this provider, as well as others.
Use a Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that are scattered all across the world. Using a CDN will spread copies of your website’s files to all the servers that are connected to it, which can improve loading speed noticeably.
For instance, if your website is hosted in the United States and a user from Germany wants to visit it, the browser will pull information from the server that’s closest to him, rather than getting it from the main server.
Consequently, he won’t need to wait until that information travels halfway across the globe, which ultimately speeds up site performance.
Moreover, having multiple copies of your site’s files spread across various locations means that your main server will no longer overload with user requests during traffic spikes, assuring consistent performance.
Overall, your website’s performance should be in tip-top shape. Otherwise, you may risk losing visitors, and your SERP rankings will also suffer.
That said, optimize images before uploading them on your website, remove any unnecessary plugins, and minify your website’s code files.
Moreover, consider upgrading your hosting and leveraging a CDN to ensure reliable performance.