The web is about speed. How does your site measure up?
Let’s face it, the web is about speed. Visitors want to get the information they’re looking for as fast as they possibly can. If your website is slow, they are going to go elsewhere for the information they seek. In addition search engines reward websites for being fast. Google suggest that every page on your website must load within 3 seconds. Did you need any more incentive to make your website blaze? To that end, we offer up the following:
Seven Basic Tips to Speed up your WordPress Website.
1. Check your website hosting plan.
Website hosting is a critical element of website speed. Most people who start out will use a shared hosting environment. This can be fine but it is generally the slowest hosting available. Check with your host and see what plans are available in your price range. If you can afford it consider a VPS or dedicated server. GoatCloud offers virtual hosting. Our underlying hosting arrangement is a dedicated server and we ensure that we do not put so many websites on the server that it would compromise any one site’s performance. See what your host does.
As an aside and while we are talking about your hosting, make sure GZIP compression is enabled in your hosting environment.
2. Use a Content Delivery Network or CDN.
Consider using a Content Delivery Network or CDN. We use Cloudflare and like it quite a bit. it has a free tier and, as a benefit, offers security enhancements to your website.
3. Optimize images.
Whether you create your own images or use stock images, the default format often entails a very large file size including considerable resolution (sometimes expressed as dots per inch or DPI). An image file coming right out of your camera is virtually guaranteed to be too large for your website. Use an image editing software to reduce the resolution and reduce the size of your images. You can also use a WordPress plugin to ensure that you do not upload massively large images to your website. A plugin to consider Is WP Smush by WPMU DEV. There are both free and paid versions. Do your research and choose the plug-in that works best for you.
4. Offload big media.
If you must have big media files as part of your website consider hosting those files on a cloud platform setup to deliver such content. Large images, PDF files, video and audio take up a significant amount of bandwidth to deliver to visitors. If one visitor is sucking up a lot of bandwidth, there will not be as much available for another visitor visiting your website simultaneously. if you instead host those files on a cloud service such as those available from Amazon, Google, Dropbox, Microsoft (or many others) the act of accessing those files will not slow down your site nearly as much as it would if those files were hosted at your own website host.
5. Use a browser caching plugin.
One type of plug-in to use provides a service called browser caching. Browser caching is of particular help to return visitors to your website as the visitor’s browser will keep unchanged website files (cached) within the browser, speeding up the visit substantially. There are a variety of plugins that served this purpose. One to consider is WP Super Cache which is made by the same people who make the WordPress software.
6. Reduce and delete WordPress plugins.
Speaking of plugins, ensure that you only have on your website the plugins necessary to operate your website. Deactivate and delete any plugins you are not using. Be scrupulous about which functionality you need under website. As always, anytime that you change WordPress website software, make sure you have a backup before you start making changes.
7. Use AMP.
Have you heard of the AMP Project? The AMP (for Accelerated mobile pages) format is aimed at speeding up the mobile web browsing experience. There are one or more plugins available that will ensure that your website content will show in the AMP format for people browsing the internet on their phones. Google’s search engine really likes it when you use AMP.
We are only scratching the surface here, but these basic changes to your WordPress website will help it to speed up and deliver a better experience to your visitors. if you are looking to see whether these changes help, a couple of web sites to visit are GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights by Google. Each of these websites will give you additional advanced ideas on how to speed up your website.
Now get going! Time is a-wastin’!