There aren't many things as critical as site speed. It impacts your SEO, bounce rates, conversions, and customer impression.
That’s why every website today needs to be fast. People visit websites for just about everything – from finding products and services to purchasing them.
Running a WordPress website? That wouldn’t be a surprise since 35% of the internet is using WordPress.
Let’s look at how we can improve the speed of your WordPress website.
The first thing you need to check is the speed statistics of your website.
Numerous free tools can help you analyse your website speed like GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed. This analysis provides a starting point to understand what is hampering your site from achieving blazing loading speeds.
Run the latest versions of WordPress and PHP
As with any software-based utility or program, you need to know if you are running the latest version of it.
To ensure that your website is running the latest WordPress (ver. 5.5) and PHP (ver. 7.4, ver. 8.0 is expected in Nov 2020) software, give your website an imminent speed boost by incorporating latest advances like “lazy loading”.
You may keep on adding unnecessary plugins in your WordPress website overtime. They might be great at first, but they can slow down your web performance. This often happens with the intent to build the most appealing website out there and the wide availability of free plugins.
So, make sure to thoroughly review all your installed plugins. Identify the ones that you do not need anymore and uninstall them.
Minification is the process of compressing code, whitespaces, comments, and combining common programming patterns. It can reduce the size of code from 5% to 90%, thus improving website performance.
By hosting compressed HTML files on your server, you can save a lot on your server bills.
Here are some of the free tools that you could use:
Images make your website visually appealing and help catch visitors’ attention. While having images can slow loading time in general, not optimising them can cause more havoc to your website performance.
Optimise your website images. You can use optimisers, allowing you to detect unoptimised images and let you compress them efficiently. This allows the images to load faster without compromising their quality.
When looking for an image optimiser, make sure to go with lossless compression, lazy load, multiple format support, size detection and automated optimisation.
A Content Delivery Network or CDN is a geographically distributed group of servers that work in tandem to provide faster delivery of web content like HTML, CSS, images, and videos. It is like caching but is done mainly at the network edge.
The main benefits of using a CDN are:
By itself, a CDN is not a hosting service. You will still need to use a hosting service to run your website.
Simply put, caching is storing copies of web pages in a cache (secondary location) to be able to serve up the content faster, improving site speed.
Each request from a browser can be fetched from a different cache, reducing the load on the primary server. The cache remembers and duplicates the same content of the primary server.
Caching can be done either by the hosting provider or by installing a caching plugin.
Fast loading speed is crucial for every website. It lets you increase customer retention and improve your SEO.
We hope this list of important takeaways will help you improve your site speed and get the most out of your WordPress website.