A resourceful semantic publishing software, WordPress is packed with a great set of features with a focus on ease of use, better user experience, standards-compliance, easy customization, free content management system and is blessed with an active community. Not to mention, it is as free as in freedom. However, like with everything else, you have to take the bitter with the sweet. With a horde of benefits that WordPress comes with, it can be quite slow and shorn of correct precautionary measures, you may end up with a snail-like website.
The importance of the speed of a website cannot be stressed enough as the attention span of an internet user is miniscule. When a visitor lands on your website especially for the first time, a website only has few seconds to attract the attention of the user in order for them to linger. The slower the website, the lesser the number of users for the site. A faster website also translate to more traffic and rank better in search. In short, a slow website is a recipe for failure. Here is a little smattering on the ways to improve your website speed.
Tips to improve your WordPress website:
Hosting and Type Of Hosting
A shared host, at the outset, sounds like a great option with unlimited page views and is very cost effective that most new entrepreneurs get attracted to it. However, a shared hosting can be a major reason for the slow speed and frequent downtime of a website. So, if you plan to stack a large amount of content on your website, it is advisable to invest in a proper hosting services, which wouldn’t be detrimental to the health of your website.
Choosing a Good Hosting Provider
A website needs a hosting plan as a fish needs water. Okay this may be little over stretched but you get the drift, right. A website needs a hosting plan but instead of visiting too many different hosting providers, you need to look inside first. Choose according to your need. If you own an Ecommerce site, a heavy CMS, expect a lot of traffic or traffic spikes, then avoid shared hosting plans. There are many different types of hosting available including shared hosting plans, dedicated hosting plans, managed WordPress hosting plans and virtual private server (VPS) hosting plans.
InterServer offers 30 day money back guarantee on shared hosting, 99.5% uptime guarantee, 100% power guarantee, fast and easy setups, easy to use control panel choices, and much more. With a 30 day money back guarantee, and a horde of other benefits, InterServer is a great option for start-ups and huge corporations alike.
When a user visit a website, the elements on the page they visit are stored in a cache, so the next time if the user again visit the same site, your browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server. Install WordPress plugins which will help capture caches more effectively and ensure a faster website. For more details check our previous blog on Optimizing your wordpress blog.
Image size reduction, specify image size, scale images and type (JPG/PNG)
Images are the major perpetrator when it comes to slowing the website. The keyword when it comes to images is ‘optimize’. You need to optimize your images (above 50KB) before uploading them to the website. The best way of optimizing them is to use Photoshop or any other image manipulation software. Progressive images should be used for JPG files because progressive furnishing of images provides a smoother user experience.
When loading images into WordPress the height and the width of the image has to be set without fail. If you fail in doing that, the browser has to wait until the image is fully loaded. Setting up the height and width allows the browser to allocate a box on the page for an image.
Type: Use JPG as your default. It’s the smallest and fastest loading file type. Use PNG only for images with text (JPG rasterizes text which makes it blurry) or if you need a transparent background. Minimize or even eliminate any heavy GIF files because they can drastically slow down the loading time of your site
Reduce number of plugins and Keep your WordPress installation updated.
The number of plugins is one of the greatest advantage that WordPress has. However, excess of anything is bad. Ensure that you aren’t adding all the plugins you can find. The more the plugins, the higher the chances of software conflicts which may lead to the website crash. Use only what’s really important and delete the rest. Also, be sure to keep your plugins up to date to prevent any further delay on loading the websites.
Choose a simple, clear and a clean theme
WordPress has abundant theme options, both in free and paid versions. To make sure that you have a theme that performs pretty well, ensure that it’s not majorly dependent on images. Images look great, but it should also be noted that they also reduce the speed of loading. Another thing to look for is a theme with a CSS based design.
Minimize the number of HTTP requests and Fix 404 errors
Incorporate these tips while investing in a good hosting provider such as InterServer to speed up your website, get more traffic, rank higher in search and make more sales.