Since WordPress powers over 33% of the web, it can come in many shapes, sizes and speeds, depending on how you use it. Since search engines like Google, measure the speed of your website in it’s ranking algorithm, making sure your WordPress site loads quickly is important to your site’s SEO. It also ensures your site loads easily for your users and gives off a more credible vibe.
We often hear criticism about WordPress that WordPress is slow. This is not true – it’s not WordPress that is slow, but rather how it’s built and being used. If you want to ensure your WordPress site – new or old – runs as fast as possible, follow these hot recommendations:
One of the most important factors in optimizing your WordPress site’s speed is choosing a good, WordPress focused host. Choosing a good reliable host will ensure less down time for your site and quickly server requests which will in turn, serve up your website reliably and quickly.
See our list of our favourite WordPress hosting providers here!
Caching your site means that your website’s files and database are saved for users in either their browser and/or on the server, depending on the type of cacheing used. This means that when users visit your site more than once, they don’t have to re-download your entire’s website data and files each time they visit, which can take time and energy and ramp up your site’s load time. Instead, cacheing stores your website’s files and data as easy to access files for your users and drastically optimizes your site’s performance.
Large images are the biggest culprit when it comes to slowing down your site. When doing site speed audits, this is where we see the biggest damage done. There are a few steps here you can take to ensure images aren’t slowing down your site.
Each time you download and activate a plugin, that plugin comes with a whole wack of its own files: php, js and css files. Each new file is a new resource your website now needs to download in order to finish loading. This means that the more plugins you use, the longer your site will take to download. It also opens your site up to possible security vulnerabilities. Keep the plugins you use as lean as possible, and deleted plugins that are unused.
WordPress and well-made plugins are constantly updating, fixing bugs and optimizing performance. Each time they do this, they release a new version – and voila, you have an update available. Ensuring you are keeping on top of site updates will make sure your site is running the most up to date version of the code; and thus, the most preferment, bug-free version of the code.
Schedule at least a day one month when you go in and to run maintenance on your site.
Need help maintaining your site? We offer maintenance retainers! Contact us to find out more.
WordPress is built on PHP. There are many versions of PHP but the most recent PHP release, PHP 7, is the most performant out there – up to twice as fast as older versions. If you are running your WordPress site on an old version of PHP, this could drastically effect your site’s speed. Learn how to safely update your PHP version here.
Since WordPress is an open source software, there are amazing, performant and strong ways to build and use your WordPress site but there are also a lot of ways you can mess things up. Hopefully these tips helped you learn how to optimize your site so it loads in at bullet speed.
Still need help? We can help you optimize your WordPress site’s speed.