In this world of instant everything, no one is interested in waiting for much of anything, but especially a slow loading website. Almost 40% of people abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 3 or 4 seconds.
Some would say, what’s the rush? Doesn’t matter. If you’re going to be competitive you need to give people what they want or they will move on to the next website on the search results list. Remember, lost traffic equates to lost readers and lost revenue!
Here are a few easy ways to speed up your WordPress site and put big smiles on everyone’s face.
Page Caching? Did I lose you already? Hang in there; it’s not all that difficult. The simplest way to think of caching is taking a snapshot of certain parts and pieces of your site that don’t change very often, so when people come to your site or revisit, all the code, images and scripts that go into building your page don’t have to be regenerated every single time. This can help any WordPress site and for some it can make a huge difference.
If you have static images, CSS, and other types of code on your site (and, of course, you do) then your site will greatly benefit from a caching plugin.There are many free plugin options to consider. W3 Total Cache is a popular one, but I find it a little complex for the non-technical user. I always recommend (and use on my own sites) WP Super Cache. User-friendly and you can set it up with a few easy steps. And better yet, it has several powerful advanced features if you want to become an expert.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with WordPress sites is oversized images. Today, your iPhone can take images 4 megs or bigger. Great for the picture frame on your desk, but not for your website. And depending on how your WordPress is configured, you have the ability to load some pretty large images into your site. However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should!
They best thing to do is to adjust the size of your images before you load them. If you have access to Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, or a website like webresizer.com it’s easiest to use them. I won’t go into detail on how to operate these programs, just Google a tutorial and you’ll find plenty. One tip: When resizing your images set the resolution to 72 dpi and the size no larger than 12″ wide.
Second, I always recommend a compression plugin. This will take all the images you have loaded and will load and smush and smash them down to a web-friendly size! WP Smush.it, is effective and easy to use. I use it on all my sites. Another popular option is EWWW Image Optiomizer. Check them out!
This may be a painful option to consider for some of you. People love their plugins. Unfortunately, often they have way too many loaded on their sites, causing a much longer loading time than expected.
First step is the easiest. It is time to purge, baby! Access your WordPress admin and then the plugin section. Remove any plugins that are active but not being used. Often people will load plugins to test them and forget they are there. And while you’re at it, get rid of any inactive plugins. These can become security risks as they become outdated.
Step two: Replace slow performing and slow loading plugins. This will take some effort on your part, but is well worth the time. The easiest way to test speed is to install another plugin (I know, this sounds ridiculous, but stick with me here). P3 – Plugin Performance Profiler will help you identify problem plugins. Simply install it and run a scan. You will see what is loading and how fast. If one of your plugins is loading slow, replace it. There is almost certainly another option available.
There are many more advanced options when you are ready to go deeper…
but we will save those for another day.
I hope these these 3 suggestions help you on your quest for a speed WordPress site. If you have any questions or if there is anything I can do to help with your WordPress site, please shoot me an email. My team of WordPress Ninjas is eager to jump into action!
If you have any easy to implement suggestions you have used to speed up your WordPress Site I would love to hear them.