10 Ways to Optimize Your WordPress Site Performance
Did you know that Google uses website speed as a primary ranking factor? Optimizing your website’s performance enables you to have reduced bounce rates, high conversions, and better search rankings. These are some of the benefits of web performance optimization. Essentially, website performance is measured by how fast your site responds to commands made by the web user. As such, this speed relies on several factors such as content type, file types, hosting, and so much more. This means you control most of these factors, and you can easily optimize your website’s performance.
WordPress Sites Performance Test Tools
Knowing how your website is performing is essential when looking into ways to optimize it. And since the most important performance metric is speed, you should first consider measuring the site’s loading time. In simple terms, this refers to the time it takes for a web page to display content on the browser requested by a web user.
You can measure load time with the following tools;
The insights provided by the above tools will help you know how good or bad your site is performing. If the score is unsatisfactory, consider using the following WordPress site optimization techniques.
1. Use High-Performance WordPress Hosting
The servers on which your website’s content is hosted will greatly impact its load time. This is because the servers are tasked with distributing content as per user requests. Provided, a fast server will avail content faster than a slow server. For instance, WordPress sites hosted on shared servers load slower compared to dedicated servers. Managed cloud hosting is also a good hosting option that’s relatively fast and reliable. Choosing a top-rated hosting service provider also goes a long way in ensuring fast load speeds. Thus, you need to conduct your due diligence when choosing a web hosting provider.
2. Optimize Images on Your Site
Image quality and the amount of time and resources it takes to load each image on your site is critical. As you can imagine, images on a website take up a lot of space and could seriously impact the experience a user has on your site. It’s also important to know which files are loaded by each browser and what they do to tailor your website’s experience to multiple users’ browsers. There are tools that will analyze your website’s loading speed and material like images using different technologies to give you insights on improving website performance and making websites load faster for users.
3. Perform Caching and Web Scripting
Caching is a process that does all the work of loading your website into the browser — all the things that make it load faster and appear smoother on all browsers. You can use it for things like saving bandwidth, reducing load times on mobile devices (if your website uses lots of images or external scripts), or simply speeding up page load times on older browsers. On the other hand, Scripting involves adding code to your website code that can be executed whenever someone visits your site — even if they aren’t using your site in any way. That small bit of code can add significantly to the time it takes to load your page on different devices.
4. Update WordPress Plugins Regularly
Plugins are great tools that allow you to make your website bigger, faster, or more responsive without investing significant time in building it. Optimize your site for speed by installing the most recent plugin versions available. Always keep your sites clean and free from technical errors, which could slow down your loading speed on Google and other search engines. Also, keep track of what plugins you have on your site and make sure that they all work with each other and the latest version of WordPress. It will give you a huge boost over time without impacting your site negatively.
5. Minify and Compress Your Website’s Files
Minifying your website’s code allows you to optimize the initial load time of your site on most browsers. It also enables local caching of assets (making them faster) and reduces bandwidth usage. When your site is faster, you’ll see an improvement in page speed rankings on Google and other search engines. Compressing your site reduces the amount of data transferred over the network, which can help improve your users’ experience while using your site. Since this WordPress optimization technique is technical, you might need to contact a professional web developer to optimize your website.
6. Use A Content Delivery Network
A CDN is a network of computers spread out across the internet that are specially designed to deliver your website’s requests so seamlessly to customers’ computers. This can save you a lot of bandwidth costs, especially on high-traffic sites. It’s important to realize that not every website will benefit from CDNs – especially those that don’t have a lot of traffic. But for sites that do see an improvement in load time, it can make all the difference thanks to caching. The most common CDN networks are Cloudflare and MaxCDN.
7. Disable Trackbacks and Pingbacks
Optimize your WordPress site’s performance by disabling pinging and tracking backlinks. Pinging involves sending a request to the website over a public network, which can cause data to be transferred if the request is large. If the website is served from a CDN, this technique can save you bandwidth and eliminate the need for an expensive server for the request. Trackbacks occur when the browser requests another website, but the server doesn’t return the information until after the browser has cached the page. Older browsers do not support these features.
8. Use GZip Compression to Reduce File Size
Another way in which you can optimize your website performance is by using GZIP, the Google keyword file format. The goal of GZIP is to optimize your website’s file size so that it can be served faster by browsers and servers without losing any information. If your website contains a lot of repetitive content or requires a lot of disk space to store all the data it needs to display, using GZIP could help save you some bandwidth costs and increase the time it takes to load pages on mobile devices.
9. Use a Fast DNS Lookup Service
Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for translating a URL into an IP address, thereby indicating its online location. This ensures web users do not recall long strings of number combinations that make up IP addresses. However, slow DNS lookup can affect website performance by increasing load time. You should therefore analyze your DNS lookup to understand how your website is fairing. Check the average time. Ideally, this time should be as low as possible. That means anything between 20-30 MS is fine. However, if it gets past 30 MS, that’s a signal that you need to switch to a faster DNS lookup service.
10. Improve The UI And UX Of Your Website
User Interfaces and Experiences contribute towards the overall performance of the website. A responsive UI will provide a web user with a better experience. Studies have shown that web design trends are a factor that is shaping website performance in today’s world. Design elements are getting attention since they are evolving with user preferences, web technology, and other technologies. This explains why AMPs are so popular across the internet. And since huge search volume is coming from mobile users, you should redesign your website to be AMP-responsive.
By now, you can already see the significance of optimizing your WordPress site. The good thing is that it’s an inexpensive and standard website maintenance practice. WordPress CMS is highly customizable, and you should take advantage of that to have the best site ever. What’s even better is that most of these optimization techniques are easy, meaning you can DIY and improve your website. Would you rather focus on other areas of your business? We can help you optimize the site as you do. Contact us, and we will ensure your website is performing at top speed.