The ultimate guide to speed up WordPress websites
If you are running a WordPress website, you probably love the flexibility of the system and how much support is available for it. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably noticed, it’s not the most speedy content management system right out of the box. This means, you need to take some steps in order to speed it up. These tips can be of great help with your optimization efforts.
WordPress is one of the best CMS platforms that have a wide range of capabilities. Moreover, it is free. However, it is not perfect, and it can be quite slow if it is not optimized correctly. In this post, you will learn some few tricks and tips to speed up WordPress.
Choose the Right Theme
It is advisable to install a lightweight theme that has clean code. You should note that each framework is coded differently. As a result of these, some themes are better as compared to others. These are some things to know about WordPress templates.
Avoid Bloated Templates
You need to be careful when buying themes on various online marketplaces. Although you can find some great looking templates there, you should realize that developers keep on adding some features like slider scripts. For most users, buying a theme online is just perfect. However, once you start doing the edits, you will realize that it is a time-consuming task. If you have some coding knowledge, you can create a lightweight template.
Avoid Using a Lot of Plugins
Having a lot of plugins running on your website is not ideal for good performance. In addition, it can make it difficult to troubleshoot bugs. Take time to remove plugins you find are not essential and also remove plugins you no longer use anymore (don’t just let them sit inactive).
Customize Your Theme
Sometimes your requirements may not be fulfilled by a premium theme. In such a case, you should consider hiring an expert to make a custom template for you.
Due to the introduction of retina screens, high bandwidth costs, and non-professionals adding images to sites, image weight and size have increased to indecent proportions. In any way, you cannot teach every webmaster how to use Photoshop and other aspects such as removing metadata and image compression. Thus, it is advisable to install a plugin to do the work. We use and recommend EWWW Image Optimizer (there are both a free and paid version of the plugin).
Create a Caching System
In addition to having a clean code on your theme, you may find it necessary to use a caching plugin. This can help you increase the loading speed of your website. It is advisable to find a plugin that can do this task. Ensure you get a plugin that offers a complete solution, and its customer support is responsive to your tickets and questions. In fact, you can get some paid and free plugins–we recommend WP Rocket. An effective caching system will do various tasks such as:
Page Caching – In this case, HTML contents of your website are compressed. In this way, your website enjoys fast load times.
GZIP Compression – You can optimize the rendering of the web browsers. The good thing about this is that you can save on bandwidth.
LazyLoad – This means that images will be loaded when the visitor scrolls down your website. This improves the loading speed.
Optimize Your Database
If you fail to keep your database optimized and tidy, your site will start to slow down. Fortunately, you can find some plugins that help keep the database clean. They work by limiting or disabling post revisions. In addition, they delete the old revisions. Some allow for automated cleanup. The caching plugin we recommended earlier, WP Rocket, also has a built-in database optimization feature as well.
Setup a CDN
Find a Good Web Host
Choosing the best web host service provider is vital. Usually, a lot of website owners go for cheap web hosts as they want to save money. Unfortunately, such web hosting companies stack thousands of clients onto a single server. This becomes hectic when problems pop up. Over time, the loading speed of your website gets affected. In some instances, some clients have been banned from certain web activities such as sending emails. This is because some users in their servers were sending spam emails.
Therefore, you should seek a web host that offers a small, controlled environment to avoid such issues mentioned above. Although it may cost you a bit more, you will enjoy better performance. There are even web hosts dedicated, designed, and optimized to host WordPress-specific sites such as WP Engine.
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