How to Speed Up Your WordPress Site

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that people worldwide use for building websites. Many people use WordPress due to its ease of use, scalability, and functionality. If you have a WordPress site and you have an interest in improving its speed, you are in luck! There are several different methods you can try to speed up your site.

Why is Having Faster Speed Important?

First of all, let’s go over why you should aim for increased speeds. The primary reason is that slow loading times will result in you losing potential visitors to your site. The average human attention span is not very long, and people will not want to wait more than a few seconds to access your site. If you lose a visitor’s interest, you have forfeited the revenue they could have provided.

Another reason is that websites with quicker speeds will have higher SEO rankings. Search engines will present an optimized list of options to their users. If a website is slow, it will not provide a good user experience, and therefore will be much lower on the list. This gets determined by the number of people who leave your website immediately after clicking on its link. This is a detriment if you are trying to raise your website’s image and popularity with the public.

Fast Hosting

Choosing a good WordPress hosting provider is essential because that is a big factor in determining speed. Investing in a quality provider will provide you with an optimized website. In addition to this, you will see faster speeds if you choose a VPS or dedicated hosting plan. Shared hosting tends to be slower because hundreds of websites are on the same server sharing the available resources. With a VPS or dedicated plan, your website will have its own private area and resources and not have to share with others.

Choose a Good Theme

Some website owners do not realize that the theme they have chosen is the reason for their excessive lag. This can happen when you choose a theme that has an excess number of features that you never even use. To prevent this from happening, select a minimalistic theme that only has what you need. You can always add additional functions using plugins later on.

If you already have a website created, this may mean starting over with the whole new theme. This may seem like a big hassle at the time, but it will result in improved speeds in the long run.

Optimize Images

Images are helpful tools that help appeal to customers. They can see the exact product that they will be purchasing and also how it works. However, large images will often slow down a WordPress website. The goal here will be to reduce the file size as much as you can, but avoid losing the quality of the image. You can compress images using editing software such as Photoshop. Or you could simply convert your PNG images to JPEG, which takes up less space.

One point to note is that you should view your new images in a test mode before you make the changes go live. Make sure that the image is not too blurry and that the customer can easily see what it is.

Avoid Videos

Having videos on your WordPress site may seem like a great idea for how-tos and other similar instructions. However, videos also tend to eat up bandwidth and will also cause the site to run slower due to its large size. Instead of having the videos directly on your website, you could try moving them to a video hosting site. This could include sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, or Vimeo. If you embed the link into your website, all the customer has to do is navigate to the video.

Install Caching Plugins

A cache plugin will enable your website to load faster on visitors’ browsers. Having such a plugin will save the static HTML pages of your site onto your server. This means that when a person visits your website, the plugin will process the static pages rather than the entire WordPress script. There are many different options for these cache plugins, some of them may suit your needs better than others. Read through all of the features that each plugin includes, as it may be more than you need.

Checking the Speed

Just because your website is running quickly on your computer does not mean it is the same for everyone else. As the creator of the website, you are often visiting it, which means that it is cached in your browser for quick access. Instead of relying on that, there are free tools available online that have the purpose of testing the speed of a website.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be aiming for a load time of under 2 seconds. However, anywhere between 2 and 3 seconds is still acceptable. If you are over this load time, you might want to consider going back and making some changes to speed up your site.

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