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If you own a website, it is highly likely that you are using WordPress CMS, which powers more than 35% of all websites around the world. In order to be successful, there are certain rules that your website must abide by. It is not a big secret that speed is one of the crucial factors when it comes to websites. If your website is sluggish, and your visitors need to wait, even a few seconds, you are likely to feel the negative impact right from the start. And by the negative impact, we mean poor search rankings, increased bounce rate, decreased conversation and a lot more.
The popularity of WordPress came with its powerful and easy-to-use nature that allows less experienced users to do marvelous things with websites. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and with speed being one of the key factors of a successful website, let’s dive into tips and tricks that can help you improve your WordPress website.
The importance of regular updates
From the early morning, you’ll get updates on your phone, your laptop, TV, tablet… and we tend to skip and postpone them as much as we can. But, with WordPress, updates do make a difference. Whether we are talking about a new version of WordPress, theme or plugins, updates will make sure your website runs fast, smooth and secure. With that many websites around the world relying on WordPress, one of the key focus points for developers is the speed. That is why the core software is being constantly improved and optimized in order to provide peak performance with every update.
And it is very similar to themes and plugins. Firstly, you are making sure that your theme and plugins are compatible with the new version of WordPress, and that they are working as efficiently as possible.
Choose your hosting provider
The matter of a good hosting provider can have a great impact on the speed of your website. Choosing the right hosting plan can be one of the most important choices that you’ll make for your website. Look at hosting providers as a place where your website lives. It should be fast, stable, secure, in a good neighborhood, have good performance, and can cope with increased traffic.
We are saying this because poorly chosen hosting providers can have a bad impact on your website’s speed, search rankings, and performance. Take your time when you are choosing, list your priorities, compare the benefits, and try to find the glove that best fits your needs. Pick a flexible provider like Hostinger, that can grow with you and help you overcome any obstacle you encounter with your website.
Caching means speed
Caching is one of the smart ways for you to improve the speed of your website. Think of caching as fast buffer memory for your website: when you first visit a website, this information is stored, and then these cached files are shown on your next visit. This way your files are not loaded from the server, which increases speed very much and has less impact on the resources required to run your website. Although it sounds complicated, like everything else, there are WordPress plugins that can help you implement caching very fast and efficiently. Compress and minify your website’s files.
By optimizing your website’s code, and removing all the unnecessary bits and pieces, you can make our website run faster. If you know your coding, you can do this manually, and even Google provides some minification guidelines. The other option is to use JS and CSS code optimization tools that can work directly in a browser like Minify or CSS compressor. And the third and most popular option is to use WordPress plugins that can help with code optimization (Autoptimize, WP Super Minify).
Optimize your images and videos
Images and videos have a great impact on your loading and website speed. Even though we don’t always optimize our media content it can pile up to become a serious problem because they require server space and bandwidth. The trick with image optimization is to decrease the file size without noticeably affecting the quality. Although there are tools that you can use to do this manually, there are many plugins that can automate this process. Plugins like Smush go through your website and image library and compress and resize your media files in order to improve the performance of your theme.
When it comes to video, there is one golden rule – avoid direct upload of video files to your WordPress website because it can cost you a lot of bandwidth. Instead, use video embed feature built-in WordPress and video services like YouTube and Vimeo and let them do the work they do best.
Fast databases – fast website
By optimizing and reorganizing your site’s databases you are clearing the clutter, which can speed up the performance and reduce some space. Of course, there are plugins like WPOptimize and WP-DBManager that can help you do this the easy way. These plugins will go through your databases, do the necessary repairs and optimization and delete the things you don’t use.
Remove unused themes and plugins
By searching for the best theme and plugins for your website you must try some of them out and see if they fit. Once you’ve found what you’ve been looking for, try to be methodical and delete the themes and plugins you don’t need. Unused plugins can also increase your backup size and load the server resources that you could use a lot smarter. Of course, there are plugins that do this, but it is kind of redundant, so the best way is to do it manually on a regular basis in order to keep your peak performance on.
Improvement is the way to success
The speed and performance of your WordPress website are one of your biggest advantages. By decreasing your load times, you are improving the experience your visitors have, lowering your bounce rate and improving your search rankings. We cannot emphasize enough how important this is. With little improvement here and there you can achieve much in the short and long-term, keeping your performance and speed on top of its game.