Design & Development, Tutorials, WordPress

5 Easy Steps to Speed Up WordPress Sites


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Did you know that according to Amazon, every extra 1/10th of a second in loading time caused sales to decrease by 1%? A fast site is one of the best ways to increase Search Engine Rankings and the amount of visitors to your site.

How to Speed Up WordPress

To get started Google has created a free, convenient tool to check the speed of any site.

PageSpeed Insights

Once you have your site completed follow the steps listed to below to keep your site as fast as possible.

1. The Right Web Hosting Account

To keep your site running smoothly first make sure you’re on the right web hosting platform.

Different accounts come included with varying levels of resources. Having the appropriate levels of memory, storage, and bandwidth are essential to having a well working site.

Generally the most popular forms of hosting available are Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, and Dedicated Servers. To learn more about these different hosting platforms visit our related article, ‘Shared, VPS, & Dedicated Hosting – What’s the Difference?’

2. Check Your Images!

Large images can take a fairly long time to load. Many WordPress users simply find an image and drag it into a post, or load an image from their personal computer without resizing it. These images can be very large. Your site probably doesn’t need a file that large. What you need to do is optimize your images size. Meaning you want to make it so your site’s image files are as small as they can be while still looking good. There are a few ways to go about this:

Check your image resolution. A high image resolution carries more information (pixels) per square inch leading to a larger image file. Oftentimes you can significantly lower the resolution without any noticeable difference in picture quality. There are many common picture editing programs available that include a resize feature to change the number of pixels.

Check the images type. Some image files types generally are larger than others. The most popular file type for images intended for web use is JPEG. Save images in JPEG format to maintain good visual quality without creating large files. To change your file type you need to open the image in a picture editing program such as Photoshop, MS Paint, Gimp, etc. Click ‘Save As’ and choose the appropriate file type.

Utilize free tools such as Kraken.io. Kraken is an image optimizer and compresser. A free web interface is available for use.

3. Check Your Elements!

It’s not only large image files which can add to your site’s loading time. All kinds of scripts or small applets can be running in the background. To get a better idea of which parts of your site might be slowing it down, utilize another free tool like pingdom.

Simply enter your site’s URL and test. Pingdom will issue feedback such as your total load time, page size, and it will even compare your site’s speed relative to others. It will also list all elements (such as images, scripts, etc.) which load onto your page. Elements with the longest ‘tails’ are taking the most time to load and should be optimized.

4.Minimize your Scripts!

Many sites will use¬†scripts like CSS and Javascript to make their website work. To make these scripts load faster basically we’re going to “smush” them together.

For example your CSS file could look something like this –


body{
color: red;
}
a:hover{
font-size: 2px;
}

Or it could also look like this, load faster, and work just as well –


body{color:red}a:hover{font-size:2px}

There are many options available to minimize css and javascript code. For CSS you can try cssminifier or csscompressor. Tools for javascript include jscompress and Yui Compressor.

Use a Content Delivery Network!

A content delivery network stores a copy of your site on servers located all over the globe. If someone from overseas visits your site, it will load from the nearest server, significantly increasing your site’s speed. Content Delivery Networks, such as pairCDN, are fairly simple and inexpensive to integrate into your site.

In Conclusion

If you want your site to grow in popularity the need for speed is vital. The quicker your site loads the more it will be seen as trustworthy by potential customers and site-ranking algorithms. This can be done through optimize all of your site’s images, minimizing CSS and JavaScript files, identifying any long-loading elements, and possibly utilizing a Content Delivery Network (otherwise known as a CDN).