We live in an increasingly impatient world. Websites aren’t exempt. Almost every client I have tells me that they want a website that loads fast. I get it, we all want that. Not only will it improve your search ranking, it will also make people want to stay on your site.
I compiled a list of tips that will help you fulfil your need for speed.
- Choose your hosting provider carefully. Yes, the first thing you should do is make sure you have a good hosting plan from a reliable host. The more page views you have, the more you need to make sure your hosting plan is capable of supporting it. When you’re just starting out, cheap shared hosting is acceptable. Once you start getting over 10,000 page views, that’s not going to be enough. I’ve read very good reviews about WP Engine, Siteground, and Studiopress Sites. They’re fast, reliable, and offer good customer support – and they have hosting plans that are specifically designed for WordPress.
- Optimize your images. Make your images internet-friendly. If you have a lot of images (I’m looking at you, photographers, wedding planners, and design bloggers), this tends to slow down your site. I’m not saying get rid of your images completely, of course. You can do three things: change the resolution (72dpi only); compress the images (run them thru compress jpeg); and lastly, run them thru an image optimizer. More on this in another post.
- Choose a good theme. Some themes are so heavily laden with bloat, they are like ticking time bombs. This is why I build my sites on the Genesis Framework. Everything goes back to code. Bad code=bad site. Not even the most expensive hosting plan will cure that.
- Use plugins sparingly. Get rid of the ones you don’t actually need. A lof of functions can be performed without plugins. Of those you need, keep only the ones with solid code and good reviews. In an old post, I discussed plugins in detail. Do check it out.
- Regularly delete spam comments. Yes, those thousands of spam comments that you’ve been ignoring for years. Delete them now, and forevermore. They’re occupying space on your database, space you can use for more posts.
- Use a caching plugin. If your hosting provider allows this, cache your website. This improves loading time too. W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket, WP Super Cache, and Sitegrounds’ own dynamic cache are all reliable and reputable. Find one that meets your needs. Personally, the one that I found to be the most effective is W3 Total Cache. Here’s an article with a full list of settings you need to copy.
- Delete unused plugins and themes. Leave the latest default WordPress theme for when you need to switch to one in case your website is having issues though.
Do you have any other tips you want to share? Or questions about any of these tips? Let me know in the comments!