How to Optimise Your Site for Speed

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It would be an understatement to say that a website is a portfolio for your brand online. The importance of a website for any business, large or small, is undeniably high as it not only indicates your credibility online but also has the power to boost your conversions and profits. Since increasing traffic plays a vital role in the process; hence, it is critical to make sure that the design, content, and user experience are perfect.

For this very reason, WordPress has become the first choice of developers across the globe. Today, WordPress websites own 35% of the internet space, with over 75 million people using WordPress sites worldwide. Thanks to the great functionality and simplicity of this CMS, businesses now have the power to customise their online portfolios easily.

Where the WordPress website can offer you all the tools necessary to portray your business to perfection, you must recognise that user experience factors are also taken care of. Here, Speed is the most critical factor impacting your site’s overall performance and impression.

Why Should You Speed Up Your WordPress Website?

You invested in the website design and structured the perfect funnel to bring you increased sales, but when the traffic came, the home page took 100 years to load up. Frustrating? You merely have no idea how much you lost!

Any page that loads more than 3 seconds turns off more than a quarter of your users. Furthermore, Google is likely to rank you much lower in the search results because your website offers a poor user experience. A website that is slow and uncomfortable to use is not popular amongst users and can significantly detriment user traffic and overall user satisfaction. Even a one-second delay can result in almost 11% fewer page reviews, meaning nearly a loss of 11% of potential conversions.

Factors That Majorly Impact Site Speed

Numerous factors impact the site speed. Here is a list of the factors that make your website clunky or sluggish.

  • Server/Hosting
  • Caching
  • Image size
  • Number of plug-ins
  • Theme/Template
  • Minification

Once we have understood the significance of site speed and the factors affecting it, let’s move forward to see how you can improve the results and enhance the site’s performance.

Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site:

The following ten tips are tried and tested methods that can significantly impact site speeds and ultimately improve the website’s overall performance.

  1. Pick Quality Web Hosting Optimized for WordPress and Speed

The server host can make or break the performance of a website. Certain factors you should consider before deciding to host your website, as they can actually make the processing of your site slower.

  • Location of the server
  • Shared Hosting
  • Optimisation of the webserver

To overcome this problem, pick a quality web host specially customised to bring the best out of WordPress. For example, we found that Cloudways provide excellent high-performance WordPress hosting. Read this Cloudways review on Woblogger to learn more about cloud-based hosting optimised for WordPress and Speed.

  1. Go with a Light WordPress Theme

WordPress offers you the option to customise ‘themes’, and while it may be tempting to add as many features as possible to make the site stand out, being a little minimalistic and going for a ‘light’ theme can do wonders for the website’s overall Speed. Mainly because the server doesn’t have to spend valuable resources just keeping the theme up and running and can instead focus on other aspects that improve site speeds.

  1. Enable Caching

This is amongst the most popular and practised methods of improving speeds. By enabling caches, the static HTML files can be saved and, thus, saves server speed from reprocessing the visitor’s web request. Caching stores temporary data for quick website recovery, and when done right, it can significantly optimise the website speed.

  1. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

When it comes to ‘minifying’ CSS, JavaScript and HTML, useless factors like whitespace, commas, lengthy codes and redundant functions (that directly affect speeds) are removed. The site resources aren’t being wasted on maintaining them. With the CSS, JavaScript and HTML as optimised as possible, only the most essential functionalities are allowed to stay running, which leads to a natural uptick in Speed.

  1. Enable GZIP Compression

Another effective way to speed up your site is to implement GZIP compression. Using GZIP to compress files is one of the most basic tricks used by website developers to cut down on data costs because of its simplicity. All GZIP compression does is help with site speeds because smaller file sizes are easier to load, and the results can be relatively dramatic for such a simplistic solution.

  1. Compress Images for Fast Loading

Smaller files are easier to load and don’t take up resources or waste speed that can be utilised elsewhere. The main selling point of compressed images is that the quality isn’t mitigated by too much. At the same time, the size is decreased by a notable amount.

  1. Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript

Keeping the render block on is counter-productive for faster site speeds, which is why it is advised to remove it altogether, and there should be a noticeable pick-up in site speed. Surprisingly, this is also a tactic that quite a few site creators can overlook, despite it having such a massive impact.

  1. Reduce Post Revisions

WordPress has a feature that allows one to save ‘revisions’ of posts, pages etc., on a 60-second cycle. This can end up racking up a lot of revisions that will cost precious site resources and, ultimately, Speed. Changing how often edits are saved can reduce how often the data is reallocated for the process and ultimately improve the website.

  1. Use the Latest PHP – 7.0+

It is no surprise that using the most up-to-date hypertext script writer ensures that the most efficient computer language currently available is being implemented – alongside general speed boosts, performance improvements can also be expected. And seeing as WordPress uses PHP, having the most current script version (currently Gen 7.0+) can do wonders for speeds and overall website management.

  1. Use a CDN

Unlike the other suggestions, this is likely the most costly. However, it also brings a lot to the table. It is a viable solution if the website expects a lot of user traffic. CDNs are amongst the most common ways to spread server workload to ensure high, constant speeds and a certain amount of security and stability to the site overall. By connecting people to the geographically closest server to them, load times are cut by massive amounts.

Speed up WordPress – Conclusion

Site speeds are imperative for the growth of a website – people simply don’t have the time, patience or a combination of both to wait for it to load. As a result, spending the extra effort to improve the loading times and keep a constant eye on it can have a reasonably positive effect on the website’s user count and conversions.