When the loading speed of a site is slow, users are likely to move on to the next competitor offering a similar product or service. If you own a WordPress blog, the loading speed is dependent on factors such as how the site is designed, the size of images and a lot more. If your WordPress site is slow at any point in time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your server is under-performing or that other blogs are also affected. You just need to find better ways to run the site efficiently and handle traffic while it loads.
Let’s cut to the chase. Here are five easy ways to speed up your WordPress website:
Use a Reliable Web Hosting Service
To be able to run your website online, you need a hosting space. Look for a server that is close to your users. If you run an entertainment blog that caters for fans in New Zealand for example, you’ll need a domain name registrar and web host whose servers are in New Zealand. This will make your site load faster when users are trying to navigate it. The latency of servers close to your customers is minimal compared to if it’s in another country, or another continent entirely.
Hard disk drives like Solid State Drive (SSD) give your website better performance when hosting. Then ensure that your web host provides your server with maximum uptime, because Google recognises the performance of your site. Your web hosting provider should also have a reliable technical support team that will come to your aid whenever you need an extra hand.
You need to further check how much storage and bandwidth a web host is offering, before hiring their service. Anything from 10 GB (for small websites) to unlimited storage and bandwidth is what you should consider. This helps you update your website later on – no matter the size of content – and means you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Always Keep the Number of WordPress Plugins on the Low Side
The loading speed of your website can be slowed down – and an overhead created – when you make use of so many WordPress plugins. Therefore, do not try to use everything at your beck and call, just choose the plugins that are necessary for running your website at that time.
Using too many plugins on a website can create an overhead to your blog and slow your website speed. So, choose your plugins carefully and use only those that are needed for your website. You can use the Plugin Performance Profiler to determine which plugin is slowing down your website’s speed or causing other performance issues on the site. Run a test on your website using this plugin after you have installed it. A report on your website performance will be generated and you’ll figure out what particular plugin is reducing your website’s loading speed. This will also help you decide if you want to uninstall the plugin or install a better alternative.
Delete Post Duplicates and Comments that Look Spammy
The Batch Comment Spam Deletion plugin is one that helps you delete all comments that appear spammy – batch by batch. Having a popular blog comes with accompanying comments on different articles you post, from users all over the world. It can slow down the loading speed of your website, as it makes the size of the page unnecessarily large.
If you decide to delete the spam comments manually, you need to do it carefully, so that you don’t interfere with other saved information on your database.
As for duplicate posts, these are usually stored by WordPress when you update a new blog post. It’s usually a safe method to enable you to review it anytime. However, when you have lots of duplicates, the loading speed of your site will be affected. You can install a Better delete revision plugin to help delete these revisions or duplicates, so that your blog can speed up.
When you click ‘Update’ in WordPress while updating a post, WordPress stores these revisions for each update, so that you can roll back any time. This can create lot of revision on the website that reduces your website speed. Cleaning revision is like cleaning unnecessary data from a database to enhance the speed of your website.
Select the Right WordPress Theme
There are a lot of WordPress themes that optimise your website to load faster. You need to consider those that are mobile friendly, because since Google launched its Mobile-First Index, mobile responsiveness will determine how well your website performs in search result rankings. To check how responsive your site is, you can make use of Google’s online tool.
When making your choice of theme, select one that can easily be updated. Don’t just pick any theme, but conduct proper research and ensure it doesn’t have bugs or any other security threats. You can also use the Pingdom tool that checks for website speed to find out if the theme you like uses JS or CSS files. Those with such files tend to load faster. Themes with a ‘Themes Option Panel’ are easy to set up as well.
Themes with inbuilt security enhancements are also very good. You can check out how secure your theme is with the help of the Anti-malware security plugin. Also, confirm if the makers of the theme have a technical support team in case you come across any hiccups along the way.
Beautiful themes speak volumes. Check out the designs and layout as well before installing them.
Optimise Your Database
Your settings, plugin information, comments, web pages and blog posts are all stored in the WordPress database. If your database stores a lot of content, it affects the loading speed of the site. Endeavour to always optimise, repair, backup and restore your database as often as possible – especially if you have a large website. The WP-DB manager plugin can always help you with that.
There are many other ways to speed up your website’s loading time, but these are the basic ones. If you follow them, your bounce rates will always keep reducing.
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