6 Tips for Increasing Your Website Speed for WordPress

September 21th, 2018 / News

Speed is crucial for the web

 

Nowadays, with high-speed internet connections, people are much more sensitive to waiting/loading times on the web. As we’ve discussed before, fast loading sites are crucial to retain customers on your site for as long as possible. Put simply, there is very little tolerance for slow loading sites.

Here are a few tips to help keep your website loading time down and your customers’ attention up:

How To Optimize For Fast Website Speed

While there is an overabundance of different methods to fine-tune your website, we’ve listed a few surefire ways to drastically improve your website speed.

#1

The Basics: Your Website Host

This is where it all begins. Having a reliable, high-speed host is the first thing to ensure you have. Typically, you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting. Cheap hosts will make promises of speeds they cannot deliver. Ensuring you have a premium host will allow for high-speed delivery of your websites assets to everyone visiting your site—even if there are multiple people visiting at the same time. Now that we have that squared away, we can focus on how you can optimize things on your end.

#2

Using A Premium Theme

When working with WordPress, it’s important to have a strong foundation before you get any deeper into speed optimization. Having a template or theme that’s poorly developed will have a bunch of unnecessary, bloated code. Having a poor theme will set you up for failure from the get-go. Even if it looks nice, or has great functionality, it doesn’t mean much if your end users bounce before they can even see it. That’s why we only use a premium-built theme—Divi, by ElegantThemes, which allows us to build websites from the ground-up with complete control over every aspect of the design with its highly in-depth, and frequently updated builder.

#3

Image Optimization

This is one of the biggest culprits for slowing down your website speed. When images are uploaded without optimizing them for web usage, they’ll look great when loaded, but the enhanced file size adds on to the time it takes for people to load your site. Apparently, size does matter.

Image Size

Think about in terms of downloading—obviously, a picture that’s 300kb will download faster than one that is 3mb. Of course, nowadays, the difference between downloading these two isn’t much. However, now let’s think of this on a bigger scale. What if your website page has 6 images? Now, you’re comparing a 1.8mb up against 18mb. That’s a significant difference. If you’re not savvy with tools like Photoshop, don’t worry. There are great options like Imagify—this will do the heavy lifting for you and optimize your images with fantastic efficiency.

Keeping your image sizes small ensures you website stays lean and loads quick.

Image Dimensions

The other main consideration in image optimization is making sure your image dimensions are appropriate for your web page. Uploading an image with a size larger than what it will be displayed on the page as adds additional “mental gymnastics” in the code of your website. This is, of course, in layman’s terms. What this means, however, is that larger dimensions add on to the load time for your end user. Not to mention, larger images are typically larger in file size to boot, so making sure they’re the correct dimensions is a two-for-one.

Make sure your image dimensions are the size of their container.

#4

Have a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Put simply, a CDN creates a cached version of your website between where your website site is hosted on, and where people access it from. It’s basically like having an extra access point for your Wi-Fi router. Naturally, since there’s less travel time between your website host and where your users are accessing it from, this results in faster load times. For taking your site to the next level, a CDN is crucial. This becomes a no-brainer, when you can get a free CDN from CloudFlare.

CDNs take your website speed to the next level by reducing the distance traveled between your website host and your viewers.

#5

Caching Plugin

Website caching is one of the greatest unseen services for those viewing your website, and a major boon to your website speed. Client-Side Caching is a process your website browser already does. It saves the website in your browser after you view the first time, so when you come back you don’t have to redownload the site again. Having a caching plugin takes an extra step further. Without getting into overly-specialized language, having a powerful caching plugin allows you to use Server-Side Caching and compression feature unavailable otherwise.

They also provide additional features such as Minifying CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. As the name implies, these features compress your website’s code to make it as lean as possible. This means that it can be read faster by browsers, increasing your overall page speed.

For caching plugins, we use and recommend WP Rocket, the fastest ranked caching plugin available.

#6

Make Sure Your Videos Are Properly Compressed

If you’re working with video on your website, exercise absolute caution when it comes to compression. Video is a powerful medium with naturally dense file sizes. It’s easy for an uncompressed video to be multiple gigabytes in size. That said, it’s especially important to make sure your videos are the appropriate length, sized, and compressed correctly to avoid having extremely long load times on your website.

Final Thoughts

There are many ways to improve your website’s speed. Ensuring you have everything under wraps will make sure your customers don’t get irritated with waiting and bounce off to someone else’s site instead. We also understand that this can be a lot to take in, especially if websites are not your specialty. That’s why we’re here to help. Let us know if there’s any way we can help you get the speed your website—and customers—deserve.

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1503 North 19th St

Tampa, FL 33605

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