WordPress is one of the best ways to create your own blog and typically runs pretty fast, but there are a few things you can do to make it even faster. A slow-running website not only distracts visitors but also reflects a bad image in search engine rankings. In order, to avoid any of these problems, you need to check your website’s speed on a constant basis and improvise it.
Well, there are certain free services engaged in this, and the most preferred is Pingdom. Once running a quick test of your URL, you can view how your site ranks on a scale of 100. You can also see how its loading speed compares to that of other related sites. It is a great idea to do cross-checks, especially after installing new plugins.
Here are some other ways that can help you optimize your WordPress website if your site’s speed doesn’t rank as high as it should be.
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1. Try to Select a Good and Reputed Hosting Provider
If your loading speed tends to fluctuate a lot, then your current hosting provider might be the main culprit. You should check with your hosting company to confirm a few things like, how many websites they are sharing on the same server? The higher number of websites, the more chances to experience spikes and drops in your site speed.
When you are on a shared server, your speed relies not only on your own traffic but also on the traffic of the other shared sites. So, it would be better for you to change your hosting provider if you are facing this problem.
Choosing a good hosting provider is a better option for you, but if you can’t afford the leading company, you can try to stick with the company that hosts not more than ten sites on a single server.
You can also cross-check if your provider offers compression, caching, and CDN services; all of them will help you optimize the site’s speed.
2. Stimulate your Database
As we know, the entire website’s information is stored in the database such as posts, plugins, images, and comments. If the database is too stuffy, the website will automatically take more time to load the information. If you have a certain amount of knowledge about how your site’s database works, you might want to improvise it as well.
In order to do so, you need to choose all tables and click Repair, then select them one more time and click on Optimize. If you don’t want to do this manually, you can use one of the leading plugins like WP-DBManager or WP-Optimize to perform the same task.
3. Optimize your Images
Most of the websites are facing the problem of slow speed because of the images that are not optimized for the web. If your website is image-oriented, then there are many ways to ensure your website loading time is not affected by the images. Firstly, try to use the 8-bit PNG format for any of your simple graphics that don’t require too much color or detail.
If you want to present images in higher quality, use the 24-bit PNG or JPEG format. Apart from choosing the right format, it is also a good way to optimize your images for the internet before uploading them to your site. You can use the free program, such as Paint to optimize the image, or another premium tool, such as Photoshop.
You can also use the famous Yahoo service known as Smush IT. You can upload your images to its website and allow the web app to optimize them for you. This tool works with individual images or with groups of files. In fact, you can provide a URL and the service will automatically optimize all images on the given web page by providing you with a ZIP file of everything it has developed.
4. Cross-Check Your Plugins
There is no doubt that plugins are the best tool of WordPress that helps in adding any missing functionality to your basic WP site, but they can also slow down the speed of your site. It happens especially when they are badly written or outdated.
You can use a P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) to cross-check which plugins are slowing down your site. In fact, the P3 plugin will also measure each plugin’s effect on your site’s loading time and help you detect that one poorly configured plugin. You can also reduce the number of plugins from your site as it will help you boost your site’s speed.
In addition, you can also clean your comment’s spam section on a regular basis and also use a plugin like Revision Control for removing unnecessary old post revisions. It would be better for you to install a caching plugin, such as W3 Total Cache or WP super cache.
5. Select a Good Theme or Framework
Do you know some of the WordPress themes are faster than others? Therefore, it is important to select the right theme that will help you ensure your site’s speed is good and fast from the beginning.
In fact, WordPress default themes are fast, and so are the popular frameworks like Genesis, Thesis, Headway, and App Themes. And for a website owner, it becomes extremely important to consider the speed, security, and design of the site while choosing a new theme, along with the support of updates.
6. Use a Content Delivery Networks
Content Delivery Networks certify that your cached content is stored on a network of geographically distant servers. It means that when accessing your site, the users only have to open the server that is closest to their own geographical locations, loading speeds that are faster than if users access the same through a central server.
Most of the hosting services come with free CDN and if yours doesn’t provide the Content Delivery Networks, then you can always set it up separately via a content delivery service such as Amazon CloudFront.
The speed of the site plays a crucial role in increasing the traffic to your website. Therefore, it becomes essential to follow the mentioned steps that can help you speed up your site quickly and swiftly.
Author Bio: Maggie Sawyer is a Sr. Web Developer at MarkupHQ Ltd., a leading high-quality markup conversion service provider company with a global reach. She is an expert in WordPress customization services and able to convert PSD to WordPress themes with guaranteed 100% client satisfaction. She enjoys writing useful tutorials specially related to the world of WordPress.