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It is common knowledge that visitors will not stay for a long time for a website to load. Even an added second of the load time will hurt your site significantly. Most importantly, speed is an important factor when it comes to the Google ranking of the website.
If you are using these tools for the first time try running multiple tests and taking its average for an accurate result.
Did the result turn out too bad? Then read on and find the right solution to speed up your WordPress website.
Don't Go Wrong When Choosing Your Hosting Provider
Choosing the right hosting provider is the most basic thing to consider if you want to set up a faster loading website. If you did that part right, you will find it a lot easier to apply the below techniques to your website and make it super fast.
Before you start looking for the host you should be clear about one thing - what type of hosting you should go for your WordPress website. Shared hosting, Managed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated Hosting, and Free hosting are the five hosting types you can choose from.
If you want to learn what these are and about their advantages & disadvantages, you can visit our article on WordPress Hosting – How to Choose the Best One.
Here are some points you should consider to choose the right type of hosting.
- Avoid free and shared hosting unless you are running a small website.
- Choose VPS hosting if you are strong on the technical side or can hire a network administrator.
- Go for dedicated hosting if you are going to build a huge site on a big budget.
- Find the right balance in Managed WordPress hosting that offers affordable cost and ease of use.
Choose Themes Wisely
Your website theme has a lot to do with the overall speed of your website. Most people have the misconception that the best theme is the one with lots of features. But in fact, the best theme is the one that enables your website to perform well.
Whether you are going for a paid or free theme consider the below points to choose the right theme for your website.
- Give higher priority to lightweight themes
- Say no to themes that are filled with dynamic and shiny elements.
- Go for themes with only necessary features.
- If your website requires lots of features find themes that let you disable features that aren't in use.
- Choose themes built on good frameworks such as Bootstrap or Foundation.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed about choosing a theme from a plethora of options go for default WordPress themes.
Practice Database Maintenance
This is where loads of data get accumulated that end up in slowing down your website. The major portion of the data that accumulate in your database is unused data from uninstalled plugins, post revisions, etc.
When you delete unnecessary data from your database it frees up lots of space and keeps size to a minimum. You can use plugins such as WP-Optimize to do it for you. Apart from that, you can manually delete all the spam comments, fake users, old drafts of your content and unwanted plugins, etc., to make your website fast.
Use CDN on Your Website
The server location and page loading time are closely related. Based on the location of your server, the page loading speed experienced by your visitors may vary. Ie; visitors close to your hosting location will have a faster loading time compared to visitors away from the hosting location.
CDN compensates for this by keeping a copy of your website in various data centers so that when a visitor makes a request the CDN can fetch results from the nearest possible location.
Top CDN’s you can choose from:
Enable Caching of Your Webpages
Easy ways to speed up your WordPress website never exhausts. Enabling caching is one such solution. What actually happens to your WordPress website when you enable caching? Let's find out.
Caching is, to put it simply, the temporary storage of certain WordPress files to disk or RAM, so that when a user requests a certain page of your website it remembers and duplicates the page and thereby significantly reducing the page loading time.
You can enable caching in two different ways on your website.
1) Server level caching
With server-level caching, the caching will be provided for you by your website host itself. Thus you will not have to think about caching at all. As your website go live page caching will also start itself.
This makes it necessary to check with your host whether they provide built-in caching. If not, you will have to rely on caching plugins.
2) By using a caching plugin
There are plenty of WordPress caching plugins available to enable page caching on your website. WP Supercache, W3 Total Cache, Cache Enabler, etc., are some of them. You can choose the best caching plugin and enable caching on your website right away.
Host Videos on Your Website in the Right Way
Videos are increasingly being used on websites. They are great for engaging the users in your website’s content and thus for the overall SEO of the website. But, if not used properly, they might hurt your website badly.
Let me explain how. Hosting videos on your website costs you bandwidth. Especially, if you have a limited hosting account it can be a problem. They can make your website load forever because the file size for video files are too big. Plus they make your website flooded with content that makes it hard to back up.
But, this doesn't mean you have to avoid adding videos on your website at all. You can rely on video hosting sites that can easily do it for you. Or there are auto embeds in WordPress that lets you embed videos from popular video streaming services like Youtube, Vimeo, etc. You can also use this feature to embed images, tweets, audio, and other content into your WordPress site effortlessly.
Most websites contain images in them. Good visually appealing images have the power to draw visitors towards your website. But you also should be careful about how you post them on your website.
Images can be of large sizes. This will make your website’s loading time slow. Thus you should reduce their size without affecting its quality before posting them on your sites. Image optimization tools are a great way to do this.
Tools/Plugins that can help:
Try Lazy Loading on Your Website
You must have come across lazyloading when you visit certain websites. It allows the website to download images or videos only when the user scrolls down. So the images are loaded only when it is necessary.
Lazy loading is a great way to reduce page loading time by downloading only the images and videos visible in the users' browser area. You can add this to your website using plugins if it contains a large number of images, videos, etc.
Tools and Plugins that can be used:
Minification is the process of removing unnecessary characters from your website’s resource files. It may contain characters such as White space, New line, Comments, Block delimiters, etc., that lower your website speed. When you remove them, the amount of code that has to be requested from the server also reduces thereby improving load time by a great margin.
Tools/Plugins that can be used:
You can use the Autoptimize plugin on your WordPress website to minify these resources for you.
No matter how great your website is in its looks and content, it will not get people's attention if it's pages have a slow loading time. People aren't patient, especially when it comes to technology.
Thus, make sure your website has a faster loading time by applying the above techniques. If these tips help you improve the speed of your website or if we missed anything, please let us know in the comments below.