WordPress is the world’s easiest, most powerful content management system (CMS) and blogging platform. According to BuiltWith, 2645 of the top 10k Internet sites use WordPress. So, if you’re already using WordPress, then congratulations!
However, if you want your WordPress website to perform better, then you better optimize it. Optimization of your WP site not only increases traffic and page viewers, but it enhances user experience and helps with SEO. Below you will find six amazing WordPress optimization tips to take your website to the next level.
1- Pick a Proper Website Host
Your optimization techniques won’t go very far if you’ve chosen the wrong hosting plan for your site. Managed WordPress hosting plans are recommended to keep your website updated and relevant at all times. What’s more, the best-managed WordPress hosting services include advanced security options and automatic backups.
However, it’s best if you avoid shared hosting plans since they slow down your website loading time. And considering that nearly half the Internet users abandon a website that doesn’t load within three seconds, slow speeds may drive away visitors even before your page loads.
2- Always Choose Good Quality Themes
A lot of the performance and speed of your website depends on the theme you pick for your WordPress site. Now, there is no shortage of WP themes on the Internet. In 2014 alone, 123,498,018 free theme downloads took place from WordPress.org.
But choosing a random theme for your website is the biggest mistake you can make. You should always pick something that is both reliable and flexible.
Select responsive designs since their smooth performance makes them a big hit with search engines. At the same time, be wary of beautifully designed themes that have poor coding and use way too many images, slowing down your site in the process.
Thus, the safest option is to go for premium WordPress themes. Though such themes don’t come cheap, carrying an average price tag of $40, it is money well-spent when you consider how a premium WP theme benefits your website.
3- Consider Plugins Carefully
The number of WordPress plugins in the official directory is 40k and counting. But installing all of them will not help with the optimization process. Start by figuring out what the purpose of your website is and what you need to achieve the same. Then, install the right plugins to fill that void. A few good plugins that boost the speed and performance of your WP site include WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache. Remember, plugins are a major reason why WordPress sites become sluggish over time. So, delete any unnecessary ones and keep the plugins your site actively uses.
4- Keep Your WP Images and Videos Optimized
It’s never a good idea to fill your web pages with tons of images. Not only does this practice bring down the loading time of your website, but it also affects performance. One solution to this problem is to compress and resize the images. Online tools like Optimizilla and Compress JPEG can help you compress the file sizes of your images without any loss in quality. Similarly, you must apply all strategies to properly optimize your videos.
If necessary, you may also use sprites. This is a CSS technique which uses one image to present various design elements on your webpage. So, instead of loading numerous small images, the WP site ends up opening a single one. However, not all themes support sprites, so be mindful of that during the optimization process.
5- Optimize Your Landing Page
You must optimize the landing page of your WP site if you wish to improve the overall speed and performance. The landing page is where visitors from the Internet land up on your website. So, it is very important that there are no delays while this page is loading. While the process of optimizing your landing page can be difficult without the right know-how, it involves reading more tags rather than full posts, using post excerpts, removing any inactive plugins and widgets, and limiting the number of posts featured on a particular page.
6- Start Using a CDN For Your Site
A discussion about WordPress optimization would not be complete without a content delivery network (CDN). Wondering what this is? Well, in layman’s terms, a CDN is a server network that clones cached copies of your website on each of its location nodes.
What this means is that, when a visitor tries to connect to your website, the cache is served by the nearest server location instead of the main physical server of your website. The result is drastically reduced load times. Now, you need to be careful when picking the proper CDN for your site but Amazon CloudFront is an all-around good choice. Not only does it boost web speed, but also it decreases the load on your server.
Enough of theory – now go out there and put the abovementioned six tips to use on your own website. You should start noticing the results in a couple of hours.