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How to Make My WordPress Site Faster.

How To Make My Wordpress Site Faster Graphic

Make Your WordPress Site Faster Overview.

This tutorial will explain why it is so important to make your WordPress site faster and how to check the current speed. Then I go through 8 things that will help you increase the speed of your WordPress website.

Quickies.

Why is it Important to Have a Fast Website?
How Do I Check My Website Speed?
Quality Hosting is Number One.
Optimize Your Images.
Use a High Quality Caching Plugin.
Keep Everything Updated.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Don’t Host Audio or Video Files on Your Server.
Use a Lightweight Theme.
Limit the Use of Plugins.
The Nutshell.

Why is it Important to Have a Fast Website?

  • 40% of all visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • 1 second can be the difference in losing and keeping a visitor.
  • 74% of internet users say they will never go back to a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load.
  • Google uses website speed as a factor when they rank your website.
  • In a time when instant gratification is valued, it is especially important to provide your visitors with a fast website. They expect it!
  • A fast website makes a great first impression on your visitors and shows you are professional and reliable.

How Do I Check My Website Speed?

Here are a few online tools to check the speed of your website:

Enter your website’s URL in one of these tools and it will analyze your website’s performance.

Quality Hosting is Number One.

A quality web host is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a high-performance website. Without quality hosting, it will be very difficult to operate an efficient website. In addition to performance, a quality host will provide your site with a high level of security out of the gate. If you need some suggestions here is a list of the best hosting companies:

More WordPress hosting options: The Best WordPress Hosting in 2019.
In-depth SiteGround review: 2019 SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review.

Optimize Your Images.

Images usually take up over half of a web page’s size so it is very important to keep them as small as possible. Optimizing images for your website involves re-sizing and compressing them to the high-quality you need at the smallest size possible. Here are a couple of basic rules to follow when adding images to your website:

  • Re-size your images before uploading them to your site. If you find that you are re-sizing with CSS, that is a sign of a problem.
  • Use the correct file type.
  • Compress your images with a quality plugin.

Best Image Optimization Plugins.

In-depth Reviews: Best WordPress Image Optimizer in 2019.

Use a High Quality Caching Plugin.

The process of caching, stores your website data in a temporary holding area for future use. It creates a static version of your web pages to display for your visitors. When a website visitor goes to your website, instead of having to dynamically re-build the requested page they will get a static page that is served much faster. If you are not caching your website you are missing out on some very simple and powerful performance upgrades.

Keep Everything Updated.

It is important to keep your website in good health and to do so you must be sure you are always running the latest versions of the software. One of the most important things to check is the version of PHP your server is running. It should be at least version 7.1 but the later the better. PHP 7 is twice as fast as PHP 5.6 so this update is an easy improvement if you have not yet made it. You should also keep the WordPress core, all themes and all plugins up to date. This not only helps performance but it’s important for the security of your website.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

A CDN is a network of servers on the internet that stores copies of content from your website. CDN companies have servers all over the world so when someone visits your website, the server that is geographically closest to the request will deliver the website. This makes for extremely fast loading times.

Don’t Host Audio or Video Files on Your Server.

Video and audio files are large and you should never host them on your website. Instead, you should open an account at Vimeo or YouTube and let them host your videos. That’s what they do and they are good at it. When you need to display a video on your WordPress site you can then embed it and it will be served from YouTube or Vimeo. This will save resources on your server and it won’t get bogged down.

Use a Lightweight Theme.

There are tens of thousands of WordPress themes available for your use. Some are quality and some are not. It is very important to choose your WordPress theme wisely and while doing so you should choose one that is fast. The difficult part is balancing the features you need against your skillset as a web developer. If you don’t know any HTML, you will probably need a theme with a front-end builder. If you are a developer, you can choose a theme that is more lightweight but you will need to do more work. The overall important thing when choosing a theme is to understand your needs and choose one that meets those needs without adding unnecessary features that slow it down.

divi theme banner

Limit the Use of Plugins.

This is one of my favorites because I love plugins and I hate plugins. Some plugins are necessary most of the time but if they aren’t necessary, DON’T INSTALL THEM ON YOUR WEBSITE. I have seen websites so loaded down with unnecessary or redundant plugins that it’s ridiculous. Here are my rules of thumb when it comes to WordPress plugins:

  • If you don’t absolutely need it, don’t install it.
  • If you are done using a plugin or found a better one, remove the old one.

It’s that simple.

The Nutshell.

These are some simple ways to make your WordPress site faster. There are a lot more advanced techniques you can use but if you start with these basic things, you will be way ahead of most website owners. Use a quality website host, optimize all of your images, use a caching plugin, keep everything updated, use a CDN, don’t put audio or video files on your website, use a lightweight theme and limit the use of plugins and you will have a very fast website.

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