9 Tips to Speed Up & Optimize WordPress Website

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Businesses need to improve their WordPress website speed and optimize it to yield the best results. According to Akamai’s Digital Performance report,
  • 49% of the users expect
  • second page load time.
  • 30% of the users expect <1 second page load time.
  • 18% of the users expect instant page load time.
    If you have your eCommerce store built on WordPress using WooCommerce, then here’s something you should know: 79% of online shoppers say they won’t go back to a website if they’ve had trouble with load speed. Here are few tips to improve your WordPress website speed.

It is highly recommended to update your PHP version to the latest to improve the speed of your website. You can use WP Engine’s PHP Compatibility Checker plugin to identify your website’s PHP version. Moreover, you can update it on your own by visiting your user portal.

Your webpage gets bulky with bigger images on it. You must standardize the usage of images and optimize them without compromising on quality. You can optimize images by taking the help of a graphic designer and suggestions from the Chrome PageSpeed Insights extension. But that’s not the shortest route. WordPress offers you a plethora of plugins dedicated to image optimization. Below are some of the highly-rated plugins in the WordPress plugin marketplace:
  • Optimole
  • WP Smush
  • EWWW Image Optimizer
You can choose a plugin that is compatible with the other installed plugins. This helps you to optimize your website load speed.

With the help of Google PageSpeed Insights, you can analyze your website for speed optimization. In the report, you would find a suggestion: minimize the size of your CSS and JS files. It means that Google suggests you to lighten the size of CSS and JS files and reduce the number of calls to improve the website speed.
If you know how WordPress themes are built and function, you can easily understand Google’s guidelines and work on the theme for better loading speed. Else, you can also leverage WordPress plugins like Autoptimize to minify the CSS and JS files.

Another way to speed up your website is by using suitable WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache. It’s available in the WordPress marketplace for a long time and helps you with adding caching rules to the website elements. When you couple the plugin with Varnish (an advanced caching mechanism), it will help you further improve your website speed.

Establishing an internet presence for your business gives you the advantage of attracting a global audience. Hence, your website loading speed varies for users from different locations. For example, let’s assume you have hosted your website in one of the US locations and a user wants to visit your website from Singapore. Now, the site loading speed will be slow for Singapore users.

To effectively counterbalance it, you can leverage a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to lower the site loading speed for your foreign visitors. In a nutshell, the core functionality of a CDN is to deliver the web content to a visitor from the nearest possible server location. Some of the reputed and reliable CDNs are Cloudflare and MaxCDN.

Periodical cleaning of unwanted data from your WordPress database will help you maintain the size of your WordPress website to a minimum and reduce the size of your backups. Apart from this, you need to monitor the fake users, remove spam comments, old drafts of web pages and blogs, and unused plugins & themes. All these efforts collectively help you further improve theperformance of your WordPress website.

When you download a plugin and activate its functions on your website it occupies some space on your database. Even after deactivating it, the plugin still occupies the space in your database and stays dormant. As a result, it weighs up your WordPress website. So, it is important to remove those plugins from your website and embrace alternate solutions from third-party services for automating and scheduling tasks. It includes sharing your latest blog posts on social media as well. Zapier and IFTTT are some of the web services that deliver the best-in-class automation of such tasks and mitigate the overloads on your website and server resources.

When it comes to optimizing the user experience, CRO, and the sales of your website, you must seek help from monitoring tools, Google Webmaster Tools, and third-party chat tools. As a result, the usage of external scripts increases on your website. When you’re integrating one or more monitoring tools, it weighs up your website and affects the website’s loading time adversely. So, identify only the required tools to accomplish your missions, choose the right alternative, and implement only the required.

When you have a lot of information on your home page and are graphically heavy, Lazy Loading can be your savior. Lazy loading instructs the browser to read and load only the content and images visible in the current viewport. Any other graphic asset lying below the viewport will not be read or loaded by the browser. When the user scrolls down, the assets limited only to the current viewport start loading. This way, we can achieve the SEO metric “First Contentful Paint” without any hassle. You can easily achieve Lazy Loading by installing the BJ Lazy Load plugin

Wrapping up

Three main reasons for reducing your WordPress website’s loading time are:

    1. It enhances the user experience
    2. It improves the search ranking
    3. It increases the organic website traffic

No matter whether the user is accessing your website from a mobile device or laptop, your website performs seamlessly for all users and delivers delightful experiences. By implementing the above-mentioned best practices, you can easily improve your website performance and organic traffic.
For further details and queries, feel free to send an email to contact info@engagebranding.com

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