Optimise your WordPress website
The time it takes your website to load influences how successful it will be (fact).
Website performance will also influence your rankings in search engines. In addition to being ranked higher, many website owners report seeing an increase in search engine spider crawling after speeding up their design.
I will share with you a few quick tips on how you can optimize your website and decrease page loading times.
If you follow these techniques and best practices, your website will load quicker and people will buy your product or service.
Before check the speed of your website using a free performance service such as
GTMetrix(enter your domain URL)
YSlow (add it to your browsers tools) or
Google PageSpeed Insights(enter the domain URL).
These services will inform you of your page loading time and the overall file size of your page. They even offer tips for optimisation of your website optimisation.
Choose your Hosting Plan wisely.
The first step in optimisation your website correctly is to choose the right hosting plan. You are fighting a losing battle if your server is taking an age to process HTTP requests and MySQL commands.
Performance services will advise you of the exact response time of your server. I recommend testing the response time of your own website against similar websites.
Example, if you run a photography blog, see how your server response time compares to other photography blogs within your location.
Hosting companies are not always the cause. You may be with a great hosting company but see poor response times because your chosen hosting plan is underpowered. Customers using shared hosting plans, for example, are more likely to face slow loading times as hundreds of websites are hosted on the same server together.
However, any type of hosting plan will suffer from insufficient RAM and CPU throttling.
You need to pay attention to what your website needs to run smoothly. Choose a hosting plan that can handle traffic spikes efficiently.
Use a Fast WordPress Theme
A wordpress theme for your website that has been coded badly, or uses images every where in the design, will add unnecessary weight to your page. It is not uncommon for some WordPress themes to be a few megabytes in size. Such a design could add a few seconds to your page loading time. Choose a design that has been optimised for desktops, tablets and mobile devices in one.
Monitor Your Plugins
Before you install any plugin on your website, ask yourself – Is this plugin needed, what function will it provide?.
Plugins are one of the biggest causes of WordPress website slow downs between waiting for functionality,css and images. The more plugins you install, the more likely you will face performance problems, delete old inactive plugin.
Plugins are known for causing websites to be slow. There are many reasons for this including bad coding, calls to external servers and persistent calls and updating of your WordPress database. Pay close attention to how much CPU plugins use. Many plugins can stall your CPU due to persistent processes. If this happens, your whole server goes down.
If speed is an issue i recommend you use is P3 Profiler. Developed by GoDaddy, it shows all plugin load times. A breakdown is given which displays exactly how much load each plugin adds. It is an effective way of seeing what plugins are slowing down your website. You can then decide if they are necessary or alternates could be looked into.
4. Empty Your Trash
After every post or update empty the trash. When ever content is deleted, be it a comment, post, page, media etc; it is sent to trash. From here, the content can either be restored or deleted permanently.
Trash can take up a lot of unnecessary room in your wordpress database. Bigger database, the longer it takes to retrieve data from it.
WordPress will automatically delete trash after thirty days don’t wait do it yourself after every update. This can be reduced by editing your wp-config.php file. For example, you could reduce the option to three days by adding the following:
You can also completely disable the trash system by adding this to your wp-config.php file this is not recommended for users as everyone makes mistakes.
5. Reduce Post Revisions, Drafts, Spam, Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Trash is not the only reason for an unnecessary increase the size of your database. All post types populate table rows with data. If you can imagine it whenever you press the publish button whether it is a post or page data is added to your database, further filling up with media images and general wordpress settings, it is important to regularly delete comments and unwanted pingbacks and trackbacks, post revisions and drafts etc.
Watch the number of drafts and post revisions your website has stored. The WordPress revision system allows you to go back to older versions of articles, view them and restore them.
In addition to one autosave of your posts and pages, revisions will be generated each time you save your articles. This means that an article with ten revisions with take up ten times as much room on your database than the actual article that was published. As you can imagine, this increases the size of your database considerably.
By default, WordPress will save an unlimited number of revisions, however this is generally not needed. It is better to reduce this limit to something more practical such as two or three. You can do this by adding the following code to your wp-config.php file:
Alternatively, you can completely disable the post revision system by adding the code below to your wp-config.php file. From a blogger’s perspective, this is not an optimal set up as post revisions are very useful, however many website owners have taken this step to ensure their database runs more efficiently.
A more practical way of cleaning your WordPress database is to use WP Optimize. The plugin can automatically remove auto-drafts, spam comments, trackbacks and more. WP-DBManager is also a good solution for optimizing your database.
6. Optimize Your Images for the Web
Images can help break up long pieces of text and can help your articles be shared more frequently on social media services; however they also take up a lot of storage. Therefore, pages that contain many images can take a long time to load.
It is therefore in your best interests to Optimise your images for the internet before you upload them to your website. Most photo editing applications, such as Photoshop, allow you to do this.
If you do not want to sacrifice image quality, check out Lazy Loading. The plugin ensures that images are only loaded when the area becomes visible to the user. This may greatly reduce page loading times.
9. Enable Gzip Compression
Gzip compression allows a website page to be transferred to a browser at up to 70% of its original size. With gzip the browser will then decompress the page and display it to the user uncompressed in their browser.