WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for blogging but has one limitation. It is slow. However, as a site owner you can improve the website speed by keeping few things in mind like choose the best hosting provider, optimize WordPress database and images, choose the theme carefully and using caching plugins.
WordPress is a great blogging platform. The only weakness of this platform is that it is very slow. If you don’t take necessary precautions, you could experience a sluggish website. This will affect the visitor experience and most likely you will lose the subscribers and customers as they are impatient.
Observations done by CMS Development companies show that if your site takes more than 8-10 seconds to load, visitors are gone. Also, Google has included site speed in the ranking algorithm. Thus, the speed of the site now affects SEO. So, if the website is slow, you are losing ranking in Google search results despite all other internet marketing efforts. This results in less traffic and loss of customers and subscribers of your business.
Here are some ways to improve the speed of the WordPress site:
1. Good Hosting Provider: If you want the site to function smoothly, don’t choose shared hosting. It is best to choose managed WordPress hosting for which you can optimize the dedicated WordPress server. Some of the trusted names for WordPress server hosting are Synthesis, WP Engine and Page.ly.
2. WordPress Theme: It is recommended to choose not only a simple theme, but a framework for added benefits to the blog like improved speed, basic SEO, innovative designs and built-in security enhancements. Before you choose a framework, consider how often is it updated and security features. Also, check which SEO features are included in the theme? For SEO purposes, it is necessary to add custom meta description and custom title to the articles.
3. Optimize Your WordPress Database: Your WordPress Database is the place where everything related to your WordPress site is stored like posts, comments, pages, plugin information and settings. Every time when a page is loaded, it reads the database. If the database is bloated, it will take a longer time for information to load. Thus, you need to optimize the database regularly. One easy way is to install WP-DB Manager plugin. This will help you to back-up, repair, restore and optimize the database. If you don’t want to do this manually, you can schedule the task daily or weekly.
4. Optimize images: It is critical to know what images to use and when. Here are some golden rules to make this process easier and increase the load speed:
- For simple artwork or illustration use 24-bit PNG or JPG
- Use simple image editors like Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.NET to edit and save images in desire formats.
- The use of proper format will reduce the image size and when the subscriber is able to download it faster.
5. Caching Plugin: Caching refers to a process similar to taking the pictures of the content and providing it to the visitors without requesting it directly from the database. WordPress is a complete mechanism in itself and each time you load a page, too many things happen at the backend. The use of caching plugins, the process is simplified and the content is served from cache and there is no need to generate it time and again. It is recommended to use W3 Total Cache as it is user-friendly and very effective.
Follow these five steps to significantly improve the WordPress site loading time and enhance the user experience when people visit the site.