One of the most critical points that are checked during a technical audit is the speed of a website. Usually, people prefer sites that have a good page loading speed. Several online tools help in finding out details regarding the speed performance of a website. In this article, we would be talking about how to speed up WordPress site 2020.
There are several ways in which the speed of a WordPress website can be increased. Some of the necessary steps are as follows:
A basic method to enhance the performance of a website is to select a good host for your site. There are many cheap offers available for hosting. Hosting is an area where one gets exactly what is paid for. You should avoid shared hosting as it eliminates the chances of bad neighbors on the server, which can slow your website. A dedicated server with a VPN can work as a good option unless you have a huge site. Such hosting ensures a balance of speed, cost, and comfort.
WordPress hosting is another option that you can opt for. This way, your website would run on a server that is specially optimized for WordPress, and one doesn’t have to worry about the technical aspect of running a site. Additionally, the cost of managed WordPress hosting has also become affordable.
Another way to increase the speed of a WordPress website is to keep the core technology updated. The newer versions of PHP, HTML, and as well as other web technologies are being introduced continuously as they contain new features and improvements that tend to increase speed.
A good host generally takes care of these things on their own and notify the user if the PHP version is outdated. However, this does not mean that you do not have to keep a check on your own. It is a good idea to look into the PHP configuration when you log into the hosting backend. Here, one can control which PHP version is to be used.
Along with the software, it is also important to keep WordPress updated as every CMS version has new features. These new versions make the website run efficiently and reduce the page load time. A website needs to be updated regularly as it not only impacts speed but also affects security. Many vulnerabilities are fixed by updating WordPress.
Also, you need to ensure that any additional plugins do not compromise your website. To keep a check, you can maintain a spreadsheet that contains a list of plugins along with details about what they do. This will keep you organized.
Themes can turn out to be a decisive factor for website speed. This is because there are a few themes that are more of a bloated mess. Such themes can offer many features that can slow down the website from their sheer weight. This is because these features contain codes that need to be loaded, many times not even executing when called.
You should find a theme that includes what you require and nothing more. It is a good idea to get a lightweight theme and then add functionalities to it with the help of plugins. In some cases, this might need the rebuilding of the website. Using a lightweight theme is a good starting point for increasing site speed.
The database core might get bogged over time. It can collect temporary disk space as well as unused data from post revisions, uninstalled plugins, and so on. This makes it essential to conduct regular database maintenance checks. Several tools can help in keeping the database lean and usable. Some of the popular tools are WP-Optimize and WP-Sweep.
One also needs to focus on the wp_options table as it can slow down the website speed if allowed to grow without a check. One of the best plugins for this is the Advanced Database Cleaner. Alternatively, you can also hire a professional.
To manage the website speed, you first need to measure it regularly. There are many tools available that can help you in tracking the speed of your website continuously. One such tool is Pingdom that offers automatic monitoring of a website’s speed. After you register, it will send you an email whenever the speed of the website gets slow.
One of the elements that occupy a bulk of the webpage is the images. This is because images tend to require more space than CSS or text. It is thus essential to learn how to reduce the image size for increasing the speed of a WordPress website. Compressing the images is an excellent way to reduce the size of images without losing the image quality.
Traditionally, image compression used to be done before they were uploaded into the website. For example, if you are using Photoshop, you can use Save for web option which ensures that the image is not compressed to the maximum. Some tools compress the image automatically when you upload it on a WordPress website. An example of such an image optimizer tool is ShortPixel.
HTTP 1.1 was used on the web for a long period. It was then updated to HTTP/2, which has several performance enhancements such as server push, multiplexing, header compression, and so on. For running HTTP/2, you need to run HTTPS on your website by installing an SSL certificate. HTTP/2 does not technically need HTTPS; hence generally, no modern browser would employ HTTP/2 protocol until the website is running HTTPS.
Website speed is a crucial factor in the success of a website. The speed affects bounce rate, search rankings, conversions, and many other things. The above techniques are effective ways to speed up a WordPress site and come on the top.
Author Bio: Swathi S, an indispensable member of the Stan Ventures SEO team, is the current outreach specialist at the organization. Known for her way with words, Swathi is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest SEO updates and guest post services at the firm.
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