03 Apr 10 Things to make your site faster
Why is Site Speed So Important?
You are probably aware that you have only few seconds to capture the interest of a visitor and convince them to stay on your website. This is why layout and style are important – but of all the important elements out there – speed of your website is the most important. If your site doesn’t load quickly people will go away. The following are a few easy fixes that you can do to make your WordPress website load faster.
1. Your Hosting Company
While an inexpensive shared hosting option may work for a new website, one that gets a lot of traffic will need a more advanced hosting service, and in many instances, a VPS (Virtual private server). VPS Hosting gives you more power than traditional hosting.
2. The Framework
The themed frameworks made specifically for WordPress, keep the workings simple, and offer speedy load times. While you can have a designer say build a custom self-hosted WordPress sites, the themes are the most economically efficient way to get a faster loading website.
3. HTTP Compression
By using Gzip or Deflateit you can essentially compress the files sent over an HTTP connection to a very minimal size. This makes sending the files back and forth to the Internet hosting server faster. W3 total cache plugin uses this method very effective.
Be sure you find an effective caching plugin. These improve page load times and can be found through the plugin feature of your WordPress dashboard; a favorite is W3 Total Cache. Once you download and install the plugin through the plugin feature on your dashboard, you only need to click the “Activate” link initiate it.
6. Optimize Images
Use an image optimizer like tinypng.org to reduce the size but not the quality of the image. If you aren’t up to doing this with every image you can use the WordPress plugin for Smush.it called WP-SmushIt. This will automatically reduce all of your images automatically for you.
7. Optimize the Homepage
There are several things you can do to optimize your homepage. Here are a handful;
- Showing excerpts of posts instead of the full post.
- Reduce the number of posts you allow on the page. In the beginning you may have opted for the default listing of all posts, but now that you are more experienced you want to keep it at a manageable three to five.
- Remove sharing widgets you don’t use from the home page and instead place them on the posts.
- Remove plugins you don’t use.
- Keep widgets to a minimum.
You need to keep your website clean and easy to read. People come here to get content not to see all the cool buttons.
8. Take Care of the Database
Download a plugin called WP-Optimize to get rid of spam, old revisions, drafts, tables, which you don’t need and could very well be slowing down your site.
9. Hotlinking Status
This could seriously affect you if you make custom images that other webmasters want to hyperlink to. This ‘bandwidth stealing” will obviously slow down your VPS. If too many people do this it will significantly affect your load time.
10. Gravatar Images
Set the Gravatar image to nothing because it improves your load time. If you set the default image to a blank then your site loads faster.
By following the above easy quick-fixes, you can significantly improve the load speed of your WordPress website.
We hope this advice will help you build faster and better websites in the future.