Speeding up WordPress

How to make your WordPress site fast?

It won’t come as a surprise to know that almost half of our visitors expect a webpage to load in under 2 seconds. If a site fails to get the information to us fast, we disregard it and go foraging for a more tech savvy site that presents information quickly.

Taking internet visitors wants and needs into serious consideration is Google, and they recently announced that they will be taking page speed into account when ranking your website in its search results.

Being fast is important.

Our team of WordPress Developers here in Birmingham put together a list of points you should apply to your site to make it faster.

Themes

First things first, if you are using a theme, make sure that it’s a good one. There are thousands of WP themes out there and unfortunately, they are not all developed in the same way. When choosing a theme, check the themes page speed in the demo before you download it. There are quite a few programmes online that can help you do that, such as Web Page Test or Pingdom. Also, complete a search online for your forms forum and see what people are saying about it before you make the plunge.

Hosting

Get your site hosted with a good host. Choosing a web hosting company/package that gives you a fast DNS response time is going to make a significant difference to the speed of your website and so, where you feature in search results.

CDN’s

Consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that hosts all the files for your website across a large network of international servers. This would mean that someone visiting your site from abroad would download your site files from a server close to them rather than having the site send the information over thousands of miles between you and them.

Plugins

Plugins can be a big factor in the speed and performance of your WordPress site. Common offenders include social-share plugins that give your customers the ability to share pages easily through social media. These types of plugin can be replaced by simply embedding social buttons in the source code. You can check plugin speed by using   P3, a performance profiler that measures the impact plugins have on the speed of your website.

Compressing

Compressing files into ZIP’s decreases the size, making the smaller, easier and faster for sending. Embedding a plugin such as WEBO or GZIP can dramatically increase the speed of your website by automatically compressing your sites files, only allowing your visitors browser to open and deliver them as if they were never compressed in the first place.

If your site uses a lot of imagery, it might be worth compressing their size too. Take a look at these image optimising plugins to find one that suits you and your website.

Clean out the trash

WordPress is great at hoarding past data that isn’t being used. This is like an extra stone of weight for your site to carry on its way to the screen of your visitor. The first thing to do is make sure you have backed up the site, and then take a look at your database, getting rid of all that past bulk that isn’t in use (such as comments, turn on Akismet <comes as a default in WordPress, acting like a spam filter. All you have to do is set it up>, post and page revisions and trashed items).

If you’ve got the tech no how to use an SQL query, using PHP MyAdmin or your own choice, then the following query will delete all comments between the two dates – edit as required.

DELETE FROM

FROM wp_comments

WHERE comment_date > ‘2004-11-15 01:10:04’

AND comment_date <= ‘2004-11-20 00:10:04’

Minify

Combine all your Javascript and CSS style sheets into as few files as possible, and make sure you are only loading the ones you need for that particular page (this online Javascript tool compresses your JS files into one space, http://jscompress.com/). For example, you don’t need your portfolio script to appear on your about page (unless you say so). To do this, in the template, you can employ something called NQ script. Put this < https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_enqueue_script> in your header to load the scripts you need for that page and filter out all the others that are unnecessarily slowing down the speed of your web page.

Caching

If your site depends on returning visitors, it’s important that the cache of your website is leveraged. Expires Headers tell the browser whether to request a certain file from the server or from the browsers cache. They reduce the need for a site to download files for returning visitors and they decrease HTTP requests thus resulting in faster WebPages.

We use the caching tool W3 Total Cache < https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/ > for all of our sites caching needs.

As mobiles become the successor for web browsing, having a fast site is as serious as strong content. By applying the above, your WordPress site will be more efficient. It will increase in speed.