No doubt, WordPress is a great platform. One can, without much technical knowledge, easily build a very attractive website or blog. But the weak point is that when you keep on adding new plugins to add some features to your website or blog, response time of the site increases. Due to which you may lose your traffic or subscribers or users. AdSense application may get rejected for such website or blog.
Why load is important for your WordPress site?
Fast page loading will improve user experience, increase your page views and help get better rank in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Studies say that the average human attention is 7 seconds. That means you have very little time to show users your contents and convince them to stay more on the website. Users may leave a slower website even before it loads. Simply put, if you want more traffic, subscribers and revenue from your website then keep the load time as minimum as possible.
In this article I’ll discuss some simple tips that can be easily applied to your websites.
How to check response time of your website
There are many online tools to check load time of your website. Check your website status in GTmetrix. Check every single detail and find out which page, image, plugin or other element is slowing down your website or blog the most. Check the recommendations in both PageSpeed and YSlow tabs.
Page Load Time
Under 2 seconds = excellent
2 – 4 seconds = nice
4 – 7 seconds = ok
7 – 10 seconds = ouch
10+ seconds = really?
Delete unused plugins:
The more plugins you install on your website or blog, the slower the website or blog will be. That’s why always keep the number of plugins as minimum as possible. Replace plugins with code or find out light weight plugins. If you install Plugin Performance Profiler(P3) plugin and run a scan then it will tell you which plugins are slowing down your site. The P3 plugin will also help find out light weight plugins for you.
Switch to faster web hosting:
It will really be hard time for you if you use shared hosting. On shared hosting, you share the server resources with other customers. If one site gets a heavy traffic then it can impact the entire server performance and in turn will slow down your website. On the other hand, managed WordPress hosting will give you the well-optimized server configurations to run WordPress site. So, I recommend using managed WordPress hosting because such companies also offer automatic backup, automatic WordPress updates and advanced security configurations.
Empty your trash:
Trash is the place where all deleted items reside. You can permanently delete items or restore items from trash. Trash can occupy huge unnecessary room in website’s database. The bigger the database, the longer it is to fetch data from database. By default, WordPress will automatically delete trash after 30 days. This is defined in “wp-config.php” file. You can change to any number of days like 7 days, by adding the following:
define ( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 7);
You can completely disable trash system by adding the following:
define ( ‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’,0);
Install a cache plugin:
Use a CDN(Content Delivery Network):
The data center where your website or blog is hosted is located somewhere in the world. Distance between the visitors and data center matters in terms of page load time. The farther a visitor is located from the data center, the longer it will take for pages to load.
Keep your theme and plugins up-to-date:
In general, software are updated to address some issues detected in previous versions or to add more features to it. So, always update your theme or plugins whenever available.
Optimize the images:
Never upload images directly from phone or camera. These images are huge in size and non-optimized. If your images are not optimized then it will badly affect in page load time. This is one of the most common issues in terms of page load time.
To optimize images for web, you can use photoshop software and save files in JPEG or PNG file format. PNG image format is uncompressed but higher in size and quality. On the other hand, JPEG image format is compressed. The images are smaller in size and lower in quality.
Fortunately there is an amazing and free plugin WP-SmushIt, which will automatically do image optimization for you, when you are uploading them.
Also Read: How To Optimize The Images For WordPress
Optimize the homepage:
Below are the some actions to be taken care so that homepage loads quickly.
1) Don’t show full article but keep only excerpts.
2) Keep maximum 5-7 posts.
3) Remove unnecessary widgets.
Simply put, a clean and well-designed homepage design will load quicker. We all know that this is probably the most important part of your site because people will be landing on there.
Optimize the database:
You can use WP Optimize plugin to optimize your WordPress database (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables etc) to reduce their overhead. You can use WP-DM Manager plugin for scheduling optimization dates.
Choose a light weight theme:
Since your contents will make your website or blog heavier, so choosing a light weight theme will be wiser decision. If your site will slow since the beginning then theme might be the main reason. WordPress default theme that is Twenty Fifteen theme is light weight and quite speedy, because of minimal features. Sometimes we require more features and we have to choose such theme that provides tons of features. In that case, compare 2-3 themes in terms of page loading then choose the best one. Also choose that theme which is mobile-friendly. Check whether your site is mobile-friendly or not.
When someone visits a page of your website, browser sends an HTTP request to the server and the server sends the response in HTML format. The more requests there are to your server, the longer it takes for pages to load.