You have probably heard speed is important for SEO. A faster website leads to more page views, betters user engagement, and better sales. No one likes to wait around for your site to load, according to Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. In 2010 announced that its algorithm counts page speed when ranking websites.
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users Google webmaster central
How can you improve your site performance? here are a couple of tricks that I use regularly.
Audit your website
There are multiple services out there that will help you identify why your website loads slow and give you a checklist to improve it.
- Pingdom Website Speed Test – my favorite. Is user friendly and give enough information to improve your website
- YSlow – a free tool by Yahoo
- WebPageTest – shows a waterfall view of your website and a optimization check list
There are other tests out there, but those are the ones that I regularly use.
Choose a good host
Your hosting company and the package that you choose have a big impact on your page speed. Using the cheapest solution out there is not the best option for WordPress. I personally recommend a VPS from Digital Ocean. They are fast, reliable and their customer service is amazing.
Use a caching plugin
- W3 Total Cache – founded by Mashable CTO
- WP Super Cache – is more user friendly and does not have extreme configurations like W3 Total Cache
- WP Rocket – is a paid plugin with prices starting at $39/yr. Is user friendly and really easy to configure
Compress your images
Images take up a lot of bandwidths. Before you upload you new fantastic image, take a second to reduce its size. There are many websites out there that deliver big picture without knowing that it affects their users. You should also use WP Smush. WP-Smushit is a fantastic plugin that will optimize all your images that you upload. The plugin also works retroactively. If you have other images saved in your library, the plugin can run through them and optimize all of them.
Minifying will reduce the white space in your files. While the white space is important for developers to be able to read the files, servers and browsers don’t care about the white space. Plugins like Better WordPress Minify, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Rocket does this.
Optimize your database
WordPress autosaves everything, while is great if you want to go back and check an older version, over time your database will get filled with thousands of reviews, trackbacks, pingbacks, spam comments and will slow down your website. The simplest solution is to use WP Optimize. It will delete all the unwanted trash and keep your database efficient. Before you try to optimize your database is always recommended to back it up first.
Mobile usage had overtaken desktop usage in the last year. Having a fast website is critical for your mobile users who might have slow internet. Optimizing and maintain your WordPress website will make a big difference between having your user stick to your site or choosing your competition.