Ideally, a fast loading WordPress site means a webpage that loads in 1-2 seconds. If a website loads slower than this, visitors quickly lose interest. Slow-loading pages can also lower the Google ranking of your website. So, faster websites help in more than one way. Not only are your users happier, but it also aids your search engine rankings, and best of all, it translates into more sales (or website visitors, if that is your aim).
Some blame for the delay rests on how WordPress handles page requests. When someone visits a page, WordPress dynamically pulls the required data from the website’s database and theme, constructs an HTML file out of the input, and sends the HTML file to the browser, which then makes sense of it. This takes time.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to create a fast loading WordPress site. We will see some of them now.
Run a performance test
The first thing you should do before attempting to speed up your WordPress website is run a performance audit. There are many free tools available for this purpose, like Website Grader. Visit the website, paste your website URL, and you’ll get a result. Once you’ve fixed what needs fixing, you return to Website Grader and test your website again.
Choose a good website host
Many types of website hosting plans are available, including WordPress-specific hosting plans. If you want the maximum speed, then shared hosting plans won’t help. Instead, go for managed, VPS, or dedicated hosting plans. Speak to your website administrator for more details.
Update your website regularly
Keep updating your themes and plug-ins regularly. The danger in updating stuff after a long time is that there is a danger that the new updates won’t be compatible with your website anymore, and things may break. Another benefit of regularly updating your website is that it keeps it safe and secure, as security threats are patched as and when they are discovered. Also, ensure that you are using the latest version of PHP.
Use a lightweight theme
Resource-intensive website themes look good but come at a high cost, and we are not even talking about money here. Heavy themes place a large burden on the website server, which can, over time, become slow. High-quality images also affect website loading speed. The way out is to use a light theme and an image optimizer that reduces the size of the images without sacrificing quality to make the page load faster.
Install a data caching plug-in
Caching plug-ins can make a vast difference to your website speed. These plug-ins will build static versions of your web pages in HTML, store them, and send them to a visitor’s browser when a request is placed for those pages. This way, WordPress doesn’t have to build a new page dynamically every time there is a request. There are several plug-ins for this purpose.
Invest in a CDN
There are so many ways to make your WordPress websites load blazingly fast. A quick Google search will throw up many results. But some of the techniques are quite complex. So, you may want to take the help of a website developer or administrator to get them done. If you are looking for such a partner, feel free to contact us at [email protected], and we will discuss how we can get the best out of your website.