Is your WordPress website slow to load? If so, then I’ve got some bad news. 25% of users abandon the website if it takes longer than 4s to load and this increases to 40% if the user is shopping on your site (according to this kissmetrics infographic). Speeding up your WordPress site can help increase pageviews, conversion rates and even your SEO rank, below are a few WordPress optimization tips:
Install a caching plugin
Some of the most useful plugins you can install on a WordPress website are caching plugins. These plugins are able to store a static copy of your webpage rather than have it load dynamically with each page load, which saves precious time when users load your webpage. Here are some of our favourite WordPress caching plugins:
Use a CDN
Content delivery networks provide an easy way to help increase loading times. Basically a CDN allows a user to download static files from a server that is closer to their physical location providing quicker loading times, if you would like to know more about this process we have a previous blog post on this topic. Here are a few CDN plugins available:
Leverage browser caching
You may notice this point if you have ever ran your site through analytic tools like PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Website Speed Test, this is because browser caching can be extremely helpful for loading times, especially for regular website visitors. Browser caching allows static content to be stored within the browsers cache so the user loading the page doesn’t need to repeatedly grab those files. You can enable this by either using the plugin Far Future Expiry Header or adding the below code into your websites .htaccess file:
Use LazyLoad images
LazyLoading images is a loading technique that only loads the images that are within the users view, this can help decrease loading times by only loading images that the user is viewing. As the user scrolls down the images that come into view will then load, not only will this process save loading time but it will also save bandwidth on your server if the user doesn’t always scroll down the page. LazyLoad is a great plugin to enable LazyLoading on your website.
Optimize your images
Sometimes images contain redundant information within the source that doesn’t affect the quality of the image or is neccessary for the user to load. You can compress and remove this data from your images using a plugin called Smush Image Compression and Optimization (created by some of my favourite WordPress developers, WPMU Dev) and have it run automatically as you upload images in your site. This will help save valuable loading time especially when your pages use multiple images. If you want to compress your images without installing a plugin you can use our very own Image Compression tool.
Remove redundant data
Even your WordPress database could be piling up from old data and causing slower loading times, however you can easily remove this data from your database by using a simply plugin called WP-Optimize. This will even help remove some information not always needed like post revisions, spam/trashed comments, trackbacks, pingbacks and any orphaned post meta leftover from plugins you used to use.