How to Increase the Speed of a WordPress Powered Website

A slow website is the dirt in your engine that will kill your car. Decreased website speed has a direct correlation with your conversion rate. Ignoring heavy loaded websites at the price of highly complex website designs is the worst mistake that any online entrepreneur can make.

The internet was built on the philosophy of simplicity. Regular surfers avoid slow websites like a plague. They want their answers fast and if they don’t get that they will simply walk away.

As such, your website speed will play a crucial role in driving away users. This article will teach you several neat tricks to increase the speed of a WordPress site.

Pingdom: The super speed checker

Before moving on to the tricks that will help you increase your website speed, you need first to find out the exact loading speed of your website; this will help you to keep a track of changes in loading speed after you have made changes to your site.

The golden rule that you need to remember when optimizing website speed is that, “Every Millisecond Counts.”

Here are some simple tricks that you can use to increase your website speed and avoid any detrimental losses to your website

1. Don’t skimp out on hosting service

Skimping out on a hosting service is the worst thing you can do to your website speed. The efficiency of your website will just not matter if you don’t invest in a great hosting service.

Check out this article, to figure out the right hosting service for your website.

Shared hosting can only keep you on the ground for a while. Once your visitor base increases, it will be best for you to go for a VPS service or better yet a dedicated hosting service.

2. Content Delivery Networks: 24/7 speed boosters

Sites that cater to a global audience require the assistance of content delivery networks. CDNs not only reduce the load on your server, but also save static data of your website on their network. As a result, your websites open way faster than before.

The above two tricks were rookie tricks for new website owners on the block. For users who are comfortable with the development part of WordPress websites, here are a few tricks that will internally fix all the speed and loading issues.

3. Selectively use plugins

In WordPress websites, excessive use of plugins is a factor that has a major impact on a website’s speed. The logic is simple, the more plugins you use, the slower your website will get.

What you need to do is first remove all your plugins from your website and then check your website speed on Pingdom. Then add each plugin and see how each one affects your website; this will help you to pick out the plugins that are most responsible for the delayed loading rate.

In case those plugins are not necessary for your website, it may be best to avoid them altogether.

If this process is too long for you then, you can use the P3 plugin which will direct you to the plugins that are causing problems for your website.

4. Gzip compression

The function of a ZIP file is to reduce the size of files so that they can be transported more smoothly and efficiently. Gzip works for websites, in the same way, a ZIP file works for other heavy files.

Check out this link to learn how you can quickly implement the Gzip compression for your website.

5. Remove white space from the code

Space between codes is maintained to make the code intelligible for the human mind. However, this type of space has a negative impact on the website speed.

It will be best for your website if you remove all this whitespace from your code and minify your HTML, CSS and JavaScript before finally putting it on the World Wide Web.

However, reducing this space can be counterproductive if you ever want to go back to the code and re-edit it; this is where handy plugins like WP-Minify or W3 Total Cache are brought to use.

6. Compressing images

Here’s another thumb rule for you. Never upload heavy duty images on your website. They force your website to carry unnecessary weight that can very well be avoided if you compress those images before putting them to use on your website. You can even use the WP plugin that will automatically compress images right at the moment when you upload them, saving you from the trouble of manually compressing every one of your website images.

This simple trick can save those precious milliseconds for you that turn users away.

7.  Add the image dimension details as well as character sets

The reason is simple whenever someone visits your website; the servers take their time in figuring out the image size before displaying the content. Now, if you were to put in the image dimension details right in the file, the server would not have to waste its time figuring out their size and your site will end up loading faster.

These simple common sense tricks will go a long way in improving your customer’s visiting experience so that they take the trouble to read what you have to say.

Here’s the thing, “In order to get the quantity you need to provide quality.” It means that if you want to increase the number of users visiting your site, then you need to give them a quality experience so that they come back for more.

8. Style sheets be on top and functional scripts at the bottom

The line pretty much says it all. Servers load up websites by loading the code from the top to the bottom. If you post the functional scripts on top, this will automatically affect the time it will take for your site to appear on the website.

As such, you need first to put the style sheet code in and then move on to the script code. As a result, the first thing that will appear on the website when users will access it will be the display of your webpage.

9. Deactivate plugins that are useless

Simply removing the plugins that are no longer of any use does not completely remove them from your website.

Deactivating a plugin means that you have uninstalled it from your website and the plugin now occupies zero space on your website.

10. Mop your database floor

Every time you make an edition in your post, WordPress saves a copy for it for later reference. Now normally this would be convenient, if you are not pleased with any of the changes that you make. However, keeping all revisions saved up takes up a lot of space and has a direct effect on the website speed.

Usually you would require the most recent editions that you make to your data. You can use WP Optimizer. It is an awesome plugin that will automatically delete any form of data from your website that is no longer of any use. It functions like an automated vacuum cleaner for your website.

11. Carefully research different themes before picking one

When surfing through different themes on WordPress, you need to understand that not all themes are of the same size. When it comes to looking for WordPress themes, appearances can be very deceptive.

As such, it will in your best interests to look at the reviews of previous users and ratings of the theme before investing in them. You need to look for a theme that will get maximum work done with minimum functionalities.

With these simple tricks and precautions you can improve your website speed and increase your conversion rate in a fortnight. Just try these tested and already proven tricks and become a pro at website optimization.