WordPress Performance Improvements
You may have the best-looking WordPress site around. But if it’s too slow to load, you’ll be losing traffic.
That’s why you should focus on performance improvements and keep those visitors that you’ve earned.
Remember the human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000.
If your site takes too long to load, those visitors will click away. And they may not return.
So which 8 performance improvements can you implement right now?
1. Aim for fast loading speeds
You might think that your site loads fast because it runs quickly on your browser.
But it’s saved in your browser’s cache. That makes it an almost instantaneous load for you.
That won’t be the case elsewhere. So use a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix to test the load speed.
You want the load time to be under 2 seconds.
Slow loading speeds can affect your bounce rate. The more users that leave early imply a negative user experience.
And that will badly affect your SEO. Check out our tips for keeping your theme SEO-friendly.
2. Check your WordPress hosting
If you’re on a shared hosting plan then you share your server space with other sites.
Another site on your host can slow down your site if they get a lot of traffic.
This might be one of the more expensive performance improvements but check the price for a managed hosting plan.
3. Try a caching plugin
Having too many plugins on your site can definitely slow it down. But having a caching plugin is a must.
They make a copy of each page the first time it’s loaded. Then it serves that version to later users.
That makes a faster loading experience. The WP Super Cache plugin is the best one to use.
Check out these other recommended plugins for WordPress.
4. Optimize your images
Using images is a great way to encourage engagement with your content.
But using un-optimized images make websites take far longer to load.
A plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer can compress your images without sacrificing quality.
That means faster loading times for your site.
5. Keep your WordPress version updated for easy performance improvements
When you log in to your WordPress site you might see a list of updates.
They might be for your theme, plugins, or your version of WordPress.
Implementing these updates can fix security threats. But they can also speed up your site.
So it’s worth keeping everything up to date.
6. Change your homepage and archives to show excerpts
WordPress likes to show the full content of your articles. That makes everything load slower.
Switch to excerpts and you’ll speed up your loading times. It’ll also encourage users to click through to the full article.
7. Optimize Web Font Performance
Font plugins make it easy to use a range of custom typefaces on your WordPress site. But this can also slow down your performance.
Google fonts are great because they use the CDN and serve WOFF formats. Try combining a font like Open Sans with a web-safe font like Verdana.
8. Make sure you optimize your image gallery
Image gallery plugins are a great way to display photos. But they can also slow down your site.
Luckily there are gallery plugins that are optimized for speed. Choosing a plugin like Envira Gallery will let you use plenty of images without slowing things down.
Just make sure you try these 8 performance improvements to get the most out of it. Both for you and your visitors!