5 Quick Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site
No one likes waiting around for a site to load, so much so that 40 percent of people abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load.
Slow page load speeds are especially crippling for eCommerce sites. Almost 80 percent of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site’s performance are less likely to buy from the same site again, while a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent.
Even Google factors site speed into their algorithm when ranking websites. So if your site loads too slowly you can expect your Google rankings to fall, and in turn, attract less traffic to your site.
So what can you do to make your site faster? Here are a few simple ways to keep your page load times low and your visitors happy.
P.S. I’ll be exploring site speed in more depth in a couple of weeks so watch this space.
Use a Great Caching Plugin
Caching involves storing parts of your site so they only need to be loaded once instead of every time a user visits your site. Caching is especially helpful for your return visitors, as well as others who visit several pages of your site.
W3 Total Cache is a popular caching plugin for WordPress used by sites like Mashable (their CTO created W3TC), Smashing Magazine, and Web Designer Depot. The plugin promises a 10 times improvement in overall site performance when fully (and properly) configured.
WP Super Cache is a more user-friendly alternative and you don’t need to be a server expert to set it up.
Images are usually the largest files on a site so if they aren’t compressed they can take ages to load.
Luckily there are some great tools out there to help you compress your files.
WP Smush.it, now managed and supported by WPMU DEV, automatically strips metadata from JPEGs and removes unused colors from indexed images.
Tiny PNG is another great tool, which allows also strips un-used colors for lossy compressions.
Cut Down on HTTP Requests
By reducing the number of objects in your site’s pages, you can minimize the number of HTTP requests that are required to render a page, speeding up load times.
Optimize Database Tables
Optimizing your database tables is like defragging your computer or changing the oil in your car – it will help free up space and keep your database running smoothly.
You can optimize your database tables manually using phpMyAdmin or with a plugin.
WP-DBManager allows you to optimize, repair, backup, and restore your database.
There’s also WP-Optimize, another database cleanup, and optimization tool. This plugin also lets you remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue, un-approved comments, and items in the trash.
This is a quick round-up of simple measures you can put in place to speed up your pages.
Optimizing your site can make a big difference in site speed, encouraging them to stick around and engage with your content.
These tips shouldn’t take very long to put in place and for the effort, you put in you’ll get a speedier site and happier visitors.
Image credit: Picjumbo.