WordPress is a great blogging platform, arguably the best in recent times. Like you can see, that’s what is used on this site but here’s one part I don’t like, WordPress sites tend to load slowly. It’s probably because it has a lot of features, and trust me if your site loads slowly, I wonder how you intend on keeping your visitors, and even converting them to readers. Like they say, “first impression matters”.
Mind you, Google has now included site speed in its ranking algorithm, meaning that the slower the speed of your site, the lower your ranking on their search engine. I’m sure you’ve not heard about it so thank me for telling you. 😉 That’s probably why you are still ranking low in search engines.
Slow Page Load Results in Slow Blog Growth – Ugee
In this post, I want to share with you, a few interesting tips on how you can speed up your WordPress blog easily. Whether your visitors are using something as fast as plusnet unlimited broadband or a sluggish dial-up connection, here are a few tips on how to speed up your WordPress blog;
1. Use Reliable Web Hosting
- 1 1. Use Reliable Web Hosting
- 2 2. Make your Images Lazy
- 3 3. Use a Solid Theme/Framework
- 4 4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- 5 5. Make Use of a Caching Plugin
- 6 6. Optimize your Images
- 7 7. Optimize your Homepage
- 8 8. Optimize your Database
- 9 9. Turn off Pingbacks and Trackbacks
- 10 10. Use more of static HTML than PHP codes, if Possible
When starting up your blog, you could use the normal hosting plans (shared hosting), but when your users and visitors become really much, I’ll advise you go for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
Now for the new bloggers, using “un-reliable” Web hosting, I wonder why you will still be doing that. Web hosting companies that suffer a lot of downtimes could affect your blog loading speed greatly. Be Wise! Invest on reliable hosting. I don’t have any recommendations though, you could contact Don Caprio!
2. Make your Images Lazy
Funny title right? Making your images “Load Lazily” is simple. It’s just about making images at the top of a page load first, then as the visitor scrolls down, other images will begin to load. This will increase your page load speed and also save bandwidth by loading less data if a visitor does not scroll down at all. The plugin that can help you do this is BJ Lazy Load.
3. Use a Solid Theme/Framework
Your theme can go a long way in determining your blog load speed. I advise you make use of solid and light themes that would not put so much load on your site. Most free themes from WordPress can do the job of keeping your site light e.g. Twenty Eleven.
But if you have money to purchase paid themes, the fastest loading premium framework that I recommend is… (drum rolls…)
The Thesis Framework. 😀 Don, please don’t be angry I did not say Genesis Framework, but from experience, I can say that Thesis Framework is the best for faster page load speed, and also for SEO. That’s what I use on my site
4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Max CDN is not free anyway. My web hosting company has Cloud Flare enabled for all its users, and Cloud Flare has some free plans. The use of a CDN can go a long way in increasing your site’s load speed.
5. Make Use of a Caching Plugin
Don’t tell me you are a blogger and you don’t know about this. Caching Plugins help to temporarily save all the static files of your site on your visitor’s browser, so that such files do not have to load again every time the visitors visits your site. The most popular and common caching plugin is the W3 Total Cache.
6. Optimize your Images
I know you must have heard about this but apart from the manual method of reducing the size and quality of images on your site, there is also a free plugin that can help you to drastically reduce/optimize the file size of your images, without reducing the quality of the image. Don’t ask me how it’s possible, I really don’t care all I know is that it works for me. The plugin is called WP-SmushIt. WP-SmushIt optimizes all your images as you upload them, and like I said, it won’t affect the quality of the image.
7. Optimize your Homepage
Yes I know what I am saying, even though I’m feeling a bit sleepy after writing 6 points, I still know what I am saying. It is very possible to optimize your homepage. The homepage is one of the places people do visit a lot, so here’s what you can do to it;
- Show post excerpts instead of full posts on your homepage
- Reduce the number of posts that show on your homepage. For me, I show just 6.
- Remove unnecessary plugins and sharing widgets from the home page. Remember your reader did not come to admire all your widgets. Use floating share bars only on post pages.
- You could also remove your gravatar images from your home page.
With these changes, your home page won’t only look simple, it would load faster, and chase away fewer visitors. I do all these on my site, and my site still looks simple and well… I love it. 😉
8. Optimize your Database
Sorry I’m using optimize a lot in this post. Optimizing your WordPress database: Just the way it sounds is about “op-ti-mi-zing” the database. 😀 It can be done Manually (which is a bit complicated) or Automatically with plugins like WP-Optimize and WP-DB Manager. They help you do the simple task of optimizing your database (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables, etc.)
9. Turn off Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Simply put, turning on Pingbacks and Trackbacks will end up generating a lot of work for your site. Turn it off, don’t worry it will not destroy the backlinks to your site.
10. Use more of static HTML than PHP codes, if Possible
This part is a little bit advanced, maybe not for everybody, and I don’t advise you try it when you don’t know what it’s about. This is certainly the fastest way to cut down your page load time drastically if you are desperate.
The use of a lot of PHP codes on a site will slow down the site. Try to use more HTML codes in your templates. Of course, you should know that this should be done only when necessary/possible.
Yes! Finally, I’m done. If you must know it took me weeks to write this. I hope you find it helpful anyway. For more on increasing your WP page speed, you can check this resource from WPBeginner.
Happy faster blog growth!