Speed is essential both in your business growth and your website!
Interestingly, website speed has a significant impact on the overall growth of your business. Moreover, Google has announced the Core Web vitals algorithm that has made the website speed a ranking factor. Hence, offering a quick-loading website is what customers need. But is it possible for every webmaster?
Yes, it is!
Among all CMS (Content Management Systems) used as a website’s backend, WordPress is in huge demand. Presently WordPress is being used for nearly 60% of all websites worldwide.
You can clearly acknowledge the booming market for WordPress. WordPress makes it easy to create a website. However, improving its speed is crucial to driving better SEO results.
So, this article will concisely discuss 15 page-speed optimization tips for your WordPress website.
Tips For WordPress Sites To Drive Better SEO Results
Choose the Right Hosting:
Hosting plays a significant role in boosting your website speed. WordPress-specific hosting is nowadays available, which you should consider above all. However, standard Linux hosting can also serve your needs.
Hosting is the place that houses the website files. Entire information, including media files, web pages, are stored in the WordPress hosting. You should always check for reliable and high-speed hosting that directly impacts your website’s overall speed. Here are 4 crucial factors that you must consider when selecting the best hosting for your WordPress website.
- Server Load Speed (should be under 300 ms)
- Uptime (Should have at least 99% availability)
- Customer Service (help with WordPress related questions)
- Your Needs (Meet your business size and custom needs)
Use a WordPress Cache Plugin
With caching, your website data is stored locally for a specific time period. It means next time whenever a user visits your website, the cached version of your website is loaded, which minimizes the loading time and offers a quick response.
A cached version of a website helps in reducing the loading time of the WP hosting server and makes your website run faster.
Multiple plugins are available to handle the website caching. Some of the popular plugins are:
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Super Cache
You need to set up the caching to ensure your WP website gets optimized speed and performance.
Optimize Your Images
Oversized images always put additional load on website loading. The bigger the picture, the higher it will take to load on the screen. Optimizing your images is a crucial step to minimize the website loading time. Optimizing images includes compressing the image size, resolving image resolution w.r.t screen.
Add Lazy Load Option
It’s always better to load the first fold of the webpage instead of loading the entire webpage. Loading the first fold takes less than the entire webpage, which helps you reduce the loading time.
For this, WordPress has numerous Lazy Load Plugins that help you reduce the page weight, allowing for a quicker page load time. Lazy loading conserves bandwidth by delivering content to users only if it’s requested.
Lazy load Plugins help you defer the offscreen images and provides a seamless user experience as well.
Think Mobile First
The best part with the WordPress website is most available themes are already mobile-friendly. Still, if you are running a custom-build WordPress theme, it’s important to check your mobile presence.
Google has already rolled out Mobile-first indexing, and you won’t love to stay behind the competition.
Hence, it’s essential to check whether your WordPress website is mobile responsive or not. If not, it’s a critical issue that needs immediate attention.
Numerous online resources are available to check the mobile compatibility of your website. Google Mobile-Friendly Test is best to evaluate the response and how your WordPress website looks in the mobile version.
Enable GZip Compression
GZIP compression helps you transfer website files between server and browser. Compression of web pages helps in quick loading, increasing the website speed, and decreasing response time.
If you are familiar with the WordPress backend, you can add custom GZIP compression code in the access file. However, newbie webmasters should avoid this practice and rely on pre-built plugins. You can go with the WP-Optimize plugin, which has a GZIP compression option and takes care of everything with a single click.
You can check GZIP compression on any website using a third-party website. Check the presence of GZIP compression and ensure it is added to your website.
Minify CSS/HTML/JS Files
With minified CSS/JS/HTML, you are compressing the files to increase page speed. The term “minify” means removing unnecessary spaces, characters from the source code. With this, you can increase the website speed by half.
Compressed files are essential from the SEO aspect as well. Hence you can simply ask your WordPress developer to replace the existing files with the minified version.
Minified files will always have a ‘.min.’ extension. However, without a developer, you can install verified plugins to minify the files for you.
Autoptimize is a great plugin that can compress your web files and reduce the website loading time. This plugin can also help you in setting a website cache.
Whenever an HTML webpage is called/loaded, it takes significant time as it includes CSS and JS files which are heavier. More often, some of the JS fields are not required initially and are loaded alongside HTML code. This decreases the website load speed.
So, what’s the solution?
Keep Plugins &WordPress Updated
Updates are released to rectify any loophole or security threat available in your plugins or WordPress core files. Hence, you should always make sure your plugins and WordPress are up to date.
Prefer downloading plugins from within WordPress. Downloading nulled plugins from third-party websites is another big reason behind hacked websites.
With the latest WordPress, you have the option to Auto-Update your plugins and WordPress core files. This is a great way to let the plugins update themselves whenever an update is available.
Clean Your Database
With regular usage and testing multiple plugins, altering old pages, etc., your WordPress database inevitably gets bloated. So, you need to clean the database regularly.
Points to note when cleaning your database:
- Backup Your WordPress Database
- Remove Trash From Your Database
- Delete Tables Left Behind By Old Plugins
- Schedule Ongoing Database Clean Ups
- Other Plugins That Clean Your Database
With these steps, you can keep your database optimized and reduce its size.
CDN, aka Content Distribution Network, is the option where alternative server nodes are offered to load your website quickly.
CDN server nodes are distributed across the globe, making it easy to keep the website copy on local servers and serve the readers whenever needed. This way, no load is added to the server. Instead, the entire server load is diverted on multiple CDN nodes to provide web pages quickly.
Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Many times, webmasters try using different plugins and deactivate those which are no longer in use. But what if the plugins are no more in use? Well, you should permanently remove (Delete) the inactive plugins that will free up space on your website and boost its loading speed.
Select inactive plugins and DELETE (Select option from Bulk Actions) to remove them permanently. Make sure you only have Active Plugins.
Minimize Use of External Scripts
Avoid Direct Upload of Videos on WordPress
The more you upload heavy files on your WordPress website, the longer it will take to load the webpage. That’s the reason you are always recommended to use compressed/optimized images and videos on your website.
Instead, you are never recommended to upload videos on your server. So, what is the best way to add video? How about YouTUbe?
Simply upload your video on YouTUbe and embed the video wherever you want. This way, you can keep the website loading speed high without adding onsite videos.
Use Speed Optimized Theme (Avoid Using Nulled Themes)
WordPress is a highly used CMS across the globe. However, its increasing demand has given birth to nulled websites edited by non-developers to bypass its purchase code and make it available free-to-use. For first-time users, it’s tough to find a difference between a nulled theme and a genuine theme. Below are the tips that will help you differentiate between the two.
- You will not get updates
- You may have a built into code security breaches\viruses\backdoors injected by those who nulled it
- Create multiple pages anonymously
Another great way to find any threats within your nulled website is using the Wordfenceplugin that can scan your website and determine expected threats.
With these tips, you can make your WordPress website load fast and improve your SEO results.
However, before implementing these tactics, you should check your website speed and analyze whether it requires any updates or not.
PageSpeed Insight is the best tool to give you detailed information about your website and suggest the best practices to implement.
With that said, you are all set to evaluate your website’s loading time and check whether it meets the webmaster guidelines. Moreover, you can also check what improvements can boost your website speed.
All improvements will add to your SEO results. If you are not sure about how WordPress speed can enhance your SEO results, get in touch with an online marketing agency, to help you with the right knowledge.
Gajendra Singh Rathore is a digital marketing expert and is associated with an online marketing agency in Toronto. He is always eager to learn, experiment, and implement. Astronomy is his escape from the outside world.