In its conventional sense, optimization of websites refer to molding and making changes to improve the ranking in SERPs.
But, there’s a lot more to the optimization of websites than just SEO. In this article, you will learn the answers to all your queries including, “why”, “what” and “how” about the optimization of WordPress websites.
Before moving on to answer your queries, it is necessary to learn what is WordPress.
“WordPress in the simplest terms is a content management system that allows a user to create a blog or a website.”
So, if it is that easy to use, then why does it need to be optimized?
Why WordPress Optimization is Important?
Just like any other digital entity or asset, a blog or website that is created using WordPress requires constant updates.
These updates take up space in host memory, or simply put, your server. As a result, when a user lands on your website, the compiler has to go through a lot of information before it can put up the most recent content.
Since users don’t prefer to wait for websites that take longer to load, a sluggish website can be detrimental.
Your users will start bouncing back, which can consequently ripple down your website’s ranking in SERPs. Therefore, optimizing a WordPress website for speed is critical for your online journey. Especially if you own a business or generate leads for your business online.
What Causes the Websites to Slow Down?
As is evident, a slow loading rate can adversely affect your website, and consequently your business.
But, what causes the loading time to take longer than usual.
Compiler speed is just one piece of the puzzle. Let us understand the reasons in more detail.
- Type of Hosting
WordPress is a CMS tool that allows you to opt for various types of hosting. In simple words, hosting refers to the remote memory space that stores all the information related to your website, including the website data.
Since you can choose for a shared server or a dedicated one, there can be different reasons associated with both. Sarah Kirksey from WPFarm warns that shared hosting packages will slow down your website’s speed, which will turn away potential clients.
A shared hosting package is most commonly used by new bloggers mainly because of its relatively lower costs, as compared to a dedicated server.
Perhaps as the content on your website increases, so does the traffic and together with the need for choosing a dedicated server.
- The Version You’re Using
Computer languages such as SQL and PHP are also prone to bugs. These bugs can easily be fixed using the latest version of the WP software.
Besides the version of the browser, Operating System, and security plugins that you are using also impact the performance of your website.
Additionally, the configuration of your website and the size of graphics that you are using also affects the speed of your website.
For example, a lightweight theme and minimized plugins data can improve the loading speed of your website. So advisably, you should choose a lightweight theme and a minimal number of plugins on your website.
As of now, you must have a tad bit of an idea about what you need to do to improve your website’s performance.
But, how do you know if your website is performing well or not?
Simply, you can use a web page test tool, Google PageSpeed Insights, and built-in browser developer tools that are recommended by WordPress to check for the loading time of your website.
Ideally, a website should not take more than 2-3 seconds to load. But, it also depends upon the location from where a website is logged in to, the internet speed, and the traffic at that moment.
With so many variables in the picture, how do you optimize your website for such great speeds? Read on, to know more.
How to Optimize WP Websites for Improved Speed?
Optimizing your WordPress website is rather easier as compared to the ones developed using any other tool or language. By following simple steps you can effectively improve the speed of your website.
- Minimize Plugins
The easiest step to improve your website’s speed is to have a check on your plugins. Try selectively deactivating your plugins and measure the impact it has on your website’s loading time.
Additionally, you may need to remove the unnecessary plugins from your server. This would free up space and also reduce the load on your server.
- Switch Your Hosting
The next thing you can do is switching your hosting service. If you have shared hosting, you are prone to data insecurity, along with increased loading time.
Since a shared server space is usually split amongst several users, the accessibility of the same space by different users can lead to traffic collisions. This can further reduce the performance of your website.
Alternatively, you can choose a dedicated server or hosting package for your website.
- Cachify Your Database
Another possible way to improve your website’s performance is by using Cache. In simple terms, when your website is accessed for the first time by any user a copy of the data is downloaded and stored on the system memory.
This is known as cache memory.
This simply cuts short on the resources.
So, when the next time a user visits your website, the loading time can significantly be lower. There are several plugins that you can use to implement caching for your website.
- Shrink Your Image Size
Amongst many, images are usually the biggest drains that your website can have.
To reduce the loading time, you can minimize the image size before uploading them. Additionally, you may also need to remove any unnecessary images that you have on your server.
- Use a Content Delivery System
Although communication is being digitalized, distance still has an impact on the rate at which the information is shared. Simply put, the farther your user is from your server, the more the loading time will be.
Alternatively, what you can do is, opt for a content delivery network.
In other words, you can put up copies of your website on several servers across different locations.
This would help you reduce the distance and therefore the loading time.
Unquestionably, you’ll find a significant improvement in your website’s performance, if you follow these steps. The key here is to keep the data to the minimum and reduce the hurdles for accessibility to the user.
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