5-ways-to-instantly-boost-site-speed

5 Ways to Instantly Boost Your WordPress Site Speed

How to Optimize Your Page Load for Getting Higher Search Rankings

Here's the Big Idea in a Nutshell

Page load speed is a crucial factor for SEO success and Google rankings. A slow loading web page can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine ranking.

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    Why Does Speed Matter for Your WordPress Site?

    Is your website loading too slow?

    Page load speed is a crucial factor for SEO success and Google rankings. A slow loading web page can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine ranking. If your website takes too long to load, it will be ranked lower than websites with faster loading times. This results in decreased visibility and fewer visitors to your website - the very opposite of what you are trying to do.

    How Slow is Too Slow?

    A good page load speed is one that loads as quickly as possible!

    Some say no more than 2 seconds is best. In fact, studies show that a 1 second difference in page load speed result in 7% fewer conversions.

    Many newbies make the misguided assumption that their website is functioning just fine just because it feels quick to them. This assumtion is a huge mistake.

    With browsers like Chrome, frequent website visits can be made much easier and faster. This is because of the browser's cache. It stores (caches) the visited site in memory, allowing it to load much more quickly on future visits because it has remembered (cached) the page contents.

    On the other hand, a first-time visitor to that same page may not find the website as fast to load and therefore less appealing.

    It's essential to check the website speed from different geographical locations as it can drastically differ from location to location. This is why we highly recommend using tools to test your website performance like this one: Pingdom

    Fast loading pages also improve user experience and increase your page views.

    Here are the most useful WordPress speed optimization tips to boost performance and speed up your website

    1. Optimize Your Images

    If you want your website to perform well, you need to make sure that your images are properly optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. Not only will this help reduce page load times, but it will also improve user experience and overall website performance.

    Studies have revealed that readers are 80% more likely to engage with content when visuals such as colors, charts, graphs and illustrations are used.

    But if your images are not optimized, they could be doing more harm than good. In actuality, non-optimized images are one of the most common speed issues for novice websites.

    To ensure that your photos look top-notch online, we suggest using photo editing software to optimize them before you upload them from your phone or camera.

    But changing the DIMENSIONS of an image is not the same as changing its FILE SIZE. The image file itself needs to be reduced by compressing it in image editing software. Changing the dimesniosns has no effect on the file size - it just changes how it is displayed.

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    The right editing software provides a way for you to change an image's file format and compress it, which can lead to a drastic reduction in the photo's file size. By doing this, you may be able to reduce the file size of your images by up to 5 times their original form.

    For DotComClassroom, we only use two image formats: JPEG and PNG.

    PNG files are excellent for images that require a transparent background; however, they are larger in size, hence taking longer to load. The upside is that they are uncompressed – no information is lost when their size is reduced – making them high-quality images with better detail than compressed ones.

    In contrast to PNG, a JPG image file is compressed. While it may slightly reduce the quality of the image, it has a much smaller size which makes it preferable.

    2. Leverage Caching

    WordPress is built on PHP - a dynamic protocol that allows the page content to be generated from a database. This is different from a static HTML page where the content has to be embedded into each unique page.

    Technically, a WordPress “page” can show different content depending on what variables have been passed to it. PHP is the “language” that talks to the database with those variables to get the right information.

    So, when a page is visited on your site, WordPress finds the right content from the database, and then displays it to the user.

    Although it takes a few microseconds to process each step, the whole process adds up quickly and can cause a significant dip in website performance when multiple people are trying to access it simultaneously.

    This is why every WordPress website should make use of caching plugins as they can really accelerate the loading speed…Sometimes as much as 5x. But even a 2x faster loading time is worthwhile.

    A caching plugin speeds things up in the page generation process. It stores a copy of the page after a user visits it for the first time, and then loads that cached version to all other subsequent visitors. This significantly reduces loading times and increases speed.

    Since the server has to search the database for information and assembles it into a readable format for visitors to view, this long process can be reduced with caching the contents ahead of time.

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    When it comes to WordPress caching plugins, WP Rocket (premium) and WP Super Cache (free) are two of the best on the market. Both offer excellent features for optimal results.

    Many WordPress hosting companies like SiteGround offer caching solutions as well.

    If you host your WordPress website with SiteGround, like we do here at DotComClassroom, then SG Optimizer will be pre-installed for you. This plugin has all the same benefits and features as those of an expensive premium caching plugin like WP Rocket.

    What makes it extra special is its optimization specifically designed for the SiteGround Google Cloud servers - which grants you unbeatable performance results.

    3. Reduce HTTP Requests

    HTTP is an essential communication protocol that enables the delivery of data (such as HTML files, CSS, videos and images) across the web. It plays a key role in making the Internet work. Every web page on your site must use http requests, otherwise the page would never load.

    That's why your web address begins with http (or https if that connection is secure)...but that a different topic.

    Everytime you load a web page with your browser, several HTTP requests are sent in order to display the content. The more of these requests there are, the longer it will take for the page to be loaded. That is why it is important to ensure that as few HTTP requests are made as possible for improved performance.

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    How many HTTP requests is too many?
    That really depends on the size and complexity of your WordPress site.

    Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind:

    • Multiple large files on your WordPress site can lead to numerous http requests, thereby slowing down the loading speed of your website. This implies a decrease in performance - which is not so good.
    • Since your WordPress website consists of several CSS and JavaScript components that need to be downloaded before the web pages can be displayed properly, the browser needs to make multiple HTTP requests to get all those resources it needs.
    • An effective way to decrease HTTP requests is to join or compress multiple JavaScripts and CSS files. These are essential components that contribute to a website's functionality and overall design, but they can become bulky. Consequently, combining or minimizing their size helps reduce this problem.

    The plugins WPRocket and SG Optimizer employ a process called minify to reduce the amount of HTTP requests made by a page. This can significantly improve loading speed on your site.

    The SG Optimizer plug-in from SiteGround is included as part of their hosting features when you use their WordPress installation.

    If you're not a tech-savvy person and don't feel confident manually working with your site's CSS and JS code, it may be best to use a plugin for the task. Plugins are easier to implement, more efficient and less time consuming than making all the changes yourself.

    4. Clean Up Unused Plugins

    It’s almost impossible to use WordPress without also using at least some plugins for important functionality. Installing plug-ins is easy - maybe too easy, because it’s tempting to install plugins to test them out just to see what they do. But it’s generally a good idea to clean up your server and delete the ones you don’t need.

    It is important to note that a plugin can either be installed, or installed and activated. These are not the same thing.

    Installing a plugin but not activating it isn't an issue, since there won't be any resources or scripts loading from those plugins. The disk space being taken up by a dormant plugin won't affect the speed of your website in any way. However, it's still recommended to delete plugins that you aren't using just as a general rule.

    When you reach a certain capacity of plugins installed and activated on your site, it can significantly affect its performance. Too many running plugins on your server can cause a decrease in loading speed as all hosts have limited computing power. Some more than others - but the point is, there is a limit. This added load can have a negative effect on performance.

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    Each activated plugin requires additional resources from your site (actually, the server). Adding an extra plugin won't dramatically slow down your website, as long as your server has adequate resources. The performance of a website typically doesn't suffer until the number of plugins goes from one to too many.

    When you reach the maximuim number of plugins that your website can handle, any further additions can slow down performance and make your website less efficient. Thus, it is important to stay within that optimal threshold to ensure better results.

    Performance issues can arise if a plugin has to make a request to an external resource and this third-party may be slow to respond. This can create bottlenecks in the page's load time and should be considered as potential sources of trouble.

    This is another reason to make sure your WordPress website is hosted with the right provider. For DotComClassroom, we use SiteGround.

    5. Utilize a Good Content Delivery Network

    A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is designed to greatly enhance the user experience of your website by reducing page-loading times, which can help reduce bounce rate and attract more visitors.

    Some well-known CDN providers include Cloudflare and Rackspace.

    A CDN has several data centers located in different countries. They store cached versions of your content on these servers and when requested, serves it to your website vistors. This way, users can access your content quickly and easily regardless of geographical location.

    CDNs are beneficial as they are able to read users' IP addresses and distinguish their geographic location. When a website page is loaded, the closest CDN will then promptly deliver a stored version of the content to the user's web browser.

    This happens as the information is stored in reusable sessions, i.e., any user visiting your website won’t have to wait as the data is already saved from a previous session. Thus, whoever accesses your site can instantly view its full content.

    How to Add a CDN to Your Website

    When researching for a Content Delivery Network, make sure to look at important elements such as its security track record, technical details, and pricing. These factors should be considered before making your decision.

    To get started, you will simply need to set up your account . Check out the instructions the CDN provides and follow them so you can use it properly.

    In the set-up process you will add your website domain to the account and the CDN will collect and cache your content so they share it through their delivery system’s network.

    It's important to update your nameservers when you make this change. This allows the Internet to search for new nameservers and get updated information on your domain like your web and email servers. You can usually find instructions from your CDN on how to change the nameservers and which ones to point to.

    If you are using SiteGround as your host, you are provided a free basic CDN option for your website - without any need for special configuration. SiteGround’s CDN is on 5 different continents and is vey simple to activate at the push of a button in your SiteGround aaccount. They also have an option for a premium CDN subscription with even more features at a very affordable cost. DotComClassroom.com uses SiteGround’s CDN service.

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    Greg has been doing business online since 1996. He first discovered the concept of Internet marketing by selling physical books through an AOL chatroom and eventually started building websites for local businesses when the web was new.

    In 2001, he built one of the first discount a web hosting services which attracted many clients who would become the well known marketing gurus of today.

    In 2009, he published his first book: The Snowball Factor teaching entrepreneural principals and mindset while providing hosting services and web design software to major players.

    Today, as an author, Internet marketing consultant, media producer and web developer, he still loves to teach about anything to do with online business, content creation and digital marketing.

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    NOTE: This webpage may contain at least one affiliate link. Please read our full Affiliate Disclosure here.

    DotComClassroom.com is a service of:
    BlackWire Marketing, LLC
    1292 High St  Suite 219 Eugene OR 97401 USA
    541.321.6175

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