WordPress Optimization: How to Speed Up WordPress!

Wordpress Optimization - How to Speed Up WordPress

Have you ever been to one of those sites where you were really interested in reading an article, or watching a video, or listening to an audio and it took forever to load.

What did you do?  Most likely you clicked away and went to another site to look at something else.  That’s exactly why site speed is so very important.

You’ve probably heard this before, but when a person lands on your site for the first time, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention to convince them to hang around.

If you’ve been marketing online for a while, you’ll understand the importance of branding, a nice layout, putting important things above the fold, and all of that good stuff in order to try to capture visitors into staying.

But if your page loads slowly, you may lose people before you even have the chance to convert them.

Most studies prove that you have a very short time to load your site before people click away, especially if they’ve been linked there from another site that they visit.

What this means is that you only have a very few seconds to do what you need to do and if most of that is used in loading your site you will lose that visitor.

One more thing, Google has now included site speed in it’s ranking algorithm.  That means that your site’s speed affects your SEO, so if your site is slow you are not only losing visitors out of impatience, but you are losing them because of poor rankings due to your site speed.

How To Speed Up WordPress

I found many lists out there that had suggestions on how to speed things up, but I’m going to share with you the ones I chose to implement that got me drastic results.

1.     Use an effective caching plugin

WordPress plugins are obviously quite useful, but some of the best fall under the caching category, as they drastically Speed Up WordPress with cachingimprove page loads time, and best of all, all of them on WP.org are free and easy to use.

By far my favorite is W3 Total Cache, I wouldn’t recommend or use any other caching plugin, it has all of the features you need and is extremely easy to install and use.

Simply install and activate, and watch your page load faster as elements are cached.

2.     Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

All of your favorite big blogs are making use of this, and if you are into online marketing using WordPress (as I’m sure many of my readers are) you won’t be surprised to hear that some of your favorite blogs like Copyblogger are making use of CDN’s.

Essentially, a CDN, or content delivery network, takes all your static files you’ve got on your site (CSS, Javascript, and images etc) and lets visitors download them as fast as possible by serving the files on servers as close to them as possible.

I chose CloudFlare on my WordPress sites, as I’ve found that they have the most reasonable prices and they have a free version that works great. Their dashboard is very simple to use and it’s pretty easy to setup with great tutorials.

3.     Optimize Images (automatically)

Yahoo! has an image optimizer called Smush.it that will drastically reduce the file size of an image, while not reducing quality.

However, if you are like me, doing this to every image would be beyond a pain, and incredibly time-consuming.

Fortunately, there is an amazing, free plugin called WP-SmushIt which will do this process to all of your images automatically, as you are uploading them. No reason not to install this one.

4.     Optimize Your WordPress Database

I’m certainly getting a lot of use out of the word “optimize” in this post!

This can be done the very tedious, extremely boring manual fashion, or…

You can simply use the WP-Optimize plugin, which I run on all of my sites.

This plugin lets you do just one simple task: optimize your database (spam, post revisions, drafts, tables, etc.) to reduce their overhead.

I would also recommend the WP-DB Manager plugin, which can schedule dates for database optimization.

5.     Add LazyLoad to your Images

LazyLoad is the process of having only the images visible in the visitor’s browser window, then, when the reader scrolls down, the other images begin to load, just before they come into view.

This will not only speed you page loads, it can also save bandwidth by loading less data for users who don’t scroll all the way down on your pages.

To do this automatically, install the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin.

The use of CloudFlare, along with the W3 Total Cache plugin discussed above, are a really potent combination (they integrate with each other) that will greatly improve not only  speed up WordPress, but the security of your site.

And, both are free, so you have no excuse!

The whole object when optimizing is to increase WordPress Page Speed when it comes to loading.

Before this weekend, my blog was running very slow so I knew I had to find a way to Optimize My Website and create a much more pleasant experience for my users.

Here’s what I found, by making just these 5 tips I was able to speed up WordPress significantly and optimize the underlying database and code all automatically.

Join The Conversation:

I would love to hear how these WordPress Optimization tips helped you.  Please share with others who are struggling with slow or very slow websites and want to know how to optimize their sites.

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