4 Tips to Increase Your WordPress Site Speed and Performance
Here’s a simple fact about site optimization: the slower your site loads, the more likely people are to leave. So if your page is taking forever to load, you’re losing both potential conversions and customers.
Especially with the holidays just around the corner, your website needs to be running smoothly and ready to take on the influx of visitors! If your site isn’t moving quite as quickly as it should be, start here. These four easy WordPress performance optimization tips will help keep your site blazing fast.
1. Do a Plugin Audit
One thing that always has the potential to slow down WordPress sites is plugins, so when you’re trying to optimize WordPress performance, plugins are a great place to start.
Admit it: How often do you test a new plugin and just let it sit there on your site for a while? Even if you’re not actively using it, plugins require extra resources from your site and therefore can decrease load time.
Take a second and delete those plugins that aren’t necessary. Even if you find a plugin with the functionality you like, take note of your site’s speed before and after you install it.
Sadly, it’s just a fact of life that some plugins will slow your site down. Just be conscious of it and be sure to benchmark your site’s performance so you can look for alternatives if a plugin isn’t quite up to speed.
And last, make sure you update any plugins that aren’t up to date. Not only is that a security risk but sometimes those updates will include performance enhancements. A win-win!
2. Use a CDN
Adding a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a great way to get your website content across the globe in a snap! A CDN is a collection of servers around the whole world that hold a copy of your site.
When someone goes to your website, the server closest to them will serve the request, meaning the site loads in record time.
Load time is slightly dependent on the location of your site’s server and the location of the site visitor, so a CDN can drastically speed things up if you have a global audience.
3. Optimize Your Creative Assets
A big contributor to slow website speed is content size. While it’s natural to want high-quality images and the best resolution, you’re going to pay in load time if you’re using images that are “better” than you actually need them to be.
Instead, you can compress and downsize your images without sacrificing quality during your WordPress performance optimization efforts. This keeps your load time low and your site moving fast.
When working with different files, you can downsize with various methods. When using images, there are tons of free tools like ImageOptim or TinyPNG to help compress your images without losing the quality you want.
Another tip is to export all images at the size you actually need to use them before uploading to your site. This will help decrease the file size and avoid unnecessarily large images. While this may feel more time-consuming than my other tips, if you can build image optimization into your workflow, it almost guarantees faster sites moving forward.
4. Find an Awesome Host!
It’s no secret that having a web host that has your back is one of the most important parts of keeping your website’s performance high and mighty! When it comes to hosting, you want a company that gives you the most bang for your buck and has a support team ready to swoop in a save the day whenever you need it.
If you’re paying bottom dollar for hosting, you can almost always expect slower site speeds, irregular performance, and more frequent downtime—all things you shouldn’t have to deal with as you work on your WordPress performance optimization.
While there are many options out there, WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting truly gives you everything you might need to keep your site running at top speed. We take care of all caching and backups to keep your site lightning fast, our powerful CDN delivers your content quickly, and our helpful WordPress experts are ready to assist you day or night.