If you want to optimize your website, you should definitely take a look at the loading time of your website. If your website is slow, visitors will turn away before you can even get your message across. Website performance also affects search engine rankings. Many website owners see an improvement in search engine rankings after you speed up the website.
Today I’m going to give you “10 quick tips” on how to reduce the loading time of a website. But before using these techniques on your website, I recommend checking the website’s speed with a free service like GTMetrix, Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights. These services inform you about the loading time and the total file size of the page.
1. Choose the right hosting plan
Even a good host can dramatically optimize the loading time of your website. The first step in optimization should, therefore, be to choose the right hoster or hosting plan. Because if the server processes the HTTP requests and MySQL commands too slowly, you will always fight against windmills with all follow-up measures. Performance services like GTMetrix show the exact response time of your server. I recommend testing the response time of your own website against similar websites.
Tip: Large hosting companies generally only offer “shared hosting” at low rates. Here you share RAM, hard drive and CPU performance with other users. If you run a resource-heavy website (shop, membership, photo database, etc.), a hosting package where you are alone on the server or at least the number of shared use is better.
Tip: In this article, I have already written about premium hosting and what you should pay attention to:
2. Fast WordPress theme & small pictures
A theme that is badly coded can also slow down your site. Most of the time, however, the theme is not the brake, but much too big pictures. A 500 kb or 1 MB image doesn’t really have anything to do with the website.
Use pictures in reasonable web resolution. The standard type area is between 960px and 1080px. So it makes little sense to insert a picture with a width of 3000px. All fullscreen images could be inserted at 1920px.
Tip 1: All images should be compressed, for example with the free tool SmushIt.
Tip 2: If you don’t want to sacrifice the image quality in favor of the loading time, take a look at the ” Lazy Load ” plugin. The plugin ensures that images are only loaded when the area is visible to the user. This significantly reduces the page load time.
3. Optimizing the website also means “monitoring plugins”
Before you install a plugin on your website, ask yourself: “Is this plugin necessary?”. Plugins are one of the biggest causes of slow WordPress websites. The more plugins you install, the more likely you will be faced with performance problems.
Still: don’t panic! Multiple plugins do not have to be the reason for a slow website. The only thing that is important is to find the culprits. There are many reasons for slow plugins: bad coding calls to external servers, etc. Pay attention to how much CPU your plugins use. Many plugins can slow down the CPU due to ongoing processes.
Tip: Use the free plugin ” P3 Profiler ” to test. The plugin shows exactly how much loading time which plugins need. An evaluation is given which shows exactly how much load each plugin causes.
4. Housekeeping: Empty your trash
WordPress introduced the WordPress garbage system some time ago. Whenever content is deleted, be it a comment, post, page, media, etc: it is sent to the trash. From here, the content can either be restored or deleted. This is a fail-safe system that helps to restore everything that was accidentally deleted. But the trash can take up a lot of unnecessary space in the website database. The larger the database, the longer it is to retrieve information from it.
Tip: By default, WordPress automatically deletes the trash after 30 days. This can be reduced by changing the wp-config.php file
For example, you can reduce the time to 7 days:
define (‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 7);
You can also deactivate the trash system completely:
define (‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 0);
5. Reduce revisions, drafts, spam, pingbacks, and trackbacks
It’s not just junk that can unnecessarily increase the size of your database. All post types fill table rows with data. It is therefore important to delete them regularly.
Also, keep an eye on the number of drafts and revisions. The WordPress revision system makes it possible to return to older versions of articles. In addition to an “autosave” of your posts and pages, revisions are created every time you save an article. This means that an article with ten revisions takes up ten times as much space in your database as the actual article. To make matters worse, WordPress saves an unlimited number of revisions.
Tip 1: The WP-Optimize plugin can automatically remove auto drafts, spam comments, trackbacks and much more. WP-DB-Manager is also a good solution for optimizing your database.
Tip 2: Limit the number of revisions. Add the following codes to your wp-config.php file:
define (‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5)
6. Check the advertising on your website
Third-party advertising network advertisements can significantly increase loading times due to calls made to external servers. Ad tracking scripts can also slow performance. Of course, ads are necessary for most websites. Therefore, you have to find the right balance between speed and income.
7. Social media buttons & widgets
For many website owners, social media is enormously important as a traffic strategy. That is why social media sharing buttons are often so prominently integrated. Unfortunately, these sharing buttons from Facebook, Twitter 6 Co can increase the loading times immensely.
Tip: The normal sharing buttons from Facebook, Google+ and Twitter above and below an article add a whopping 500KB load to the page. With a simple text link or locally stored social media images, this could be reduced to 1/10.
8. Gzip Compression, Minify & Combine CSS
Gzip compression enables a website page to be played back compressed by a browser by up to 70%. The browser then decompresses the page. Gzip can be activated via the WordPress options page. You can find this page at www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/options.php. To activate Gzip, simply change the value of the Gzip field from 0 to 1.
9. Enable browser caching
You can enable browser caching by adding the following code to your .htaccess file:
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
ExpiresByType image / jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image / jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image / gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image / png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text / CSS “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text / HTML “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application / pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application / x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image / x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 1 month”
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
The code above indicates how long a particular file type should be saved. Files are simply downloaded again when the time runs out.
10. Install a cache plugin
Caching plugins can create static HTML pages of your dynamic pages. This reduces the loading time since there are no PHP or MySQL commands to execute. Additional caching features include minification, feed caching, gzipping, content delivery network (CDN) support, and more.
Caching is an effective way to improve load times. Popular caching plugins are WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Rocket when operating a WooCommerce shop.
Bonus: Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Websites are hosted in a data center anywhere in the world. The further a visitor is from the location of the data center, the longer it takes for the web pages to load.
Popular content delivery networks are MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront and Cloudflare. The cost of these services varies depending on how much bandwidth the website uses. For example, MaxCDN Plan costs $ 9 per month for 100 GB of bandwidth.
A fast website is good for your visitors and good for your website’s SEO success. Many believe that you have to be an expert to optimize a WordPress website. That’s not true. Sure: you have to read something. But 90% of the optimization can be implemented quickly and easily
But this should also be said: Do not fight for every 10th of a second. You can quickly find yourself in a whirl of optimization and spend days or weeks trying to get a tiny increase in loading time. This does not have to be the case. Pay attention to a good performance, heed the most important points – and then go back to your actual business!
Author Bio – Vishal Garg has several years of experience in digital marketing. With good experience in advance marketing and promotional strategies, he has helped numerous brands establish their online niche with his out of the box internet marketing strategies and lead generation capabilities. He is working as a digital marketing consultant in India