Online consumers want increasingly faster websites, and load time is a very significant factor in SEO. Here we look at some quick ways to make your WordPress site, well, quicker.
Fewer HTTP Requests and Minification
Whilst these can be useful when writing code, they are not necessary for your code to run. Keep the original files if you wish, but you should only link to your minified files on your website. Using a task runner such as Gulp will help with this.
Then you need to have fewer HTTP requests for the browser to deal with. To achieve this you need to combine your minified files. This can be tricky and you should continually test your website throughout this process as combining files often causes problems. It is unlikely that you will be able to combine all files, and you should avoid trying to minify previously minified files; just do the best you can and try to only including scripts on specific pages that actually require those scripts.
Optimise Your Images
This might seem like an obvious thing to do, but remarkably it is often missed, and frequently when it is done, it’s done incorrectly.
You can do this straight from your image editing software. Play around with your settings until you get an image you are happy with, combined with a reduction in file size. Try the ‘Save for Web’ function if you are using Photoshop.
There are plugins that speed up your website. Interestingly though, too many plugins will have exactly the opposite effect.
It is worth thoroughly checking any plugins before installing them in the first place, but once you have them, you should keep checking that they are necessary.
Content Delivery Network
A CDN is a system of distributed servers used to deliver web content to a user based upon their geographic location, the origin of the website and a content delivery server. Usually requiring a third party, CDNs do have costs attached, so make sure you do your research before opting for one of the many options available.
Once in place, you will have to change the output links of any files you are serving through your CDN. This can be done manually, or with a CDN integrations such as W3 Total Cache .
Caching involves temporary storage of content to reduce bandwidth usage, load time and perceived lag. By storing a copy of the pages in a browser, load time is decreased whenever you revisit the page.
WordPress offers both plugins and manual options to achieve this.
By remembering these points you can speed up your WordPress site. This is more vital than ever before, with consumers increasingly demanding faster, slicker and more professional feeling websites.