How To Speed Up A Wordpress Website
With a few easy steps you can speed up your Wordpress website thanks to a few helpful plugins and insider experience.
So you’ve probably heard around the internet that a faster website can improve your SEO and common sense may have told you that it would also improve user experience. What you won’t hear often is that there is an easy way and a hard way (there is also a cheap way and an expensive way) to speed up your website and there are many levels of complexity you can dive into.
It’s useful to keep in mind that your website does not need to be lightning fast to be fast enough to get the user experience and SEO benefit. Your website will really only be hurt by it’s loading speed when it’s really slow. Google page speed insights is often too critical of websites when it gives out scores and some of their recommended fixes are never ending processes. They will almost always recommend compressing your images and code more. Make sure you know how fast your internet connection is as well when judging your website speed. You may not think you have a problem when your download speed is 50 MBPS but us normal people using 20 MBPS and lower may have a hard time.
The easy way and also the expensive way to speed up your website is to simply hire a developer to go in and make the recommended changes. If you use GoDaddy then you can just use their premium support team to improve your website speed. It will cost a pretty penny however as they will charge you about 80$ per edit (which is still cheap compared to other alternatives). If you don’t have GoDaddy then you can hire one of the many website development companies in existence. You will have to give them access to your site though so make sure they are reputable and trustworthy.
With that said there are a few important words of caution you should pay heed to when speeding up your website with Wordpress plugins.
A Few Words Of Caution
Plugins that speed up your website are very complex and invasive to your website’s code. I’ve often run into issues when using these plugins. Some of these plugins have even broken my site completely to the point where I had to hire a professional website developer to come fix the problem. With that said the speed benefit can be great if this process is done carefully and correctly.
Minify HTML/CSS/Java Script and Caching Plugin
There are many plugins that do both code compression and caching management. Often these plugins will cause glitches on the backend of your site when you try to make edits. This can be averted by deactivating the plugin while doing edits. The benefits from this type of plugin are great however and I recommend using one. Autoptimize is a popular one.
This plugin is useful for very large Wordpress websites. This plugin essentially optimizes your server database by removing old drafts and multiple revisions saved. This type of plugin will not benefit you very much in terms of speed when you have a small website.
CDN Delivery and Image Compression
This type of plugin can help your website speed tremendously but also cause great damage. There are many image compression plugins out there with free and paid versions. I recommend using Smush however. You only need the image compression to get a great benefit but if you want to take it a step further you can purchase a subscription to their CDN service. This will basically take the images on your website and store them on servers all over the world so when a visitor from a far away region enters your site they won’t have to load images stored on a server local to you.
Factors That Slow Down Your Website
- Images that are very large (not compressed or scaled properly)
- A very large website without proper server space
- A server located far from the visitor
Excessive code often takes the form of animations or videos on your website.
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About The Author
Peter Heise is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. He has over a decade of experience in SEO, online advertising, website design, and marketing for small businesses. Peter is currently president of Correct Digital Inc. and advertising manager of South American Initiative (sai.ngo).