When a reader visits a website, it’s expected to load in just a few seconds. If it takes more than 4 to 5 seconds, viewers may decide to visit a different site. With today’s technology and hardware improvements, the capability for fast loading speeds is accessible. It’s just a matter of making sure a site is properly optimized.
Review Host Plans
Site speed starts with a good host who offers reliable hardware. Many hosts offer shared hosting plans with unlimited views, but the information that needs to be communicated is how many views a plan is suitable for. A plan might be able to handle unlimited views, but 20,000 viewers or more in a short period of time could bring load times to a screeching halt, causing viewers to wait 10 seconds or longer for a page to load. By then, viewers might have decided to find another site.
Check plans to see how many viewers it can safely support and upgrade if necessary.
Choose a Caching Plugin
Google loves fast sites and they take it into account when calculating page rank. Since caching helps to reduce the load on a server and speed up the load times of a site, this can also help improve a site’s ranking. Caching becomes important with high amounts of site traffic. It creates static versions of pages, preventing the need for constant back-and-forth queries to a database.
Avoid Large File Sizes
When inserting images into a WordPress post or page, take care that the file is not larger than it needs to be. The smaller the file size, the faster it will load. Some plugins such as “WP-SmushIt” will take care of this to save some time. Large image files are a common contributor to site traffic bottlenecks, but this is an easy fix.
Every time a draft is saved, a post revision is created and saved as a database entry. Over time, if there are upwards of 10 post revisions for multiple posts, this can greatly increase database size. The more this grows, the slower it gets.
“Better Delete Revision” is a plugin that shows all revisions and can help optimize a database. It allows the removal of old or unwanted post revisions, which can help reduce the size of the database and increase its speed.
Pingbacks and Trackbacks
Pingbacks are used by WordPress to notify a site that their content has been linked to in a post. Most of the time, this is unnecessary and can create slower loading times on pages. Unless there’s a specific reason to leave this on, pingbacks typically do more harm than good.
Consider disabling these from the Dashboard:
. Click on Discussion under Settings.
. Go to Default article settings
. Uncheck “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks) on new articles”
Plugin Performance Profiler
Most importantly, review any current plugins currently installed on the site. Too many plugins or poorly configured plugins can drastically affect the speed of a WordPress site.
Plugin Performance Profiler (P3) is a plugin that can help target which plugins slow down a site. Based on the information it provides, consider removing plugins that are slowing down your site if they aren’t necessary to the functionality of the site. Often times, it’s better to do without a plugin than to let viewer experience be affected by poor loading speeds.