Improving WordPress Site Loading Times
Let’s say you are performing a Google search, and you find what sounds like an interesting website. However, you soon click the back button in your web browser and choose another link. Why did you navigate away from the promising website? You did it because the page took too long to load. Making sure your WordPress site loading times are as fast as possible for all your visitors is crucial if you want to keep people satisfied, see them return, and have them share your content.
Fortunately, you can take several steps to increase the speed of your WordPress site. Some of these steps are simple, while others require more technical knowledge.
If you come to the conclusion that you have neither the time nor the ability to walk through these steps, you do not have to give up your desire for a speedy website. TechTe.am’s professionals can take care of all the details for you.
Tip #1: Choose a good hosting service
Not all web hosting services are created equal. With web hosting, you have several options. Three of these include shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting.
The benefit of shared hosting providers like 1&1, BlueHost, and HostGator is purely the low cost. That said, shared hosting is like being in a neighborhood. If a neighboring site is getting a lot of traffic, your website will experience slow response times. The main goal of shared hosting providers is attempting to make the neighborhood as crowded as possible while still allowing your site to be online.
Managed WordPress hosting
Hosting your WordPress site with a WordPress specific managed service gives you great performance optimization, automatic updates and backups, as well as solid security configurations. As a result, your WordPress site loading times will tend to be faster and more secure. WPEngine is one of the most popular managed WordPress hosting services and is our preferred Managed WordPress Hosting partner.
Requiring a deeper level of knowledge and a higher tolerance to all things technical, when properly configured and maintained VPS Hosting can outperform both of the previous options. A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a reserved share of a dedicated server. This often guarantees a much less crowded neighborhood, allowing more resources to go to your site. Our preferred VPS provider is DigitalOcean.
If you are looking for help with your website management or server management, we at TechTe.am would be happy to help.
Tip #2: Be careful how you use images and videos
Images and videos break up text content for your visitors, making your website more appealing. The problem with images and videos, however, is that unless they are used correctly, they can slow down your website loading speed.
You should optimize the images used on your website. Images, by default, have a lot of extra information in their data which leads them to become large, unnecessarily increasing loading times. Image compression alone is a very technical subject, however, you can find an excellent WordPress Plugin to help automatically compress your images in Smush Image Compression and Optimization.
Hosting videos on your own website can cost you a lot of bandwidth. You can be charged overage fees, even on an “unlimited” bandwidth plan. Instead of uploading the videos directly to your WordPress site, consider uploading them to a video hosting service such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have done that, you can embed them on your website.
These tasks can be time-consuming. If you would like professionals to take care of it for you so you can worry about the actual content of your WordPress site, TechTe.am will optimize your images and video content to get you a faster-loading website.
Tip #3: Use WordPress settings that provide the best performance
These are some easier fixes that can make your WordPress site faster by just changing some of the settings.
Excerpts versus full-length posts
WordPress gives you the option of displaying full-length posts on your website or only displaying excerpts. You want to choose excerpts. Why? Having full-length posts on your home page will slow your WordPress site loading times because there is more information. When you display just excerpts, your page will load faster. This will also translate into more views for individual articles because visitors will click to read the full article.
All themes are not made equal. Some themes are more optimized for speed. Others are more optimized for sales. Some themes are simply bad. Picking a flashy theme with a lot of bells and whistles may look nice, but try to keep the purpose of your website in mind. Try to choose a theme that has the features you need, not the features that look cool. Even still, the quality control of the code powering the themes can be suspect. Choose a simple theme, and customize it if necessary to see a big difference in the speed of your WordPress site loading times.
Are you receiving a lot of comments on your posts? Great work! Amidst your celebration, you may have one concern: the comments are slowing down your WordPress site. An easy way to fix this is to split your comments into pages. This option can be found in the “Discussion” tab in your settings.
Tip #4: Use coding to perform more advanced measures
The suggestions below are a little more advanced. When done incorrectly, they may cause damage to your site. If you are unfamiliar with coding, or you do not have the time to learn it, TechTe.am is at your service — we will take care of it for you.
Paginate longer article
Long posts can slow down your WordPress site loading times. Splitting them into multiple pages will increase loading speed.
Limit post revisions
WordPress stores your post revisions in your database. While this information is not publicly displayed, it can slow down your WordPress site. You can change the code in your
wp-config.php file to limit how many revisions are saved.
Hotlinking is when other people display your images on their websites using your URL. This costs you bandwidth, and can result in extra charges from your host, or even your website being completely taken offline. Hotlinking authors should have their own images uploaded to their own servers, rather than helping themselves to yours. You can add code to your
.htaccess file to stop these thieves in their tracks.
Improving your WordPress site loading times is critical, especially when there are many other websites out there vying for your visitors’ attention. If you do not want to do this on your own, we at TechTe.am would love to help you get your website running at lightning speeds. Choose a plan that fits your needs today.