In today’s age, awesome online experiences are a crucial element to building a loyal fanbase. While a positive digital experience can lead to brand advocacy, one that fails to meet expectations on things like site speed can lead a prospect running in the other direction. In fact, Google engineers have discovered the blink of an eye — 400 milliseconds — is too long and causes people to search less.
To help you deliver the best experience online possible (and help improve your SEO efforts), we’ve provided this list of tips to help enhance the performance of your WordPress site. Whether it be page size, slow plugins, or some other culprit, read on for some useful tips to help boost page speed times and improve your site’s overall performance.
Choose a good host
When starting out, a shared host might seem like a bargain (“Unlimited page views!”). It comes at another cost: incredibly slow site speed and frequent down time during high traffic periods.
If you plan on publishing popular stuff, you’re killing yourself by running your WordPress site on shared hosting.
The stress of your site going down after getting a big feature is enough to create a few early gray hairs: don’t be a victim, invest in proper hosting.
Start with a solid framework/theme
You might be surprised to here this, but the Twenty Fifteen “framework” (aka the default WP theme) is lightweight and quite speedy.
That’s because they keep the “guts” simple; compare that to bloated frameworks which have tons of features that you will never use, slowing your site to a crawl.
It’s an incredibly solid framework that won’t slow you down with excess plugins or custom edits. Make the changes right from the theme and avoid bloat, hoorah!
Use an effective caching plugin
WordPress plugins are obviously quite useful, but some of the best fall under the caching category, as they drastically improve page loads time, and best of all, all of them on WordPress.org are free and easy to use.
Optimize your homepage to load quickly
This isn’t one thing but really a few easy things that you can do to ensure that your homepage loads quickly, which probably is the most important part of your site because people will be landing there the most often.
Things that you can do include:
- Show excerpts instead of full posts
- Reduce the number of posts on the page (I like showing between 5-7)
- Remove unnecessary sharing widgets from the home page (include them only in posts)
- Remove inactive plugins and widgets that you don’t need
- Keep in minimal! Readers are here for content, not 8,000 widgets on the homepage
- Overall, a clean and focused homepage design will help your page not only look good, but load quicker as well.
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