When it comes to web pages, there are a lot of elements to consider and get right. There is the page’s visual appeal, ease of use, images and other media, and many more. However, that is not all. Page speed is just as important. Here are the top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site.

The Need for Speed

Imagine the rage you felt the last time someone is blocking your path in an escalator. Or the last time you had to stand in line for a long time. People want instant gratification. People want speed.

speed up your wordpress website

There are 2 reasons why you want your web pages to load as fast as possible.

  1. Search engines have made page speed a criteria for SEO In fact, search engine algorithms may actually penalise slower websites.
  1. Users have short attention spans. The loading speed of web pages can make users stay or leave. A web page that load in two seconds or less to keep visitors engaged. Any slower than that, and the visitors lose interest and hit the back button. Websites that take their sweet time loading will lose a significant number of visitors.

Owners of websites understand that faster load times are a requirement for effective search engine optimisation and for great customer experience. That is why they now list page speed as a top priority.

The Thing About WordPress

When you think of speedy websites, WordPress is not exactly the first thing that comes to your mind.

While it comes with countless themes, plugins, and  other important and useful add-ons; these consume server resources. Too many things running at the same time can really slow load times down. And we all know that that is bad for SEO and bad for customers.

WordPress speed up

Luckily, there are several things you can do to speed up your WordPress site. Here are the top 10 steps.

Read on to find out what experts in SEO in Sydney suggest in order to speed up your site.

Top 10 Steps To Speed Up Your WordPress Site

  1. Pick a fast and reliable web host.

Without quality web hosting, your WordPress site is in trouble. Choose a web host that can provide you with your required performance and bandwidth. It is important that your web host can give you the server resources you need to handle your traffic without affective page load speed.

  1. Update your WordPress, PHP, and all the plugins.

Because these software are constantly undergoing development and enhancements; it is extremely important that you update them every day. Always make sure that you have the latest versions of WordPress and all the plugins because outdated versions slow the site down and may cause incompatibility, or even security, issues.

  1. Use a lightweight, clean, flexible theme.

Minimalism is the new black when it comes to web design. Simply put, choose the lightest, simplest, cleanest theme or template and then build it up with additional functions and features. Light templates are not only light in size; they are also easier to make into an SEO-friendly, and mobile-friendly site. They can also be integrated with builders, plugins, and other functionalities.

  1. Optimise all the images on the page.

Fact: Large images slow down WordPress sites. Reduce file sizes as much as possible without compromising the resolution quality. Compress image sizes using tools like Photoshop or a WordPress image optimiser plugins.

  1. Install and enable caching.

Caching is the process of storing data on a user’s hard drive during their first visit on the website. This is done so that if the user visits the site again, the data and content will load so much faster. It can help reduce load time because it saves you some server bandwidth. You can install and enable a caching plugin for your WordPress site.

  1. Optimise the database in your WordPress.

Every WordPress site, especially old ones, has an accumulation of old and unused files in their database. Be it spam – unused themes and plugin data, content that were not published, old media – they take up space and may overload your server. Use plugins that can audit your files and clear up files that do not serve a purpose anymore.

  1. Utilize a CDN.

A Content Delivery Network is a group of servers that are found around the world. If your data and resources are stored on CDN servers in different locations; a visitor from one part of the world can load your website and its contents from a server that is neares them.

  1. Regularly monitor your performance.

One of the top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site, not to mention most important, is to test your web pages’ load speed and other performance metrics regularly, especially after updates or newly installed add-ons. Test your home page as well as other high-traffic pages. You can also test your site’s performance with tools like Website Grader, Google PageSpeed Insights, etc.

  1. Keep only the plugins you absolutely need.

Each plugin is a software and it depletes your server resources which, in turn, can impact your page’s load speed. Plugins that are not being used should be deactivated. You can also try looking for lightweight alternatives if you don’t want to delete them. Test your page loading speed after each change is completed.

  1. Minify what you can.

CSS and JavaScript are heavy users of your bandwidth, try to make these files as small as possible without compromising the look and functionality of the site. You can also minify stylesheets and scripts.

Bonus Steps

  1. If you have long posts, split them up.
  2. Lazy load content when you can.
  3. Reduce the number of comments in the page.
  4. Decrease social media calls.
  5. Do not embed video or Google Maps directly if you can.

You Better Run and Fast!

Optimising your speed is a task every website owner and web developer must take seriously.

Fortunately, there are many strategies to ensure your web pages load fast. This will ensure effective search engine optimisation. This will also make sure you can deliver the best possible customer experience.

Follow these top 10 steps to speed up your WordPress site and see your SEO rank soar!