Question: How do I improve the load speed of my wordpress website?

Answer: WordPress sites are notoriously slow.

While there are lots of technical changes your web developer can make, here are a few simple suggestions on things you can do right away to dramatically improve your speed. 

There are fast hosts and slow hosts.

We have learned the hard way that some well known companies are still using outdated servers for significant portions of the smaller customers.  Bundling these sites together on older hardware is cheap, but the result of being stuck on a legacy server is a slow site, along with other limitations in the type of plug ins you can add to your site.  We recommend Site Ground and WP Engine  hosting.

Use an effective caching plugin

A cache is a temporary storage area which allows repeat visitors to essentially pick up where they left off, reloading the page from cache while you actual website loads from their browser.  One of the simplest to use is  W3 Total Cache. Simply install and activate, and watch your page load faster as elements are cached. – The one downside to using a cache is changes made to pages, will not automatically display and may need to be manually refreshed.

Optimize images

Make sure the images you load to your website are sized properly.  Leave those beautiful high resolution images on your desktop and resize them to 72 DPI before uploading to your site.  Also if you have pages with quite a few images consider a lazy load option, which loads images as users scroll down the page.

Speed up your home page.

A clearn, focused homepage design load quickers quicker, looks good and servers as a great point of entry to the rest of your site.  You don’t need to tell your whole story on the home page.  Simply treat it like a directional sign at a shopping mall.

  – Introduce segments of your website with learn more buttons to drive visitors inward.

 – If you have a blog roll on your home page, just how excerpts instead of full posts and limit the number of posts to 3 or 4.

 – Remove sharing widgets from the home page (include them only in posts)

Clean up your WordPress database

Overtime, your data base becomes a little bloated, filled with revisions, drafts, and spam. Using the WP-Optimize plugin will reduce the bloat.

Limit the number of post revisions stored

There are always trade offs.  On the one hand the ability to go back to older revisions saves you time if you change your mind about an update.  On the other hand storing all those revisions slows your site down.   If your theme does not allow you to limit revisions try the Revision Control plugin.  Set it to 2 or 3 so you can repair a mistake, without cluttering up your data base.

Stop treating your website like a filing cabinet.

Your website is a great tool to collect submissions. Job applications, requests for quote or simply service inquiries.  However, your website should not be the permant home for this data. You should routinely download the submssions and save the data elsewhere, then delete them from your data base.

 

Ready to Get Serious About SEO?

Our SEO BLUEPRINT is a self-paced program that gives you a chance to improve your SEO a little a time.