Best ways to Optimize the Speed of Your WordPress Website

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A slow website can cost you sales, reduce your ROI, and irreversibly damage your reputation. On the contrary, a high-performance website will translate to low bounce rates, a higher number of return visits, longer dwell times, a higher rate of engagement and conversions, and a good user experience, all of which combine to give you higher organic search ranks. According to Forbes, Google considers page speed a determining factor for allocating page rankings. Some very effective ways of boosting website loading speed:

Employ a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

When the website is hosted on only one server, all users, regardless of their geographical locations, are forced to access the same hardware. This not only increases the time required to process the requests but also the time for the data to travel to users who are far away. A content delivery network comprises multiple web servers located in different locations so that the requests can be distributed and users get the benefit of faster response time by accessing a server closer to them. As may be imagined, the method is expensive and suitable for high traffic websites.

Shift the Website to a Better Host 

Shared hosting, being the least expensive method, is the most popular way of hosting websites. In this system, you share resources like the disk, CPU, and RAM with other websites, which can lead to slower response times. Virtual Private Servers that use multiple servers let you have a share of the virtual server that cannot be influenced by the load of other clients represent a better method of speeding up your website. The best solution, though the most expensive one, is to host your website on a dedicated server. All resources of the dedicated server belong to you solely and you can exercise complete control over it. More recently, clients are also switching to dedicated cloud resources that offer on-demand unlimited scalability.

Optimize the Image Sizes in Your Website Content 

Images are understood and appreciated far better than text, which is why you will find websites, especially online shopping sites full of pictures and graphical elements for promoting user stickiness and boosting engagement. However, if the image file sizes are large, they will slow down the page loading speed. The solution is to optimize the image sizes so that loading speed is improved without compromising the quality of the images. You can do this by using any of the freely available image compression tools or by using HTML image attributes.

Prioritize the Use of Plugins

A very effective method of adding specific features to websites is by using plugins developed by third parties. However, the problem is that the plugins consume valuable resources that can slow down the website. Many of the plugins can also compromise the security of your website if they are not kept updated. Usually, as time passes, more and more plugins accumulate on the website, many of which may not even be required. It is important to conduct a site audit and uninstall all the redundant plugins. You can consult with Social Market Way SEO services for conducting a quick but comprehensive site audit. Also, test which plugins are responsible for slowing down your website and replace them with ones that are built better. Typically, it is better to avoid plugins that generate too many queries on the database or load many scripts and styles. Using the minimum number of plugins is the best method of keeping your website loading quickly.

Reduce the Volume of JavaScript and CSS Files

A very large number of HTTP requests can result when visitors want to access specific files on the website if the website has a lot of JavaScript and CSS files. Since the requests are handled individually by the browser, it slows down the page loading. Reducing the number of JavaScript and CSS files or bundling them will act to reduce the number of HTTP requests. There are a large number of tools that you can use to do the job.

Employ Website Caching

When there are a large number of visitors trying to access a website page, it creates pressure on the server and the loading time for each user slows down. You can speed up the process by caching the existing version of the website to make the job of rendering web pages repeatedly unnecessary for each user. This is because cached web pages do not send requests to the database every time, the user wants to access it. Website caching depends on the platform the website has been developed on and accordingly, the relevant plug-in will have to be used. You can also use the general setting of your host server if you are using a VPS or a dedicated server. For obvious reasons, this facility is not available for shared servers.

Reduce File Size Using Gzip Compression 

By using Gzip compression, you can reduce the file size before sending them to the user’s browser, which then unzips them before presenting the web page. Implementation of this method on your website is very simple and can be done either by adding a few lines of code or using the Gzip utility.

Minimize the Use of Web Fonts 

Web fonts have become very popular with web designers because they allow them to be more creative by choosing non-standard fonts especially designed for use on websites. Even though they look very appealing, they tend to slow down the rendering speed of web pages because they add more HTTP requests. While minimizing the use of web fonts is the best strategy for speeding up the page loading, it can also help to use modern browser formats, use only those sets of characters that are used on the website, and limit the number of styles.

Conclusion 

Modern users are always in a big rush and tend to access websites using mobile devices when they are multitasking. This makes the speed of website loading a critical factor. A slow website can frustrate users leading them to abandon the site and cause irreparable harm to conversions. To prevent this from happening, you need to ensure that you employ all possible methods available to offer a speedy website to users.

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