Looking to optimize your WordPress site? Ever wonder why your WordPress site is so slow? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article will focus on 5 ways to optimize your WordPress site. Let’s dig in.
What does it mean to optimize your WordPress site? Well for starters, it means faster web page loading times. It means more efficient and results driven SEO. Both of which can result in higher web traffic, and a better Click through Rate (CRO). These are the analytics that break down how many visitors you are getting monthly, and what percentage of those visitors are clicking through the pages of your website instead of bouncing. Optimizing your WordPress site means higher CRO rates, and lower bounce rates.
So just how do you do WordPress optimization for your site? Installing a caching plugin is a good place to start. Next you will want to optimize your images and reduce blog article previews to summary instead of showing the full article. Lastly you will want to utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to make your site easily accessible to visitors around the world, and use a video hosting service like YouTube to play videos, instead of your site.
Let’s break down these 5 strategies to get the most out of your WordPress site.
Install a Caching Plugin
The pages of your WordPress sites are “dynamic.” This means they are built brand new for each of your visitors, each time they access your website. This constant cycle of automatically producing new HTML code can really slow down your website.
Installing a caching plugin can change how your website runs. A caching plugin will make a copy of the HTML code for each of your web pages the first time they are built. Going forward, your website will automatically display this saved copy instead of running through the dynamic process of building a new web page for each new visitor.
A caching plugin will reduce loading times, making your WordPress site 2x to 5x faster. For a free caching plugin, WP Super Cache is a good option. If you are looking for a more premium caching plugin, check out WP Rocket.
Optimize Your Images
The images you import into your WordPress site can make a big difference in the speed of your site. The images you have on your phone or computer can have huge file sizes. That is why it is recommended that you reduce the size of your images before you import them into your site. The best way to do this is through image editing software. There are also some great WordPress image optimization plugins available like ShortPixel which can automate some of the image optimization process.
The right file format and compression size for your images can reduce the bandwidth they chew up by a factor of five. The two best formats for your images on WordPress are JPEG and PNG. Use JPEG formatting for images that have a lot of color. Utilize PNG formatting for images that are more transparent.
Colorful websites are 80% more likely to have visitors read and engage with the content on the site. So by all means – be loud and colorful. Be bold. Just make sure to optimize your images.
Reduce Content Preview to Summary
A blog is one of the best marketing tools you have at your fingertips. It is by far the cheapest, especially if you write your own articles. Having an active, and well written blog is absolutely to your advantage. But displaying full blog articles on your homepage is not.
WordPress automatically displays full articles on your homepage, and in your blog archives. This can greatly increase loading times. Instead you will want to reduce your content previews from “full text” to “summary.” You can find this option in the reading section of your settings tab.
Utilize a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Geographical location plays a factor in the loading times for your WordPress site. This is due to the physical location of the servers for your hosting service. Depending on where your host servers are located, visitors may experience different loading times.
Use a Video Hosting Service
If images can slow down your site, just imagine what full depth videos can do. Videos uploaded from your phone or computer will chew up a huge amount of bandwidth. In fact, you might even be charged overage fees from your hosting company. Even if you have an unlimited bandwidth plan.
Instead, use a video hosting service like YouTube to play videos on your side. This is the best way to add video content to your WordPress site without reducing your website’s speed, and avoiding possible overage charges.
WordPress has built-in video embedding capabilities. All you have to do is copy and paste the link to the video you want to show.
One last thing to keep in mind to make sure your WordPress site is fully optimized is a WordPress maintenance service. Your WordPress is a living, breathing creation. As such, it requires certain ongoing maintenance. This includes backing up your site to make sure you never lose any work. You need to make sure that your site is constantly updated with the newest WordPress version, and that your plugins and extensions are up-to-date. You will also want to empty your cache regularly. A full cache can end up slowing down your website.
A WordPress maintenance service can handle all of your site’s upkeep for you.
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