Nobody likes slow internet sites. Just think about how many times you have visited a website again, where the store took a long time on the first visit. Let me guess, it’s something close to zero. If you research the web on this topic, this behavior is confirmed by various statistics.
According to this infographic from Kissmetrics, 40 percent of users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load. For e-commerce websites, the results are even sharper. Eighty percent of buyers who are not satisfied with the speed or performance of a website do not buy, or at least not once again, on the same page.
On average, a one-second delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16 percent and leads to a loss of 8 percent in conversions.
Speed is also a critical component in the Google ranking algorithm. If you have a slow internet site, your Google ranking will drop and you will have significantly less traffic to your website.
With the introduction of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), you can also clearly see that mobile page speed has also become an important ranking factor.
This also explains the impact of loading your website on user experience, engagement and SEO. So what can you do to get your website up and running faster? This article will introduce you to 10 quick and effective ways to speed up your WordPress website.
But now before you start savagely optimizing this and that, you need to measure your current performance and speed of your website so that you can quantify any performance improvements if you have implemented the methods in this post. The website of Pingdom offers a free performance analysis for your website. You can also see the speed and other performance data of your website in Google Analytics under the Behavior section.
The choice of a good hosting service is not always easy, especially if you are a beginner and some terms for the different packages and server does not know. For many years, we have hosted a hoster from Germany at All-Incl, with a great price / quality ratio and, above all, very good service. Here are some possible options simplified.
Shared hosting is more of an option if you have numerous websites where you expect less traffic. At an average of $ 5 a month, you get what you pay for: strained resources and consequential unreliable service.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
VPS is a way you could go. They give you more resources and usually provide additional tools and services like automatic updates, mobile website customization apps, backups and more. At an average rate of 25 euros and more per month, virtual private servers are still very affordable for websites that are making money.
Dedicated hosting is typically used by webmasters with experience in server technologies or by sites with tremendous traffic. If you have a very popular website that requires dedicated operators and does not understand the technology behind it, you can have the server administered by someone else.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting can be a great way to go. Such servers are built for WordPress to include tools and features designed to help you get the most from your WordPress site. Of course you can also use WordPress on a VPS server, but of course you will not have the special options for WordPress.
However, there are a few limitations: Some WordPress features, such as plugins and themes, may be disabled due to security concerns.
Are you still confused which option is best for your website? Then talk to the customer support of the respective service provider and discuss your specific needs.
Is your template / theme of your website nice and slim? If not, you should urgently consider whether you really need all available options and, if necessary, think about a change. Premium themes certainly offer many options and if they fit their needs – great!
If not then they are looking for a sleek theme – without unnecessary scripts and styles, so they load faster than premium themes.
Lazy Load is a tool that can help accelerate large and image-heavy websites. What it basically does is to make sure that images are not loaded until they are in the reader’s field of vision. For example, if you want to see a full post on a page, the first pictures in your view are loaded and the rest loaded as you scroll on the page.
Ready to implement? Here are a few popular versions that do the job with minimal effort:
Caching is probably the best way to speed up your website and improve performance. Let’s see how it works.
A cache is a place where the data is cached. So, when you visit a website for the first time, your browser saves active data to speed up the loading process. If you visit the site again later, your browser will have a large part of the site’s files stored in its cache, which means that the site will load faster because your browser does not take that much time to collect the many files.
What caching plug-ins actually do is they save an HTML copy of a website for a certain period of time. The plugin then delivers these files from the cache (instead of loading them directly from the corresponding server live).
WP Super Cache (free) , W3 Total Cache and WP Rocket are three recommended plugins.
With CDNs, you can host images on a particularly fast server to improve loading times. They are also helpful in storing and potentially migrating your website to a new host server.
What a CDN actually does is to store requested files, as well as cached static content – near the geographic location of a visitor. If your site is hosted in the United States and a user accesses your site in Chicago, they will receive your website images from a data center in Illinois. But if your website is hosted in the US, a user in London accesses your website, they can get their pictures from a data center in the UK. In this way transmission times and other processing parameters are reduced, which leads to an improvement in the loading times of a website.
Examples of such services are: Amazon Cloudfront, MaxCDN and CloudFlare. But there are certainly other good CDN services you can use.
There are also quite a few reliable plugins that do not even have to worry about complicated settings. For example, Better WordPress Minify, WP Super Minify, and AssetsMinify are free plugins that can do the job for you.
Your database contains many important and unimportant information, such as information about inactive plugins, revisions, spam and trash comments. However, getting rid of this unnecessary data can greatly reduce the size of your database, thereby speeding up your website and thereby improving performance.
And how do you do that? Again with a corresponding WordPress plugin. WP-Sweep is by far the most popular and effective plugin for cleaning a WordPress database. It is very easy to use. Once activated, go to Tools> Sweep and the plugin will start analyzing your database. It will generate a report on different sections / components of your website that need to be cleaned. You then have the opportunity to decide for yourself, only to clean individual articles or to clean everything at once.
The home page (homepage) is probably the most important part of your entire website, because it serves as the main landing page. With a reasonable effort it is possible to optimize it to load faster. Here are a few things you can do to increase the loading speed of your homepage:
Limit the number of messages / posts on the page
Do not display full posts, but instead only excerpts
Button to share or like posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) should only be included in posts
Remove inactive plugins and Widgets
Remove all other unnecessary content and elements from the page
The rule of thumb is to keep your homepage as clean as possible. It will look good and improve loading times.
One point we have not considered so far is the topic of hotlinking. Yes, what is that again? Other websites may use their images for their own website by directly linking their images instead of uploading them to their own servers. This will steal your bandwidth and you will not benefit from the traffic they generate. This is called hotlinking.
The good news is that you can prevent this by adding code to your .htaccess file. Google the topic just once on occasion, there are various instructions how to implement this in detail. For this general post, that would now go too much in detail.