There are many guides out there about speeding up WordPress, but most are not beginner friendly. This guide intention is to help a novice be as efficient as he can in his condition. All these techniques can be implemented by a person who doesn’t have too much WordPress experience.
1. Optimizing Your Images
First, start with optimizing your images. You will be surprised by how much of an impact this rather easy step will have on your performance. All pictures uploaded unto your website should be scaled and optimized.
a. Scaling images – What does this mean? For example, you might have uploaded a 3000×1500 image, but that image gets displayed on our website at just 500×250 resolution. The browser will download the big image and resize it to a smaller resolution afterward. To avoid this, you should manually resize the image yourself using Paint, Gimp, Photoshop, or other similar programs before uploading it on your website.
b. Optimizing images – Even though your images are scaled, they still contain a lot of unnecessary information that is making them 2-3 times heavier. In order to optimize them, you need to install a special image optimization plug-in such as Smush, EWWW Optimize, ShortPixel, etc.
After installing an image optimization plug-in, you will see a new button under the “media” button in WP dashboard. It will usually say things like “optimize images,” “bulk optimize”, “smush now.”
For more on optimizing images, check GtMetrix guide.
2. Implementing Caching
There are a lot of caching plug-ins available to chose from, the best being WP Rocket and W3 Total Cache. The first is not free. The second might be challenging to set adequately by a novice. An easy to install yet very effective solution is WP Fastest Cache.
3. Removing Unnecessary Plug-Ins
Almost every website has plug-ins that are not used or not truly needed. Curating your installed plug-ins list can give a significant boost to your WordPress performance. Don’t neglect this aspect.
4. Lazy Loading
This means making your images load only when they are near the user viewpoint. Most popular solutions out there are A3 Lazy Load and BJ Lazy load. They should work out of the box in most cases. If they do, however, end up breaking something, ask for specialized help.
5. Using A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The further away somebody stands from the server location, the slower the website will load. That’s if you’re not using a CDN. A CDN will store your resources in different centers around the world and deliver them from there. If your server is in the USA and somebody from Germany visits your site, the resources will get sent from a CloudFlare location in Germany.
I recommend using CloudFlare. It’s free and, besides improving your speed, it also makes your website more secure. Voila! Your website should be significantly faster now! And that’s something important since you’re estimated to lose 11% traffic and 7% conversions for every extra second of load time.
And, if you ever want to reach perfection, you can always outsource this task to a specialized speed optimization service, such as TurboWeb who will perform all the above plus a hundred other tricks, for a rather low price.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.