Guide to Improve Functionality and Speed of your WordPress

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Robust WordPress websites mean business.

We cannot emphasize more on the need of having a website that really serves the purpose of its being; maximum uptime/availability to visitors from around the globe, seamless navigation, an appearance that drives traffic, and speed. Without a doubt, a website’s speed or its loading time does affect the business’ conversions.

As per a statistical report, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Since it’s 2018 and we can expect an upgrade here as well, you should make arrangements for your WordPress website to load within 2 seconds. Well! That sounds exaggerated, right?

So, if you are new to blogging/website making, how do you make sure that your site’s speed complements the functionality of your website as well?

Let’s explore.

  1. Choose the right web host provider (and a suitable web hosting plan)

Choosing the right web hosting service is a huge determinant of your website’s success. The right web hosting service will make your website secure, make it fast, and reduce frequent downtimes. An appropriate web hosting plan will have a great customer support policy in place and in case of an unfortunate event, things can be restored quickly.

2. Invest in a Content Delivery Network (for fast loading time throughout geographical locations)

A CDN service is largely about making your website accessible far and wide, with a swift loading time. Investing in a CDN makes sure that your website’s data is hosted on different data centres from different geographical locations, instead of a single server. With a CDN, a visitor from China will be able to quickly access your website in a similar manner as a website visitor from the nearest server.

3. Image compression

High-quality relevant images are impressive and having them on your website amps up the look and feel of your WordPress website. Apart from serving the functionality of visual tale-telling for your brand, images can cause lag issues on your website. Optimizing all the images present on your website is rather easy but maintaining their quality is also a qualm.

So, use tools like Smush image compression plugin and JPEG optimizer to achieve the goal.

4. WordPress Optimization

Efficiently running a WordPress website can involve too many tasks in a go and can be overwhelming for a new website owner. However, optimizing your WordPress website is a necessity as well. You can take on the following approach for your WordPress optimization.

  • Hosting
  • Hardware performance
  • Graphics
  • WordPress configuration
  • Software performance
  • Server Load
  • Geographical distance on Server

You can learn more about optimizing these resources, here. You can additionally use plugins like WP-Optimize for keeping your database fast and efficient.

5. Implementation of Caching

This is one of the easiest ways out there to make sure that your website loads instantly on your audience end. When your WordPress website uses caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache and WP Fastest Cache, the browser on your users’ ends don’t have to download all website elements again and again when they access your website more than once. Caching makes sure that the users are able to access the website in a breeze.

6. Keep your WordPress version updated

Keeping your WordPress version updated as per the latest release makes sure that you have access to the latest improvements, bug fixes, and other security checks. This is beneficial when it comes to your WordPress site’s performance in the long run.

7. Take care of bad links and redirects



Bad links, redirects, and errors kill the user-experience on your WordPress site and they definitely hurt the resources on the server. Hence, a smart move will be about checking such links and eliminating them before they cause the damage. A tool like Broken Link Checker can help.

To keep track of 404 errors, 301 redirects, consider installing plugins like the Redirection plugin.

8. Do not overdo everything pretty

We understand that having a flashy and vibrant website is every website owner’s secret wish. Pursuing this can be quite a task and if you get everything right and are able to materialize the vision, you have more work to be taken care o

Dynamic animations, sliders, video headers, high-res images, gifs, embedded graphics can kill your bandwidth and result in a slow loading website. So, always keep in mind the optimizations you will need to put in place if you take that road ahead.

Additionally, if you are a fan of intuitive user interface and an amazing code editor and want to come up with a great website, you can check out Dreamweaver tutorial.

9. Decluttering the database

A WordPress website is a result of posts, header images, scripts, themes, plugins, extensions and many other things. With so much put up together to run an integrated engine of a website, chances of loose ends never diminish. So, follow these steps:

  • Remove unnecessary themes and plugins
  • Update the themes and plugins that you really need
  • Use a theme that isn’t going kill your bandwidth

10. Technical steps for boosting the site’s speed

For people who are aware of the technicalities, taking care of their site’s performance and speed can be a technically easy approach. Here is a run-down of the same:

  • Minimize external HTTP requests

Too many files on your website mean a lot of HTTP requests. And too many HTTP requests slow down a website. To fix this issue, you need to be sure of the present number of requests being made, for which you can use Google Chrome’s Network panel. Moving on, you will then be required to take care of the file sizes, image sizes, make the JavaScript asynchronous, and combine the CSS files.

  • GZIP Compression

A performance and speed booster for your website, GZIP compression is a step that can help you reduce the page size on your website by up to 70%. To do so, you can either set up your host to do it, do it via .htaccess or use a plugin such as WP Rocket for its compression features.

  • Enable lazy loading

A simple way to improve your website’s page load time, lazy loading can be your pick if you like simpler things for your WordPress website. Plugins such as a3 Lazy Load can serve the purpose.

  • Minify JavaScript and CSS files

If you want to introduce minification, you should use the WordPress plugin Autoptimize.

  • Protect your bandwidth by preventing hotlinking

Hotlinking sounds like a very positive term but it is not. If somebody is hotlinking images from your website, your server resources can get drained, resulting in issues with your site’s host; an attack on your site’s performance.

To keep this problem under check, you can simply disable the right click in your WordPress, use the built-in hotlink protection tool from cPanel, or use plugins like the All-in-One WP Security and Firewall.

Conclusion

A Website is all about the performance it delivers and the time period it loads in. The two factors are equally important when weighed against each other and should be taken care of relatively. If you really want to kill the competition against your website’s performance, the best way about it is to speed it up. With the above mentioned guide, you can have a website that delivers performance and speed, hand-in-hand.

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