Nothing can chase off your readers faster than a slow loading WordPress site. You’ve worked hard creating your content and want to gather as many readers as possible. If your pages load slowly, or not at all, people are just going to move along and do something else rather than waste their time waiting. The following hints will help you to keep your site running smoothly and efficiently and will help you keep your existing readers coming back for more. In turn, these returning viewers will increase your customer base by suggesting your site as a great and entertaining read and pull more viewers to your page.
Tips to speed up your wordpress site:
Choose a Good Host
Shared hosts may offer benefits which appear to be fantastic, such as unlimited page views free, but due to the fact that they are shared they will be just naturally more slowly during peak usage. If you add something extremely fabulous and have a drastic increase in traffic this could mean your page will go down when you need it most. Instead of leaving yourself vulnerable to sluggishness or downtime, opt instead for a host like WP Engine. These type of hosts are known for their speed and customer support and are general simple and easy to use.
Build your site using a light framework or theme. Lighter frames use simpler gut and this will increase the speed of your page loading while still allowing you to add necessary components to keep your site interesting and functional.
Caching allows the viewer to store the main components of your page in their cache. Future visits will not require you subscribers to redownloadthe your entire WordPress site over and over again with each visit.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
This service is used by most larger blogs and allows subscribers to have their content delivered from servers nearest to them, drastically speeding up downloading times. Max CDN Content Delivery Network, for example, offers their service at a reasonable price and uses a user-friendly dashboard. There are many free versions out there as well, so finding the one that works best for you may involve a little trial and error.
Image optimizers will compress the images on your page to the smallest size possible and result in the images loading much more quickly when a subscriber visits your page. Yahoo offers a free version called Smush.It which will allow you to do this but doesn’t do them in bulk. If you’ve chosen to use the WP Engine as your host they offer a free plug in WP-SmushIt which does them in bulk. Many other hosts also offer image optimization so check if this is available with whichever host you choose to use.
Home page Optimization
Optimizing your home page can significantly cut down on the time the landing page takes to load. Instead of your homepage containing your full blog post, for example, show excerpts. Users will then be offered the ability to “read more” and be taken to the full posting. Keep the total number of posts displayed on any page relatively low, 5-7 posts general keeps things running smoothly. Keep your sharing widgets within the actual post itself and don’t display them on the page excerpts. The fewer things on the main page, the faster it will run. If you find you are not using a plugin or widget very often, get rid of it. Use only the widgets necessary for your page. A whole pile of unnecessary widgets can significantly slow your page down.
Install the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin to automatically to make it that only images above the fold load (the ones directly viewable within the browser window). As the reader scrolls down the other images will begin to load as they are needed.
Post Revision Storage
WordPress will automatically store every version of every draft you’ve ever written. It is unlikely that you would need more than 1-2 copies of your draft once you’ve published your post. Install the Revision Control plugin to allow you to set the amount of drafts saved and control the backend clutter by removing unnecessary versions.
While there are many other steps and plugins you can use to reduce the amount of speed drain on your site, these few are definitely enough to get you started. Keep in mind that you will only want to use widgets or plugins that are absolutely necessary. In the world of the internet there it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.
Compress your Site
Much like a zip program can compress a particular file, plugins are available which can compress your entire website. Compressed files load much faster and lessen the chance that your viewer will ditch before your site has time to finish loading. Plugins such as Gzip will compress and zip your entire website. Your subscribers browser will automatically unzip the contents drastically speeding up your page loading.
Keep Alive Enabling
HTTP Keep Alive is a message that is sent between the server and the viewers machine which asks for permission to download each individual file. By enabling Keep Alive you will make it possible for the machines to transmit information without requiring separate permissions for each and every activity. The original permission will be the only one required and wills save you significantly in bandwidth..To enable Keep Alive, simply copy and paste the code below into your .htaccess file:
Header set Connection keep-alive
It has been identified that viewers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. When you’ve reached a 3 second loading time, viewers just move along and find something else faster. This can cause serious losses in subscription or new viewers. While a single second does not seem like a whole lot to be worrying about, but apparently 57% of viewers think it is worth leaving your site for. Use these helpful tips to increase your views, subscriptions or sales and make sure your page is running at its best.