10 simple steps to optimize your WordPress website.

We are in 2018. Are you not satisfied with your website’s performance? If not, then it’s not tool late.


Why Speed Matters?

When a person visits your site for the first time, First and foremost, he/she will see the speed of site, we can say “First impression is the last impression”.
Due to slow speed of site, most of the peoples are gone, lost before you even had a chance.
Not only that, google also includes site speed in its ranking algorithm. That means that your site’s speed effects SEO.

Let’s fix that.

How To Speed Up WordPress?

One thing more I want to let you know, that these tips are not ordered by any criteria. This is what i have learned around how to speed up WordPress site and listed below. I am sure that using even a few will help speed up your WordPress site.

1) Selection of good hosting

Here I will recommend only two Host-gator or Blue-Host in the light of my experience. Otherwise there are many other hosting providers you can use. Both have simple control panel interface and one click WordPress installation.
Furthermore, you have to select a hosting plan carefully. There are many hosting plans. If you are a fresher and going to make a WordPress site and you don’t have a lot of complex hosting requirements then you have to choose “Shared Hosting”, it’s a basic plan. In shared hosting multiple sites share the same server.
Also it is easy to afford for beginners. If you are going to make a business site with some complex requirements then you have to choose a “Dedicated Web Hosting or VPS (Virtual Private Server) Web Hosting”

2) Selection of stunning theme

Selection of theme is also an important point while developing a speedy website. WordPress has some default Themes like Twenty Fifteen, Twenty Sixteen and Twenty Seventeen. These are light weight themes. Personally i will recommend to use one of them instead of using any other theme with tons of features you will never use. However, you can customize these themes according to your needs and requirements. Otherwise there are many light weight paid themes you can use if you can afford. But for beginners i will suggest only default themes as I mentioned above.

3) Use of Caching Plugin

WordPress has many caching plugins. In my opinion “WP Fast Cache” plugin is the best one. It has all the features you need and is extremely easy to install and use. It can drastically improve your site speed. I am also using this one for my site. You can use any other if you want.

4) Image Optimization

Image optimization has also a great impact on your site’s speed. WordPress gives an awesome plugin called “WP Smush”. It reduces the image file size, but not reducing the image quality. This plugin will automatically optimize every image you upload from now on since you activated it, but you just need to make sure that the “Auto-Smush Images on upload” feature is checked. You can also do Bulk action on previously uploaded images.

5) Content Delivery Network (CDN)

It is a network of geographically dispersed servers that gives fast web experience to users across the globe. It provides alternative nodes for users to download static contents like images, CSS and JavaScript. Each CDN node caches the static contents of a site. When a user requests your site, the node closest in proximity to user will give static content. It reduces the latency time, ensuring the shortest distance for data to travel and gives fastest user experience. You can use any one from these two plugins 1) Max CDN Content Delivery Network  2) Free-CDNBoth are very easy to user with simple dashboards.

6) Enable Keep Alive

Enable keep alive uses same TCP connection to send and receive multiple http requests, thus reducing the latency for subsequent requests. Enable Keep-Alive plays an important role in order to increase your website loading speed. This is a server side setting. By default, it is enabled on all Fast Comet Hosting Servers. If not, you can ask to your hosting providers. For WordPress you can put the following code to .htaccess file.

<ifModule mod_headers.c>Header set Connection keep-alive</ifModule>

Add this code after the last line in your .htaccess file; it will add Keep-Alive HTTP headers that enables Keep-Alive.

7) Database Optimization

Database optimization also plays a vital role in site loading. You can handle it in WordPress without any hassle by using “WP-Optimize” plugin. This is just a one step process to optimize database. You can also use another plugin “WP-DB Manager” plugin, which schedule dates for database optimization.

8) Leverage browser caching

In leverage browser caching you need to edit your HTTP headers to set expiry times for certain types of files. Find your .htaccess file in the root of your domain.Place the following code at top of the file. In this code we tell the browser what types of files to cache.

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access plus 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access plus 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access plus 2 days”

Depending on your website’s files you can set expiry times different expiry times. One thing you need to keep in mind when enabling browser caching as you set expiry time too long for some files, user might not be getting the fresh version of your website after updates.

9) Minify CSS/HTML

The process of removing unnecessary data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser – e.g. code comments and formatting, removing unused code so on. There are many tools available to minify CSS/HTML and JavaScript. For WordPress you can use “WP Fast Cache” plugin. Just install and activate it to remove resources.

10) Homepage Optimization

Homepage optimization is not a big deal. There are some easy things you can do to improve
the speed of homepage. Homepage is the most important part of your website because peoples will be landing there most often.Things that you can do include
1) Reduce the number of posts
2) Show excerpts instead of full post
3) Remove inactive plugins and widgets
4) Remove unnecessary widgets from homepage

Thanks for reading the post. I am sure it will help you in speed optimization of your site. Cheers!!

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