Creating a great first impression with your website is super-important, and you only have a few seconds to impress your visitors. So you need to make the most of those few seconds and make your visitors want to stick around rather than going elsewhere.
But if your site is slow to load you’re losing precious time, so today I’d like to share 5 quick and easy ways to make sure your WordPress site is loading speedily.
1. Optimise your images
Photos uploaded to your site straight from your digital camera could be the main reason your site is slow. The pics could be thousands of pixels wide but that’s much bigger than your website needs them to be.
Shrink them to the size you need and compress them before uploading and you should notice a difference. This is easily done in Photoshop, using the Save for Web function, but if you don’t have that you can use an app like Canva.
2. Host your videos elsewhere
Videos are great for promoting your business and engaging your readers, but if you upload your videos to your WordPress site they can slow down your site, especially if you create a lot of video content. Upload them to another service, like YouTube or Vimeo, and they, and your site, should load much faster.
3. Clean up your database
The autosave function in WordPress is really handy but it does mean a lot of extra info is stored in your database, and that can slow things down. Unless you clean up your database regularly it could be crammed with post revisions, spam and deleted comments, and pingbacks and trackbacks.
WP-Optimize is a plugin that you can use to keep your database clean – just remember to backup before using it!
4. Check if plugins are slowing you down
Plugins are awesome – I love how easy they make it to add extra functionality to your website. But having too many – or the wrong ones – can slow down your site. Use the P3 plugin to analyse your site and let you know which plugins are causing issues. Then you can look for faster alternatives.
5. Use a caching engine
WordPress sites use dynamic PHP scripts to generate each page, but this is more resource-intensive than a static HTML page, and the more of your server’s resources you’re using, the slower your site can get. Using a caching plugin, such as WP Super Cache, creates static HTML files for your site so that pages load faster. And if your site should get a sudden deluge of visitors (for example if your latest post makes the front page of Digg or StumbleUpon) your server should cope just fine with the extra traffic.
If your site is quick to load your visitors will get a much better experience, and they’re much more likely to come back again and again. It’s easy to speed up your WordPress website – just use these 5 easy tips to help you make that all-important great first impression.
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