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A lot of people depend on WordPress as an easy and affordable way to make and maintain their own website and blog. But is your website running too slow? The longer visitors have to wait, the more likely they are to leave and/or abandon their task. According to KissMetrics, just one second can mean seven percent less conversions. If your site usually earns $50,000 per day, you’ll lose $1.75 million every year on just that one extra second.

athlete on the starting blocks

Google also hates to wait, and for many years a slow loading page has impacted search engine optimization (SEO). Chrome gives Google information on site speed and was created with tools in place solely to measure how long pages are taking. Fortunately, there are ways to make WordPress faster. For starters, make sure you know how fast/slow your site is. Google PageSpeed Insights is in the Developers section, and is able to measure desktop and mobile speeds, and gives you an overview of how Google sees your speed. A simple 1-100 scale is used and clear indicators of what needs to be fixed (Consider Fixing) are available.

To Pingdom Come

Pingdom is another analytics tool that lets you know the location of servers being pinged on a 1-100 scale. It also tells you load time, page size, and amount of requests. A stripe will tell you wait time, connect, send, DNS, and send in milliseconds. With GTmetrix Yslow, you’ll get similar results to Pingdom, but with analysis via PageSpeed. You’ll also find hacks on how to fix problems in waterfall format. Make sure you utilize WAP plugins and updates regularly—for both security and quality.

A great host can make all the difference, and know that shared hosting is worst for speed (and many other aspects of a site). Virtual private servers are an affordable, fast, and must-have option. Fast themes should also be a priority, since those with a lot of features can get “fat” and slow. Test out the demos to see how quickly items load. Simplify your design because every bell and whistle makes it slower. Simple sites are fast, so remove extra plugins, ads, and images. Ask yourself what you can live without.

A Re-Design

Look closely at your plugins because some run slower than others. P3 Plugin Profile tells you which to get rid of. However, never ditch the Cache plugin. Caching your data make requests faster. Still, if it’s not configured well it can cause problems. WP Super Cache is a great option, and free. If you can’t get rid of some images, try resizing them. They’re the number one speed killer. Shoot for no more than 600 pixels wide, and resize with a free tool like iPiccy. The WP Smush plugin can help lighten images, too.

Lazy loading is a great way to speed up sites so viewers are at least entertained if they have to wait. Make sure your databases are optimized and junk-free. Old content slows you down, and the Simple Backup plugin can help keep things clean. Minimize your redirects, and keep those 301s to a minimum with Redirect mapper. If you have stylesheets, HTML, or javascripts, know that these can also keep your site slow. Utilize Autoptimize plugin to combine and compress random code.


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