WordPress (WP) is a great platform for putting together a website or blog—but does your site seem to be on the sluggish side? Speed plays a huge factor in the success of your site, even impacting search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Nobody wants to deal with a slow site, and with Google researchers announcing that Americans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish (less than eight seconds!), you simply can’t gamble on your site’s speed. Fortunately, there are many ways to speed up your site and it all starts with your web host.
Figure out your site’s speed for free using a tool like Pingdom Tool’s site speed test before you contact your host. It gives you a starting point so you can watch the progress as you speed things up. When you contact your host, make sure you double check what their guaranteed uptime is and what your compensation may be if they don’t deliver. Obviously, downtime is the equivalent of a slow site to the extreme, and some hosts have better promises than others.
Sharing isn’t Always Caring
For years, the most affordable web hosting package was basic shared hosting. However, with so many clients crammed onto each server, it’s no wonder your site is slow! Having a dedicated server just for you sounds great, but it’s very expensive and time consuming. Meet in the middle with a virtual private server (VPS). This option gives you all the control and oomph of a dedicated server, yet the price aligns with basic shared plans. In fact, VPS prices have been dropping so dramatically, they’re often the same as basic sharing!
Another way to speed up WordPress is with image compression. Images take up a lot of space and the biggest ones take time to download. Simply cutting your images’ size by 500kb can knock seconds off the download time. You don’t know how good each visitor’s connection may be, so even if the images load quickly for you, that doesn’t mean they do for everyone else. The JPEGmini application is a great tool for WP image compression.
Finally, make the most of the database that stores all of your pages. Check out the “database overhead” and get rid of any old, outdated data. The WP-Optimize plugin can help, pinpointing spam for you. A content delivery network (CDN) is a way to deliver content via edge servers, which are located around the globe and let visitors download quicker. Combine all of these tips, and you’ll be speeding up your WP site in no time, much to the joy of your visitors.