No matter how great the WordPress theme you have chosen for your site or how beautifully you have coagulated the entire content, the success of your site lies in an absolutely essential element: to optimize your WordPress site. To be specific, the process.
When we say site optimization, we mean those procedures that need to be done to improve the way your WordPress site works, with everything beyond the interface.
If the optimization is not done, there is a risk that the site will run very slowly. And since the visitors of our era are not patient at all, they will not be shy to close your site in your nose if it does not open in a few seconds. In addition, site performance also influences search engine rankings; so the faster, the better.
And now that we’ve talked about the importance of site optimization, let’s see how this can be done, including by you, as a beginner.
What to consider in the site optimization process?
Choose the right hosting
I kept talking about hosting and we didn’t do it in vain. Even if it seems like an insignificant thing in the general context of building a site, good hosting can save you a lot of problems and give you the foundation for the success of your online business. What good is it if your server responds to HTTP requests with a longer delay than trains?
In this sense, site optimization means both choosing a good hosting provider and choosing a good hosting plan. And in order not to have doubts or regrets, it is best to consult with specialists in the field before making a choice.
Opt for a quick theme
There are a lot of themes for your site, some available in the WordPress catalog, others created by independent developers and put on the market. The idea is to choose very carefully and not just according to appearance.
The performance of your site will decrease if the theme is poorly coded or uses huge images, a few good MB. Each extra megabit also means extra time for loading.
Also don’t forget to choose a design that is optimized for various types of devices (desktop, mobile phone, tablet). Its ability to adapt to the device from which it is accessed is evaluated by Google and appreciated accordingly.
Keep plugins in mind
Before you install anything on your site, ask yourself, “Do I really need that?”
In order to be optimized, your website must not be like a bazaar, full of everything. In fact, plugins are the most common reason why WordPress sites run hard. The more you install, especially without prior research, the more site performance issues you will have. However, this does not mean that if you do not install any, your site will work flawlessly. Everything must be done with balance and after a minimal check.
Just like at home, from time to time it’s good to do a little cleaning on your site, to wipe out the useless things, and, especially, to take out the garbage.
The WordPress platform also has a Trash system, which works about the same as the one on your laptop. The moment you delete something, be it a page, a media file, a comment, it does not disappear permanently but is moved to Trash. The problem is that this trash takes up space on your site.
WordPress empties the cart automatically every 30 days, but this period can be reduced to a few days or done manually from time to time.
In addition to emptying the trash, for effective site optimization, you need to reduce the number of unnecessary files that WordPress automatically keeps and that do nothing but load your site’s database. Such files are drafts, spam comments, reviews associated with posts.
Optimize images for the web
The use of images in texts helps a lot both in terms of ease of reading and also increases the chances of being distributed on social media. The problem with them is that they take up a lot of space, and pages that contain a lot of images will be harder to load.
Therefore, images must be optimized for the web before they can be uploaded to the site. You can do this with Photoshop, which has a special option for this (Save for Web), or using the Optimole plugin.
Website optimization means updating
Being such a popular platform, WordPress always has updates. The latter comes not only to add new options but also to fix things that do not work properly. Themes and plugins are also constantly updated.
For proper optimization of your site, it is necessary to make these updates, both to the platform and to the theme and plugins. Otherwise, your site will lose performance and in addition, you will wake up with headaches like security.
Do not upload videos directly to WordPress
Although WordPress allows you to upload video content directly, it’s not a good idea to practice. This type of content takes up a lot of space, and when your hosting is shared, you really don’t want those movies to swallow a lot of the resources of a shared server.
I talked about what shared hosting means in the article: Everything you need to know about web hosting
It is best to use platforms that host video content, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and the like. Then all you have to do is take the URL of that video with copy/paste and put it in the page editor of your site. WordPress will integrate it automatically.
Use quick slider and photo gallery plugins
Because there is a fashion for sliders, it is good to know that they are another common cause for which sites have a low loading speed. This is even if you make sure that the images in the slider are optimized for the web.
The problem is solved with a suitable plugin, which is not free. You can choose between Soliloquy, Layer Slider, or others like that.
Install a cache plugin
One of the best ways to optimize your site is to install a cache plugin. This is like a kind of short-term memory for your site that will temporarily save the information to display it to users faster.
Displaying a web page involves a complex, multi-step, time-consuming process. With the installation of such a plugin, the time is considerably reduced because it is no longer necessary to go through all the steps from the moment of sending the request to the server to the answer, respectively the display of the web page.
One such plugin is WP Rocket.
Website optimization has long been an option, it is a must. As long as search engines attach great importance to loading speed, it’s vital to make sure your site is running fast enough. How can you do that? There are several online tools that can help you for free. These include GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights. They will give you information about the upload speed and size of your site.
In addition, the good part is that you don’t even have to be an expert to do site optimization properly, just follow certain elements.
In the hope that I have been useful in this regard, I wish you more optimization!
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