WordPress is an extremely popular platform and an efficient CMS for building websites (find out why on this WordPress review). It is also quite user-friendly, easy to install and maintain. However, it happens quite often that users install unnecessary plugins for various purposes, without knowing their quality or popularity. This often results in slower loading time and decreases its speed, which often results in higher bounce rates. Here are some useful ways to optimize your WordPress website.
Well Coded Plugins
There are arrays of plugins available for WordPress. You should make sure that you always install only those plugins which don’t slow down your website and are well optimized for WordPress. Poorly star rated plugins should be totally avoided and the ones which are popular and downloaded by a number of people should be preferred. If you end up using an inappropriate plugin, the website could slow down and also cause damage to the functionality of other installed plugins and in fact, WordPress itself. Always install a plugin only if it is necessary and helps in performing an important functionality.
Optimize your Images
Images are the pillar stones of promoting your website on Social Media. Though Images are quite useful in making your website more attractive and interesting, they take up a lot of space. Therefore, you need to optimize your images before uploading them. The size of the images needs to be reduced without distorting their quality or resizing them. This can also be done by using a number of popular plugins, including Smush.it.
Select an efficient Host
You can think of optimizing your website if you are 100% sure that it is not your host who is actually responsible for slowing your website. There are a number of options available in the market. However, avoid such hosting companies who are not popular and offer super cheap options for hosting your website. Such companies put hundreds or even thousands of sites on a single server which makes the website go very slow. Make sure you don’t take such decisions of going for the wrong company so that you can save yourself from any kind of hassles. Some of the more reliable options include InMotion Hosting, HostGator and BlueHost.
Install a Caching Plugin
Another effective way to improve your website’s loading time is to install a cache plugin. It is one of the greatest ways of making your website speed go faster. Cache plugins work on the same principle as Web browser cache. They save dynamically generated files instead of re-loading all of the scripts from WordPress. By installing some of the popular WordPress plugins such as WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache, WP Rocket etc. you will be able to feel the difference in loading time as it becomes faster.
Maintenance of your Installed Plugins
Being alert regarding all the plugins you have installed is quite essential. You need to keep all your plugins updated. Updated versions are faster and more secure. In fact, it is always better to delete or disable all those plugins which you don’t need and are not of any use to you. In fact, low-quality plugins may even be quite harmful for your website and will slow it down.
Be Selective about Choosing your Advertisements
Adding advertisements on your website from third party ad network can exponentially increase the loading time due to the additional load on external servers. The ideal way is to have a link directly to the page being advertised with an optimized image. It is understandable that ads are almost essential for your website to survive and are a source of additional income.
However you do need to strike the perfect balance between the money you are hoping to generate from your website and the loading speed of your website. If you are wise enough to optimize all other parts of your web design, the presence of few ads will not matter much. To be absolutely aware, you can test the website speed before and after loading each new ad. By doing that, you will be able to assess the load every ad is putting on your website.
Emptying Your Trash
Whenever any post or comment is deleted, it is sent to the Trash. From the trash, it can be restored or even deleted for good. However, trash takes a lot of space in your database if you have a number of posts and comments stored in it. WordPress usually deletes the posts automatically after 30 days. You can customize wp-config.php so that it gets deleted within 7 or 10 days accordingly.