Studies show that people have no patience when it comes to the Web. About 25% of people abandon a web page if it does not load in 4 seconds or less. You might think we’re exaggerating, but you only need to observe your own behaviour to see how impatient you can get when websites don’t load quickly for you.
But what’s a challenge for some people is an opportunity for others, and this is true here, as well: You can use this user behaviour to give yourself an advantage: if you can reduce your site’s load time to around 3 seconds, it instantly becomes faster than half of the existing sites. This means that even simple improvements can result in massive improvements that will benefit your business massively.
WordPress dominates around a quarter of the web, and it is one of the most important platforms to learn how to optimize and improve. In this article, we’ll go over a few simple ways you can improve your WordPress website. You don’t need to be a programming expert to follow this guide. We’ve written it with beginners in mind.
1 Test and Assess Your WordPress Website’s Speed Accurately
Do you have a website that loads slowly? You would like to make it load as fast as possible to meet the new standards users and search engines expect of websites?
The indisputable first step is to assess the number of resources used and the current page speed. These include each element loaded before your page gets displayed.
How can you do this, you ask? Well, the answer is quite simple and straightforward. There are plenty of tools out there that will test the loading speed of your website under various conditions and from various locations.
One of the most used tools here is the Google PageSpeed tool. This tool was specifically created by Google to help you accurately assess the loading speed of your website across both desktop and mobile platforms. The tool provides you with an actionable list of fixes and a long list of tips that will be of immense help when you try to optimize your website. It is definitely a must-use tool if you really care about WordPress optimization.
There are better, more sophisticated tools out there, but they are all paid and subscription-based. So, if Google PageSpeed isn’t up to your standards, and you have the capital flow for it, we definitely recommend using a paid tool here, because accurately assessing page speed is just that important.
2 Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Themes
Plugins and themes are two of WordPress’s most powerful features: they make the website look better, function better, and respond better. Plugins help you with a plethora of things from security to development and customization. Both are absolutely vital and necessary if you really want to make full use of the WordPress platform.
Although these reasons above mean they’re a huge blessing, they’re also a huge downfall if you don’t use them appropriately. Due to how powerful they are, many WordPress beginners go overboard and install tens of plugins at random, making use of less than half. This is not only going to take up memory on your server, but it will also massively impact the speed and performance of your website.
This is why after accurately assessing your website, the first thing you need to do is check through the list of plugins and themes and disable/uninstall all those that don’t seem conducive to the operation of your website. Reassess your website speed after this, and you’ll be surprised by the amount of improvement you will see.
3 Minify Your Code
When developing WordPress websites, you generally don’t write a lot of the code, which makes it easier for developers to forget it exists. But whether you’re paying attention to it or not, the code of your website will have a direct impact on how your website performs and how quickly it loads.
One of the easiest aspects to optimize and improve is the size of your code. You know that loading data takes bandwidth, and when your website’s code instructions are hundreds of thousands of lines of code, this might take half a second or more to load, which has a significant impact on the overall loading speed of your website. This is why you have to find a way to minify/compress this code. Thankfully, it is quite simple, and there are various tools/plugins that can help you minify the code and improve your site’s loading speed in a short period of time. If this sounds complicated to you, you can always enlist the help of a development agency like Acclaim Agency UK.