Isn’t your WordPress website slow for a good reason? Isn’t it like the force of gravity, where it has a speed and that is as fast as it can go? Actually no, there may be several things holding your website back and stopping it from reaching full speed. Here are just a few things to consider.
Use the Google Speed Check Tool
Google created and released a tool called PageSpeed Insights. It is actually a developer tool, but you don’t need to be signed in to use it. Go to the site and enter a web page from your website into the tool.
Do not enter the home page. It may be tempting to enter the home page because you figure that is where most people are going to go, but your home page speed and your other web page speeds are going to be different. This is especially true if your home page website is dynamic, and if you have things like website caching.
Enter a page URL from your WordPress website and see what the tool says, and you will be shocked how many things are holding back your website. You may have to Google some of the more technical terms, but there are two general areas that make your website slow. Your website itself and your website host. The speed tool will show you the effects of each.
Your WordPress Theme
One of the biggest things slowing down your website is your theme itself. Do your research and find some themes that are fast. It is tricky at first because there are plenty of articles claiming that this theme is faster, and that theme is faster, but usually they are trying to sell a single theme by making others look bad. Nevertheless, do the work and find a theme that is fast and suitable for your needs.
Your WordPress Plugins
Plugins are a massive drain on your website’s speed. Even the ones that seem harmless, like the analytics plugins, can drag the speed of your website down by a massive degree. In fact, you can prove it yourself by running a speed check on your web page while all your plugins are active, and then disable your plugins (leaving the vital ones running), and then run a speed check to see the difference.
Your WordPress Web Host
A free shared host is going to be slow unless it is run by Google for the free website platform “Blogger.” A shared host is the next slowest, and then we get into dedicated hosting, virtual hosting, having your own server and so forth. Most people have shared hosting because it is the best priced, but you still need to find a web host that offers faster website speeds. One shared host may offer great speeds, and another similarly priced shared host may run a very messy business that offers very slow website speeds.
Caching and Page Speed Services
Be very careful when using these types of services and plugins. You may create a situation where you cannot fully uninstall them without doing damage. Also, some offer features and functions that have no direct benefit to your website. Things like image compressors may actually hurt the usability and quality of your website. Nevertheless, if you want people to stick around on your website and keep re-visiting pages, then a caching service or plugin may help speed up your WordPress website.
Break Up Media Heavy Pages
This is not always possible, or preferable. But, for example, if you are running your own online art gallery. Do you need ten of your images on each page, or can you have five on each? If you really need ten on each page, perhaps they are part of a running series, then install services or plugins that allow for lazy load. That way, the web browser won’t try to load every single image until the user is close to seeing them.
Learn How WordPress Works Under The Hood
You can learn how to drive a car, but if you want to learn how to make it faster, you need to know how it works under the car’s hood. You need to understand its working so you can understand what is holding it back. The same is true for WordPress. If you truly want to know how to make your WordPress website faster, then you need to use a service like WP Masters, you need to learn how to master WordPress so that you can take it, improve it and evolve it into the online tool you need it to be.