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A Complete Guide to WordPress Speed Optimization – Why and How?

A Complete Guide to WordPress Speed Optimization – Why and How?
A Complete Guide to WordPress Speed Optimization – Why and How?
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One of the greatest concerns we come across most of the bloggers, Internet marketers and Online business owners is the Speed of the Website, but why is it so Important that most of us throw hundreds of dollars into this, whether you’re a blogger, you run an online shop or an Internet marketer it is crucial that you get behind the walls of WordPress Speed Optimization.

WordPress Speed Optimization: Why is it Important?

User Experience:

The first major parameter that is related to Speed Optimization is the User Experience. We all know that nobody likes slow loading Websites, let me make this clear , “Imagine a Case where your Site offers excellent Products/ Services, or some sort of Information, a Customer discovers your Site but your website loads too slow to attract the potential lead, Now what happens in this case? Does the user wait for it? The Simple answer is a No
Therefore always optimize your site for a better User Experience

Sales and Lead:

This can be said as an extension of the User Experience, a poor speed means your website will lose the users/ visitors/ potential lead which can effectively decease your leads and finally break away with your Sales.

Search Engine Ranking:

Well this is something everyone is familiar with, Yes..! We all know that Google loves website that loads fast, and Speed is one of the criteria that it takes into account for the Page Ranking.

Ok..! By now you might be fully aware as to why Speed Optimization is Critical.

Solution that can make WordPress Websites Faster

Leverage Browser Caching:

Browser Caching means “Some of the files are stored / cached in the user’s browser, so that the next time they visit the website, it is directly served from the browser rather than downloading it from the server. The nature of these files being static. ” Let’s dive a little deeper, In rendering a webpage, all of the files such as HTML, CSS, JS and images are downloaded from the server and displayed to the user. In most of the websites, some of the files/pages are static which means, it does not change frequently such as about us, Contact Us, logo etc. Caching these files can be greatly beneficial because it ultimately reduces number of requests made which can drastically lower the website load time.
Some of the Plugins recommended are: WP Performance Score Booster, W3 Total Cache, WP Rocket

Add Expire Headers:

Setting Expire Headers to all of the required files greatly reduces the number of HTTP requests and there by the Improving the speed of the website.
Expired headers tell the browsers to serve the cached version of the files rather than downloading it from the server. Therefore always make a point of setting a far/late expiry for all of the static contents such as about us, contact us, or any other element that doesn’t change with time.
Some of the Recommended Plugins are: W3 Total CacheWP Performance Score Booster

Minification of CSS and JS files:

Minification removes all the extra spaces between the codes /between every word in the files, along with the comments. The advantages associated with this is that, it reduces the size of the files and finally the page size.
Some of the recommended tools and Plugins are:
CSS minifier: To minify CSS manually.
JS minifier: To minify JS manually.
Autoptimize
WP Rocket

Recommended Read

How to Configure Autoptimize for Better Performance?

Choosing a Good Web Host:

Off Course, the hosting provider that you choose plays an important role since its performance decides at what rate the data’s are transferred to your visitors. If you are just starting out, going for a Shared Hosting Plan is a good Idea. Moreover you can go for SiteGround Shared Hosting Plan.
At any time, you can visit Hosting Review Site so that you get a clear Idea and avoid any confusion.

Combining CSS and JS files separately:

Combining all the CSS files into lesser number of files reduces the number of HTTP request; the same goes for JS files. The result of this is that the Page load time ultimately decreases.
Some of the Plugins Recommended are: Autoptimize and WP Rocket

Utilize Lazy Loading for Images and Videos:

If your site contains lot of Images/videos then this might be one of the most important points to consider, because these sites take ton of time to load which can affect the overall User Experience.
To Solve this problem, you can utilize lazy loading for all of the Images and Videos used, in which its loading is delayed which means the Images and videos are loaded once the user comes in the viewport area.
Recommended Plugins: a3 Lazy load.

Defer Parsing of JavaScript:

Unless your website contains elements that require some of the JavaScript files (the main being JQuery) to function; follow the practice of loading the JS files at the end i.e.  the footer. It is to be kept in mind that doing this might break site and therefore are it is recommended to check the website (with the cache cleared) , and the console.
One of the Plugin that I really find handy is Autoptimize, because of its simple configuration and if your site is broken it will show you the JS files causing it, which can then be excluded from the deferring.
This step greatly reduces the load on the website, as the parsing is not done at the beginning.

Plugins:

It is always recommended to remove unused plugins and keep only those plugins that are necessary, because having too many plugins not only makes your website hefty but also has a great effect on Speed Optimization since it calls additional files thereby increasing the number of HTTP requests, finally leading to an Increasing load time.

Themes:

It’s very important that you choose a theme that is well coded, SEO friendly with Responsive design layout that does not come with preloaded flashy elements because these are the pinpoints that affects the performance of your site.
To avoid any confusion, always read the Reviews and the Ratings before getting any of the WordPress themes.

Always strive for Simplicity in choosing a WordPress Theme Click To Tweet

Enable Gzip Compression:

Enabling Gzip Compression greatly improves the Performance of your site by serving the compressed version of the files to the users. The time taken for the transfer in case of a website with Gzip compression enabled is much lower compared to its contrary.
For example you can look at the screenshot below to compare the effect of Gzip compression on Performance Report:

BEFORE

gzip-compression-before

AFTER

gzip-compression-after
Some of the Recommended Plugins are: W3 Total CacheWP Rocket, WP Performance Score Booster

Lossless Image Compression:

If your website has lot of Images, then you need to take this seriously since it  is one of the factor main factor causing the downtime of your website because more the number of Images with large size–> more is the size of the website which increases the page load time. Therefore always follow the practice of optimizing the Images without compromising its Quality.
Some of Recommended Plugins and tools are: Compressor.io and EWWW Image Optimizer.

Following all the above steps correctly will definitely improve the speed of your website, however if you still want to boost the Speed further you can use a CDN.

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