Optimize Your WordPress Blog for Speed and Performance

Out of all the websites in the world, only 39.8% websites use a Content Management System (CMS), although this percentage is constantly improving, but out of those 39.8% websites which use CMS, WordPress (WP) constitutes of 60.3% market. In short, WP dominates the CMS world. Since its inception in the year 2003, WordPress has come a long way. And companies providing CMS web development services understand the powerful capabilities of the WordPress. It started just as a blogging platform which is unarguably the biggest CMS platform today and has been the most popular CMS platform from past 5 years.

More than 60 million websites are powered by WP today, but not all perform equally, and in today’s fast paced world where every second counts, your blog must be optimized for speed and performance, and here’s why:

  • The longer it takes for your website to load, it’s more likely that the visitor will leave.
  • The percentage of page abandonment increases with every second it takes more to load the page.

change-in-response-time

  • Conversions are reduced by 7% rate by every 1 second it takes to load the page.
  • 47% users expect the page to load within 2 seconds.
  • If an e-commerce site is making $400,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $10 million in lost sales every year.

 

How to check the Page speed

Before rectifying the problem, you must know the problem, and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to check that. There are many websites on which you can check the performance of your website:

pingdom

 

As you can see, the test result from Pingdom of blog from Xicom Technologies.

 

Page Load Time

Page load time should should be minimum as possible. So, try to aim for less than 2 seconds. I know it’s a tough task to optimize a blog, optimizing images, minimizing CSS, HTML, and Java coding, etc., but it’s possible.

 

How to Boost the speed and performance

80% speed of the blog depends upon:

  • Size of the Image
  • Hosting
  • Plugins
  • Caching
  • Embeds

So optimizing these above factors means, optimizing your blog for faster and better performance.

 

Optimizing Images

I won’t recommend removing images because they give a website an attractive look, but the size of the images needs to be optimized for best performance and you can do that by :

  • Install the WP smushit plugin; this plugin compresses all the images without any considerable loss in quality. It’s called smush it because it smushes all the data from the images like camera used, date, location, etc.
  • Upload images of smaller size in the first place itself.
  • Image Spirite: This is a technique used to combine all images into one. A web page with multiple images generates server request every time to load an image and that add additional time. Using this technique will reduce the server requests and save bandwidth.

 

Enable Dynamic Caching

Configure a good caching plugin into the WP, as caching will deliver static HTML files instead to make your pages load faster. You can use services like APC, Varnish, or Supercacher as well as install WP plugins like W3 Total Cache.

wp-cachce

Browser Caching

Leveraging the browser cache means how long the user’s browser will cache your images, JS, and CSS files. It’s really effective when a user visits your site again. To enable browser caching you have to edit your HTTP headers to set expiry dates on certain files. For more on leveraging browser cache, click here.

apache-cache-setting

Minify your CSS and JavaScript files

It means removing all the unnecessary data like from them like empty new lines, double spaces, comments, etc. If you use W3 Total cache plugin, it has an option to automatically minimizing the JavaScript and CSS files.

Enable gZIP Compression

gZIP reduces the size of the files transferred between the server and the visitor, and as a result reduces the size of the page upto 70%.

Hosting

Often it is the most overlooked component of a successful website, most of the focus goes into the design, the layout, the coding, that web hosting is often overlooked and the owner goes for the cheap hosting plan which affect the ranking of the website on search engine to its load-time, increase bounce-rate of the website as result. On the contrary a good hosting plan can help boost the search engine ranking and increase sales.

 

Other Performance Improvements

Remove query strings from static resources.

Add this code to your theme’s functions.php:

function ewp_remove_script_version( $src ){

if ( stripos( $src, ‘?ver=’ ) ) {

$parts = explode( ‘?’, $src );

return $parts[0];

}

elseif ( stripos( $src, ‘ver=’ ) ) {

$position = strripos( $src, ‘&’ );

return substr( $src, 0, $position );

}

else {

return $src;

}

}

add_flter( ‘script_loader_src’, ‘ewp_remove_script_version’, 15

 

Conclusion:

Optimizing your blog will not only lead to a faster blog but eventually lead to more business conversions.

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