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Imagine you visit a website. Let’s say www.randomwebsite.com. You enter the URL and waited for 10-15 seconds to load the website. Now, think, how do you feel? When you browse the internet, you cannot afford such big operational mistake. 10-15 seconds load time can lead your visitor to simply click the large red colored X, up above at the top.
Slow website means slow traffic. You create a blog website to educate people over the internet, not to frustrate them with your slow loading website. When we talk about “The Internet Phenomenon” every additional loading second is a flaw. Every flaw triggers a negative effect with it. That negative effect will create a drawback which will simply affect your goal.
With a slow website, your SEO ranking will deteriorate, your visitors will run away from your website like hell. And your blog’s purpose will become fugazi (Thing that doesn’t exist, which is not real).
To be very frank, I am not in a psychological dilemma to evaluate such things. However, all the above will be the mindset of your visitor if your website is not optimized and slow. You must want to add some optimization plugins to boost up your website speed, but hey! Don’t be hasty. You can do that but reconsider the source of your problem. Jumping to conclusions will lead you to simply waste your money and solving nothing.
First, you have to understand the core reason of the slowing down of your website. And how it can be done? Simple enough, Just visit a website https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
It will provide you an astounding report giving you a detailed analysis of what is wrong with your website. The speed report also provides some tips to improve it, you may like to follow it but before purchasing and installing certain speed enhancing plugins you might want to rectify certain things manually which have a huge impact on your website’s speed.
Of course, you have to analyze the speed report and make some on-page adjustments before you jump over to CDNs and other essential optimization tools.
So, here I am going to give you 5 separate steps for on-page adjustments and 5 steps for optimization plugins. This will for sure make your website lightning fast and smooth (If applied properly).
Let’s get started with 5 on-page adjustment steps, Here we go,
1. Reduce Image Size
Images are crucial for a website blog. It keeps your viewers engaged and sometimes provide a visual aid as well. However, it can be a fatal cause in slowing down your website if not optimized.
People often scale the image into the desired form by HTML codings, but it never reduces its size which plays a significant role in slowing down your site. A JPG image file with a resolution of 800X800 pixels will probably have a size of 100kb at least.
Now, reducing it by HTML coding will obviously adjust the image in 200X200 pixel, however, it doesn’t change the file size. So, the image is adjusted but it will take the same time to load coz its size is still 100kb.
So, if you optimize the JPG image to only 200X200 pixels, the size will reduce to 20kb probably, which will decrease the loading time eloquently.
This is the reason the use of PNG images are increasing as they provide the high quality of images even if they’re compressed. However, they cannot be compressed manually like JPG images. You have to switch for a software to compress PNG images. This practice is very trending nowadays. And it is effective in increasing the site speed and performance.
It is well known that a web browser did not load more than 5 files simultaneously. If you have multiple files for your web page, your web page tend to load slower naturally because the loading of more files requires more time.
3. Minify Your Source Code Files
They’re efficient and easy to use. There are also many plugins available for removing line breaks and extra spacing. Although I said we’re making on-page adjustments manually but if you are feeling cozy, you can opt for,
- WordPress Compress Html
- Better WordPress Minify
- WP Minify
4. Clout Browser Caching Process
You can leverage web browsers to cache some of the files for a certain period of time. This leads your web page to load faster on the browser.
For this, at the root of your blog, you need to create a file named .htaccess. In case the file already exists, just copy and paste the following code at the end of the file. The codes are given below,
AddType image/x-icon .ico
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=29030400"
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800"
# 24 HOURS
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=86400"
If you want, there is another way by adding an Expires header through this code,
AddType image/x-icon .ico
ExpiresByType image/gif A29030400
ExpiresByType image/png A29030400
ExpiresByType image/jpeg A29030400
ExpiresByType image/x-icon A29030400
ExpiresByType application/pdf A29030400
ExpiresByType text/plain A86400
ExpiresByType text/css A604800
These codes instruct to cache
- Image files for 1 year;
- HTML and PHP files for 24 hours.
And this can increase your loading speed off the charts.
5. GZip Compression
GZip enables your web server to compress the files automatically before sending them to the web browser. Usually, it is active by default by most of the web hosting services. Yet, if it is not activated by your host service. Just copy paste these codes in your .htaccess file.
So, these are the 5-steps for on-page adjustments you can perform to improve your wesite speed.
Now, I would like to introduce 5-step optimization through installation and activation of plugins. After you’re done with on-page adjustment, you have to cross check the speed again by Google PageSpeed Checker.
1. WP OPTIMIZE
With this free plugin, you can easily optimize your WordPress Database. With just one click, it perform these tasks,
- Cleans MySQL database which includes spam comments, post revisions, and all the other trash items.
- It enables you to automate the cleanup.
- It colors the potentially harmful operations with red. Even prompts you to take action.
For periodic maintenance of the website, it is an ideal tool. This makes your WordPress optimization more subtle and easy.
2. W3 TOTAL CACHE
The W3 Total Cache plugin is a wonderful tool to gain page speed. It perform the following functions,
- Efficiently reduces the page load time.
- Improves the performance of the server.
- It enables your website to perfectly integrate with a CDN.
- As it improves the Google speed ratings, it improves your web page's SEO.
- It simply reduces hosting cost by improving the performance of the server and reducing the bandwidth.
3. GOOGLE PAGESPEED INSIGHT FOR WORDPRESS
Google page speed insight is a free plugin which utilizes Google’s data to evaluate your site with the standard page loading time. It performs following functions,
- It enables you to compare your page score with other similar sites.
- It generates easy to understand visual reports which can save you a lot of head bumping with the pile of the data analysis.
- It also distinguishes between plugins that are not working properly.
- Also, mark the page which has high page loading time.
- It is an ultimate optimizing tool, which can save a lot of troubleshooting menace.
4. LAZY LOAD IMAGES.
It is an optimization plugin that efficiently saves the bandwidth by lazy loading of images (literally). Some of its features are,
- It reduces the page load time with a unique approach of loading the image only when the user actually scrolls towards it.
- This activity significantly increases page speed.
The only reason not to use it is if your website is a photoblog. In this scenario, the effects can be catastrophic. What is more worst than a photo blog where images are not loading! Apart from this drawback, Lazy Load Images is a superb optimizing asset.
5. CDN→ KeyCDN.
Content Delivery Network is a cluster of servers spread all over the globe. This entire phenomenon can be easily understandable with a simple illustration.
‘Suppose you’re in Manhattan, New York. This means your website’s main server is located near your location. Now if somebody accessed your website from Guangzhou, China your server in the US have to travel all the way to China to deliver the content of your website. Now, here do not think for a second that digital signals face no physical barrier. Since the signals have to travel thousands of miles, it will take longer than usual to load the page.
Here, Content Delivery Network plays a role as linking bridge. When you have a CDN plugin installed, it sends cache of your post to all the web servers in the globe. So, now the case is if someone opens your website from China, they access the cache image of your website from the server near to its location.
KeyCDN is one of the best CDN plugins for WordPress, You can easily download and configure it.
So, these are the 5 steps and 5 plugins which you must install to optimize your WordPress website.
If you find this article helpful, spread the word and if you got any query about optimization of Wordpress just know this I love comments, so mention that in comments I will get back to you
Kerin Miller is a Wordpress expert and a passionate blogger. She works for Stellen Infotech and delivers custom WordPress development services to clients across the globe. Kerin loves sharing insightful tips and tricks, covering WordPress design and development industry. You can follow her on Twitter.View Kerin Miller`s profile for more