Why does speed matter?
In our age where the attention span of the visitor is much shorter than it used to be a few years ago, As a webmaster, you have only a few precious seconds to grab and retain your visitor’s attention and you shouldn’t waste those seconds on loading. It doesn’t matter what you sell or how awesome you are. If your website is slow, you will be losing traffic, visitors and money. Generally, if your website takes more than a second to load – it’s slow and needs optimizing.
At Jacy The Hosting Guy, I have spent a lot of time making sure that my hosting optimizes speed and applies performance enhancing technologies specifically for all my customers. Although having a web host that uses the latest hardware and speed enhancing technologies is essential to your site performance, it is not the only thing.
Below are 10 expert tips for an ultra fast WordPress Site that I would like to share with you that you can use and apply to improve the speed of your WordPress website.
1.Replace Slider images with a static image
Sliders are by default not optimised for mobile and it also requires browsers to first load all the images first before the site is loaded. If your site design allows it, replace the slider with a static image. If it is a must to have a slider, check out this list at wpmudev.org for a list of top 10 sliders that are optimised.
2.Using correct image size
Images are an essential part of a website but using a larger size image and set to be smaller using coding adds more time to loading then loading the image size require. So if you only need a image of 300×200 pixels, don’t upload a 1024×768 pixels image.
3.Reduce the use of external fonts
Instead of loading every variations of fonts from Google Free Fonts or another similar service, load only the fonts you are using and if possible use the same font throughout each page or better your entire site.
4.Enable Gzip Compression
By enabling Gzip, you allow the content of your site to be compressed and sent faster to your visitor compared to when it is sent uncompressed.
You can enabled Gzip by following the very clear guide at varvy.com.
5.Minify and combine JS and CSS files
You will usually hear people suggesting to minify your JS and CSS files, why not go one step further and also combine them? Check out WP Fastest Cache. It does minify, combine and even help enable Gzip just by installing and activating the plugin.
6.Enable caching on your site
When caching is done properly your site will be as fast as a static site as your server does not have to recreate the site each time a visitor comes visiting. Try WP Fastest Cache (recommended as lesser plugins helps to speed up your site) or if you prefer more options check out this excellent 2017 comparison guide for caching plugin at Design Bombs.
7.Don’t overlap plugin’s functionality
Don’t install or use two plugins that cover the same functionality. Like for myself, I use Yoast SEO plugin to generate my site’s google XML site map, I do not need to find another specialised plugin to generate the site map.
8.Optimise for mobile devices
More and more people are getting online using their mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets etc. So when choosing a theme for your site. make sure it comes with a mobile version, if not, you should keep looking.
9.Take advantage of Server caching
This is different from site caching, it requires your web host to have either Memcached or Redis activated. This helps websites that has large databases, this helps with object caching which helps to load your site faster. At Jacy the hosting Guy I provide Memcached as part of the hosting services services, that can be active ted with a single click.
10.Take advantage of CDN
It’s a good idea to use a CDN service such as Cloudflare and Akamai to speed up the loading of your site. CDN providers essentially clone your website amongst their servers which allows a server closest to a visitor to serve your site instead of from your hosting server. At Jacy the hosting Guy, I offer free CloudFlare integration for all my customers, but you can enable any other CDN service of your choice.
Hope this helps!
Jacy The Hosting Guy