WordPress is a great tool for any business or individual looking for the freedom to manage their own website, but you may be asking yourself how do I speed up my WordPress website? This post is essentially geared to give you an overview of the various ways you can improve the performance of your website and your page speed. A note to our readers, this is geared towards WordPress websites; however, much of it can be applied across the web for any website. Follow along or download our how to speed up my website attachment.
Identifying Resource Hogs
There are a few different web sites you can use to identify what is really dragging down the load time of your website. There is not one in particular we recommend, in fact we generally use a combination of these to get the best results. First and foremost, is the Google page speed tool. With the Google page speed tool you can identify what Google recommends for improving the performance of your website on both desktop and mobile devices. While this will not give you information specific to how to improve these specific to WordPress, it does give you an overview on how you can fix some of these issues.
Using a Content delivery Network
The purpose of a Content Delivery Network is to provide the user with the information or web page they requested as quickly as possible. We won’t go into much detail here but think of the internet as a series of networks. When someone requests a website from a location that request has to go through a series of servers (networks) before it finds the actual server the website is located on. Then that information is sent back through those networks to the user for browsing. The purpose of a Content Delivery Network or CDN for sure is to decrease the number of networks your information has to travel through to get to the end user. A more simple explanation is your information is stored on a server closest to that user’s location so that it is served faster than it would be without the use of a Content Delivery Network. There are a series of services you can use including both free and paid such as CloudFlare, Amazon Web Services (AWS), maxcdn, just to name a few. While setup generally tends to vary depending on which service you use, all of these services have a pretty good walk through explanation on how you can get set up. Once you set up your CDN you should have additional settings such as website caching and even security and firewall settings to configure.
Setting up website caching
There are many plugins available in the WordPress repository for website caching and we will just go over some of the more popular ones. First and foremost would be WP Super Cache, which is maintained and developed by Automattic. This one is by far the easiest to set up and get going out-of-the-box. You can find various tutorials online for setting up WP Super Cache depending on your server, but most of the time you can just go through the settings and choose all of the recommended settings and make sure you enable caching. Another popular one would be W3 Total Cache. This is a more robust solution and offers a lot more than WP Super Cache but it is a little more technical and hands-on when it comes to setting up. Set up for this plugin will depend on your server environment but wpbeginner has an excellent tutorial on getting started with W3 Total Cache. When you set up website caching in combination with a Content Delivery Network you will see a dramatic difference in the time it takes for your page to load.
Wrapping it up
While this article could really take up several articles with in a series, this is the best overview for how you can improve the performance of your WordPress website. If you’re looking for a more information then download our Page Speed attachment or contact us: