How to Speed up a WordPress Site
WordPress is by far one of my favorite types of websites, however, out of the box it’s not as great as you might think it is. But, one of the reasons why WordPress is so popular and widely used is because of what you can turn it into. WordPress is known for its plugins and themes. There are literally hundreds of thousands of plugins and themes you can use to make your website better. Because of this, if you use WordPress but you are experiencing some slow load times or page loading times, you might just not be using the right plugins, or you could have some other issues that you aren’t aware of. If you are new to WordPress, use it “as is” or you just want to know why your website is loading slow and how to speed it up, continue to read below for some tips.
#1 Reason It’s Loading Slow
One of the biggest things you have to understand about WordPress.org is that it runs well over 10 million websites, maybe even more once you read this. Because of this, it can cause your website to run slower. But, if you have a business and can afford a few dollars, you can actually purchase shared (or dedicated) hosting to make your wordpress.org site more professional, more private, user friendly and – quicker by making it a .com private site. Shared hosting is still going to put you on a server with other people (it’s private though) but it’s going to be a lot less than 10 million users. I think the last time I spoke to my host; they said they put 10-100 people on one server, much less than the WordPress ORG 10 million users! If you can afford to do so, try getting hosting on a shared hosting plan or dedicated plan.
Plug Ins To Make WordPress Faster
There are plenty of plug ins you can use on WordPress to make it go faster or load faster. Plus ins are one of the best things about WordPress and one of the things I really love. They can help load the page faster, but they can also help with performance and extend the functionality of the website. In fact, a lot of the really cool websites you see these days by top companies are using WordPress, but in a different way i.e.; it’s not a blog, it’s a website with a blog. Plug ins on WordPress can sometimes also cause issues, for example if the update has not been updated by you or the developer it can create performance issues such as slow load times. In order to check and see if you have any plug ins which are doing your website harm in terms of performance, you can use one called P3 Plug in Profiler. This will scan your entire website, both front end and back end, to find the best and the worst plug ins you are using in terms of lack of performance and then you can decide whether to delete them or not, or find an alternative.
Themes and plug ins are big with WordPress websites, but just because there ARE 100,000+ themes to use, doesn’t mean they are all good for your specific website. Now if you don’t have a business and you just have a blog on WordPress, fine, you probably don’t need to read this part. But, if you run a business or do something professional on your WordPress site, you NEED it to be responsive and load quickly for your visitors. You can do a search on Google for Responsive WordPress Themes and find quite a few, paid and free, that will work out for you. Some to consider are:
Responsive by Cyber Chimps: “Responsive Theme is a flexible foundation with fluid grid system that adapts your website to mobile devices and the desktop or any other viewing environment. Theme features 9 Page Templates, 11 Widget Areas, 6 Template Layouts, 4 Menu Positions and more. Powerful but simple Theme Options for full CMS control with easy Logo Upload and Social Networking. Responsive is Woo Commerce Compatible, Multilingual Ready (WPML), RTL-Language Support, Retina-Ready, Search Engine Friendly, and W3C Markup Validated and currently translated into over 45 languages. Cross-Browser compatible.”
Responsive Deluxe by BriniA: “Responsive Deluxe features a very modern design and flat colors designed for clarity. It offers your website visitors visual comfort. Responsive Deluxe was designed, developed and enhanced to look and function regardless of whether your visitors arrive by Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.”
Catch Responsive By Catch Themes: “Catch Responsive is an extremely flexible and customizable WordPress theme suitable for almost any kind of professional website. It is based on responsive design where each element has been carefully configured for perfect display on all devices and platforms. It is built in HTML5, CSS3 and WordPress Theme Customizer for real time customization. It comes with a wide variety of options so you can modify layout, styling, featured content, promotion headline, featured slider, pagination, icons, menus, breadcrumb, widgets and much more, directly from theme customizer.”
Rider by Faster Themes: “Rider is a lightweight, faster, clean, and super flexible and bootstrap based responsive theme for business or personal websites. Rider Theme is built on top of Twitter Bootstrap which means that your site can be displayed on every device (pc, laptop, mobile devices, tablets etc.) without horizontal scrolling. It has got custom widgets, theme-options etc. in order to get it customized as per your need.”
As mentioned earlier, hosting may have to do with slow loads. If you do not host your own website on WordPress, it might be slow because of all the people sharing the servers for WordPress. On the other hand, if you spend a few bucks a month, between $10 and $20 you can have your website shared on a server with much less people than 10 million like the .org WordPress Websites. Plus, you get a cool URL that is personalized to suit your business. I use Host Gator. I know over the years they have gotten some flack, but I have used them for over 12 years and I have never had any issues with them. Their websites are UP 99.9% of the time and in the 12 years I have been with them I don’t think I have or anyone else has complained about down time or slow loads. For host gator, I use the baby package – don’t let the name fool you, I have somewhere around 50 domain names and 50+ email accounts on it. Hosting comes with a lot of cool things too, extras like Web and Visitor Analyzers, Unlimited Email Accounts – with unlimited space, Cloud Back up and more. It depends on who you use. Another popular host is Go Daddy, but I always found their panel to be very confusing and overwhelming.
Plug In Cache
When something is cached, usually that means that once you visit the website, the information, like images, are cached on a user’s computer. WordPress Plug in Caches work the same way. So if they visit the website once, it might load quick, but after it caches, every time after they visit it will be lighting quick because nothing “technically” needs to load, since its already available in the cache! One of the best cache plug ins for WordPress is W3 Total Cache. Super easy to use, just install, activate and it works right away.
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