The speed at which your blog loads is critical to attracting more readers to your blog. If your blog takes a long time to load, many readers may leave your blog before they have the chance to read it. Being the internet-savvy person that I am, I’ll settle for slow sites in various occasions, but as soon as it starts to happen all the time – I raise my concern.
If you don’t invest the right amount of energy and attitude towards improving your site’s performance, you’re going to lose customers, naturally. And, not just customers either; but readers, potential customers, and influencers who simply won’t stick around on a slow-loading blog.
I’ve put together a few ideas of what I believe are great starting points for anyone looking to improve website speed. I’d also love to hear your own advice on this topic, and what has worked for you, and what hasn’t.
1. Good Web Hosting
Your number one priority should be your choice of web hosting. Settling for the wrong hosting provider might end up costing you thousands of dollars in revenue. There are so many hosting companies on the market right now. That might seem overwhelming but it also means that it’s possible to find good hosting for almost any budget.
Most hosting companies nowadays offer dedicated WordPress hosting. They have grown both in experience and in technology over the years. There are a few WordPress hosting companies we can warmly recommend as we’ve tested them and found they offer great value for money.
2. A Well Developed Theme
It’s scary to think that many of the top search results for WordPress themes online, return the same old results that have been there for many years. The quality of those themes has long declined, and only themes that have been released in the past year or so can function with the latest technology methods.
Anariel Themes take the needs of customers seriously, and all the themes in our directory come equipped with the latest technology, and features that help to make your site more accessible, and most importantly – faster to load.
3. Content Delivery Networks
If you have the budget, then going for the CDN option is a very good choice! Installing a Content Delivery Network is going to drastically change the speed of your blog and/or website, and your visitors will be surprised by such a noticeable change. Cloudflare is great, and it’s also free to try, but more serious features will require an investment of some sort.
4. Caching Plugins
I think that’s it for the tools that cost us money to implement. If we’ve got all of the above figured out, we’re already providing a seamless experience, but perhaps not as great without having installed some additional caching plugins. I usually settle for W3 Total Cache, as it provides a large set of options and features, totally transforming the experience of my blogs – in a good way.
5. Minimize Your Image Size
Not everyone can afford a large screen, and not everyone likes a large resolution. I’ve learned that images that are around 850px width are perfect for all types of computers, monitors, and devices. I’ll sometimes even use the good old 640px, and that helps me to save an enormous amount of bandwidth both to myself and my visitors.
You can use online tools for minimizing, optimizing, and cropping your images, but I think that something as simple as Paint can do the job as well.
6. Switch-Off Trackbacks and Pingbacks
Having trackbacks and pingbacks enabled only builds unnecessary attention from automated tools and bots. These days, if someone is linking back to you – he’ll probably get in touch with you directly. It just doesn’t provide any real value to have these settings enabled. If you do, you’re dealing with thousands of requests daily from automated systems, and that puts a strain on your site.
Speed Up Your WordPress Blog
Learning to incorporate all these things into your WordPress workflow will not be hard, in fact – it’s going to be easier than you think, and has to be done only one time, with the exception of optimizing your images on regular basis. Though, even then – plugins like Smush.it provide the ability to automatically optimize the images that you upload.
What are your favorite tricks and tips when it comes to optimizing WordPress for speed?