WordPress has grown since it first appeared in 2003. It has grown not only in popularity but in its capabilities. Today, there are a huge number of theme options and plugin choices that will transform a WordPress blog into any type of site that you want.Blogging is a snap with this content management system and if you aren’t careful, your WordPress blog will load very slowly. A slow site causes most visitors to leave and is bad for your SEO. However, there are a number of measures you can take to remedy this problem.
Choose the Right Hosting Service
There’s a cliché that says that you are only as strong as your weakest link. This is especially true with website loading speeds. There’s no point to optimizing your blog for speed if it’s going to load slowly because of the server it is hosted on. Do your research before choosing your web hosting. Once you’ve found the right service, study and choose the right option for your needs. When you’ve done this, you’ll be able to rule out the server speed if you find that your blog is sluggish. This is important when troubleshooting.
Watch Your Image File Sizes
A clear distinction should be made between the size of your image in terms of width and height and the size of the image file in terms of kilobytes. A large image size doesn’t have to result in a large image file size.
The common advice of not using images or keeping them very small may help with page loading speeds but will hurt in other ways such as visitor engagement and conversions. Most people do not like sites with no visual appeal. Tiny photos won’t show off the home interiors on your real estate blog or the stunning images on your photography blog.
To keep your image file size under control, use image compression. One useful free plugin for this is Wp Smush.it. This plugin will automatically reduce your image file size without reducing its quality. Another method is to use an image editor to reduce your image quality. The quality of many images can be reduced without the human eye noticing the difference. Doing this will substantially reduce the file size, sometimes by a factor of two or three.
Install a Caching Plugin
Caching will dramatically improve page loading speeds. It reduces the amount of database interaction and PHP code execution needed to load the posts and pages on your blog. A free plugin that is very effective at this is W3 Total Cache.
Choose an Efficient Theme
Not all themes are created equally. While some, such as the default WordPress themes are lightweight, fast, and efficient, others are poorly coded or suffer from code bloat. Stay away from themes that are overly multifunctional if you won’t be using all of the capabilities. These multiple capabilities come at the price of a lot of code.
Be Sparing With Your Plugins
Plugins use up server resources, so the more you have, the slower your site will load. If you don’t really need it, delete it. As with theme usage, stay away from plugins that have more functionality than you actually need.