Today’s Internet visitor demands speed. If your WordPress website is not loading quickly, you may lose a potential customer. There are ways for you to tweak your website and your WordPress content management system so that you are less likely to have an unhappy visitor.
The first thing website owners should look at is the caching ability of their server. Most hosting companies, where your website resides, use MySQL to load your pages. When a visitor comes to your site, MySQL will start to load different things from your settings. These will be queries for categories, logins and a variety of content. To load your site faster your tech person should enable your cache in the configuration files. When data on your site remains the same from one visit to the next, there is no need for the server to reload everything. Enabling the cache size to a larger number will resolve this issue.
Another caching solution is the use of plugins to resolve your speed issues. WordPress Super Cache takes your posts and renders them on your server as files. When you site gets overloaded with requests it’s easier for your server to deal with them quickly. It enables your server to use fewer resources to meet the volume of traffic. WordPress Super Cache updates your site when comments are added and enables quicker load times.
Another plugin to consider is W3 Total Cache. Websites load much quicker when this plugin is used. The cache will handle all aspects of your website. Download times are significantly reduced as this plugin enables a “content deliver network” (CDN) that is designed to enhance user experience. The benefits of this system can result in improved ranking with Google, due to a higher “site performance” ranking. As well, customer conversion rates tend to be higher; again affecting your Google ranking.
The above are excellent considerations, but if your hosting company is not using the latest version of MySQL and PHP, or has bandwidth restrictions, then your site will suffer. One of the most important decisions when choosing a hosting company is to ensure you are getting the best available in today’s marketplace. Most hosting companies run on Apache, but those using NGINX can offer customers a higher degree of performance.
Understanding the issues that images present can be a factor in your page load times. If images are optimized and compressed, page load times will be reduced. Compression is important in your stylesheets, css files and your java script. Your web designer should understand how to compress these files and may choose to use a WordPress plugin like CSS Sprites. It has been developed specifically to work with the WordPress content management system. The simple fact is, when your code is clean and compressed, your site will give visitors quicker load times.
Other things that can affect your loading speed are ensuring that unused plugins have been deactivated. Ensure that your version of WordPress is the latest stable version and make sure the theme you are using is fully optimized.