A few things happen when you optimize your WordPress website for speed.
The first thing that happens is: It makes your clients and customers happier, which is 99% of everyone’s goal. Secondly, it helps your SEO ratings, which will help you rank higher in Google search engines.
Now these things I’m about to show you are nothing new. In fact, these strategies are primarily geared towards newbies, more than anything else.
The first thing you will want to do to see how fast your current website speed is, is by visiting either Google PageSpeed, or Pingdom. These sites will give you good insight as to what your site may or may not need to speed it up.
1) – Use a caching plugin
We use the WP Fastest Cache plugin. You can use it for free, or you can upgrade and use more advanced items. Further information is on their website.
So what is caching?
Caching is a hardware or software component that stores data, so that future requests for that data can be served faster. Your browsers: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari, etc., all use caching when you visit a website. That is how the back button works. It remembers the data or website you were previously occupying, and loads that page faster. It’s faster, because it does not have to re-download anything from the website servers. It’s like taking a snapshot of your screen, and then bringing up that snapshot instead of the reload.
So, you can manipulate this caching in a few ways on your WordPress websites. One way is to download and install a caching plugin. Another way is to have your website’s content served over a CDN system such as CloudFlare, which is the next way we will discuss.
2) – Use a CDN
We use the free version of CloudFlare, for our websites. I won’t lie to you; the setup of using CloudFlare can be a little tricky. However, they do have excellent documentation and can even help set it up if you need.
What is a CDN?
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. Basically, it shortens the distance between a user and the server of a website, which makes loading faster for your website. It caches your website’s content, images, videos, and such, in multiple areas throughout the world.
Of course, using a CDN has many other advantages other than just speeding up your website. It can also be good for security: by protecting your website from DDoS (hackers) attacks.
3) – Optimize Images
This has been said since the beginning of the Internet, but people still do not take the time to optimize their images. The WordPress plugin we use on our websites is called Smush. We usually use the free version. However, sometimes it makes sense to pay for the pro version for a little more compression.
What does optimize mean?
Compression. Basically, you are reducing the size of the image, so that it can render faster on the browsers. If you would like to know more about how to optimize your images, check out our other tutorial, Image Compression.
So there you have it, three, free, good ways to make your WordPress website faster. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know, and we will try to help out as much as we can. Thanks for reading our tutorials.