If you own a site, then you want to provide the best possible user experience for your users. This means you want to have a good looking theme, and you want it to load fast! Keeping your users happy will result on them staying on your site longer and consuming your content.
Google agrees with this too, and they have stated for awhile now, that page load speed can affect your search engine rankings. Not only that, but studies have shown that faster page speeds can result in higher conversions as well. So if you are selling something on your site, it pays to make it as fast as possible.
I read this interesting post over at SlickWP about how to boost your page speed score. It had a lot of great ideas in it. But in this post, I’m going to expand on that article and give you some additional tips on speeding your site up as fast as possible.
1. Choose The Best Web Hosting
One major factor in your site’s load times, is which web host you are on. If you go with a really cheap shared hosting plan for example, your site might be put on a server with hundreds of other websites. If these websites are taking up all of your server’s CPU and bandwidth, that can really slow down your site. So if you go with shared hosting, make sure you pick a web host that doesn’t use overcrowded servers.
Or use a VPS instead which can be much faster. Based on reviews I have read, I would recommend checking out web hosts like WiredTree or LiquidWeb.
Webhosting reviews for further reading
2. Enable GZip Compression
GZip is probably the most popular way to compress your site’s files that get sent to your visitor’s web browser. By enabling GZip, you can reduce response sizes by almost 70%.
There are a couple ways to enable GZip. The first is to manually modify the .htaccess file of your site yourself. You can find the code to do this here, in this article by FeedTheBot.
Or use a WordPress plugin like WP HTTP Compression which is a freely downloadable plugin you can install.
3. Use a CDN
4. Optimize Your Images
If you use a lot of images on your site, then they can cause your site to slow down considerably. Plus, the bigger the images are, the more bandwidth you are consuming. The first thing to do with optimizing your images, is to make sure you’re not using larger images than necessary. Resize your images down to the minimal size where they still look good.
After you have done that, you can usually shrink images further by compressing them. There are many tools to do this, but I recommend installing the WP Smush.it plugin. This plugin will automatically compress your images as you upload them. It also includes a bulk Smush.it tool so you can compress all your existing images at once as well.
If you follow all these tips above, you will definitely see a huge improvement in the load time of your website. They really aren’t hard to implement, so there really is no excuse to go out and do it.
Let us known in the comments how they work for you.