- by Trish
You can easily fix your WordPress website speed problems once you know how. Nowadays, a website must; load fast, have less opt-ins (or pop-ups), a lower bounce rate, and offer you a higher conversion rate.
It’s pretty much well known now that slow loading websites literally lose money.
You can fix your website speed problems by:
- ) Choosing a website hosting provider who offers you the use of top-notch servers that are made to function properly… and that they have a full-time staff ready to step in should anything go wrong with the server that your website is hosted on. In other words… offers your website 24/7 support.
Free online monitoring tools can be blocked by web hosting servers (and normally are), which would then offer you a false report of your website being down. Quality hosting providers will block constant abuse of their servers in order to protect the server from potential harm. So, the more times a site is “monitored” automatically, the more likely the monitoring will end up blocked, at times.
A true hosting checker will reveal to you the name of the datacenter your chosen host is using, along with their IP address, the host’s geographical location and nameservers, as well as the hosting domain WhoIs registered information offered as a link.
The location of the datacenter they use is MORE important than the host’s geographic location, as the datacenter used to host YOUR website needs to be closely located to the geographical location of your local business. In this way, your potential customers will have your site load faster on their devices simply due to the location of your website.
- ) Select the right hosting plan. Once you have decided on a hosting service, then you need to know your website needs before you select a plan. Example: If you have a popular membership website then a “starter plan” would obviously not be what you need. Simply because the demand on your website (the bandwidth used) will be well beyond a starter.
- ) Be sure to use a truly, fully optimized theme or framework (script) for your website. When you do this you should be able to reduce the number of necessary plugins (when using WordPress) as well as having your website be what has come to be known as designed to be “responsive”, which simply means “device-friendly”.
A truly, fully optimized theme should also offer images to “Lazy Load” which means that your images would load as a user scrolls your web page rather than loading all images upon your web page being loaded in a browser. This additional benefit reduces your website bandwidth and processor loading, which means that more visitors can be viewing the same pages simultaneously without your needing to upgrade your hosting plan.
This type of website tends to load faster too due to fewer scripts (plugins) trying to load one after another. This alone can help to reduce a site’s bounce rate, simply preventing impatient visitors leaving when they get tired of waiting for a page to load on their device.
- ) Depending on the type of hosting you choose you may need to install a quality, cache plugin. The reason I suggest that it may depend on the host you choose, I have found one host that includes security AND caching right on their server!
However, I have also found shared hosting servers that do NOT offer such services and those who host their sites with these will ALWAYS need to have a cache plugin installed.
Doing this makes your website pages load faster. Please, do make sure to setup a time limit for when the cache plugin is to be automatically deleted… or do it manually, so that ANY changes to your website will be seen straight away, by your website visitors.
- ) If the theme you have chosen does not optimize all of your website images, be sure you either use a plugin to do that for you… or… have them manually compressed before uploading your images to your website.
There are websites like https://tinyjpg.com/ that offer this service free online and there are also several different free WordPress plugins available that you can find when doing an internet search.
A site that offers fully optimized images loads FASTER!
- ) Regular maintenance on your website, meaning constantly updating your site’s framework (Example: updating WordPress regularly), plugins, etc. whenever necessary. This will not only serve to protect your site’s security, it could also help your website to be more stable, ultimately helping your website pages to load faster.
- ) Disable hotlinking which is known as a bandwidth leech.
Hotlinking is when another webmaster links directly to your website images and/or files and then embeds these directly into their website, which causes bandwidth leeching to your website. In other words, their website visitors see your image from someone else’s website, which is being served up from YOUR site.
However, if you do NOT OWN an image or file then you may NOT legally be allowed to disable hotlinking. So, to safe yourself any legal issues, always be sure to check FIRST to see if disabling hotlinking would be a copyright violation.
The simplest solution to disable hotlinking is to add special script to your .htaccess file. This way, when someone tries hotlinking images or files, their site’s placeholder will be void of anything and your site will be protected from their leeching content.
Searching for up-to-date scripts for this, I suggest that you do an internet search for “.htaccess script to disable hotlinking” (without the quotation marks, of course).
NOTE: Do this only if you have kept a copy of your original .htaccess file …and… only if you are prepared to try adding different scripts until you find one that works for you. This is not a task for a beginner.
BONUS: Optimize your WordPress website regularly as you would do any other maintenance. My favourite plugin WP-Optimize has been known to save several my websites many megabytes of unnecessary data storage by simply removing post revisions along with auto drafts, and other unnecessary ‘debris’ (like comments you may have deleted previously), along with repairing WordPress tables (by reducing bloated databases), which improves the function of any website, helping your web server’s processor to server up your web pages faster.
NOTE: Always backup your website BEFORE beginning to optimize your website. Then, should something go wrong, you will have an easy means of restoring your website to what it was previous to optimizing.
Two really great backup plugins that you could choose one from are as follows:
Full Backup with a Plugin
Or… for larger websites, you may need to use the “All-in-One WP Migration” plugin, and then you will need the “All-in-One WP Migration Unlimited Extension” to restore your website. Though the All-in-One WP Migration plugin is free, the All-in-One WP Migration Unlimited Extension plugin will cost you to restore your website if it is beyond a predetermined size.