How to speed up a wordpress site? This question is one of the most popular in the USA and just mega popular on the foreign Internet. Before starting work, I would like to disassemble the value of a fast site, since not everyone understands why.
What is the main value of fast sites for business owners?
Influence of speed of a site on the Internet shops
A fast website helps you to find information faster and save time for visitors. Saving 2 seconds on the download of the site you can easily save about 2 minutes of time working with your site.
For example, in wholesale online stores, the number of internal transitions can reach 60 pages per visit. If you have a slow site, this can reduce internal transitions and you will receive 1-3 page views. At a slow site speed, the sales of goods or services will not be at all or they will be much less than what could be.
In the language of SEO experts, because of the acceleration of the site you will have a growing behavioral factor, which will positively affect the position of the site in the search and will reduce the percentage of refusals.
Site speed on mobile devices
Accelerating the site helps your visitors on mobile devices read information or buy goods while they travel in the metro, minibus, train, in a taxi, sit in a cafe. Usually from mobile devices there will be bad sales if the visitor of the site has a slow mobile Internet speed. A quick site allows visitors to view more products in a short period of time.
Another fact with which you can not argue is the constant growth of mobile devices (phones, tablets …) and their availability. To survive, sites need to change. As an example I will bring the site of one of my clients to a “law firm”, he had a 46% number of visitors from mobile devices, although only a couple of years ago there was only 15%.
The reaction of search engines to slow sites
Search engines react poorly to slow sites, it is checked repeatedly. Google has repeatedly stated that a fast site will not grow in search, but a slow site may fall.
What this quote can mean to us, everything is elementary, if the user is not comfortable, then he will leave your site, and google will notice this. If such users will be many and they will quickly leave, then the site will definitely go down in the SERP.
An important fact about the speed of the site. Google considers sites that are loaded for more than 3 seconds substandard.
The positions of your site on mobile devices and on the PC will be different. If a potential client searches for a site in a mobile search, the search engines will be more loyal to fast sites. This is always clearly visible on the websites of customers with a large attendance at large stores or portals.
Accelerating the site and GooglePage Speed Insights
- Most users of the site acceleration measure only with GooglePage Speed and this is good, but there are other indicators that Google will not tell you and will not appreciate:
- Google very well see what pictures you need to compress in width and height, if the styles indicate other sizes, also show how much you can save space. But for some pictures, compression can be done more than a google score without losing quality and the site will only benefit from this.
- Pictures can be prepared for different screens and different pixel density (on retina displays), a simple analysis of Google does not tell you this and will have to dig into the documentation of how to do it correctly.
- GooglePage Speed does not suggest in which formats the images will take up less space, for example, sometimes the best format will be JPG, sometimes PNG, and sometimes even GIF.
- GooglePage Speed does not tell you what images can be made vector and use them on the site. Vector images do not deteriorate when resizing and take up more often than raster images. Vector images are loaded immediately when the page loads, and since they can be embedded in styles or page code, the php interpreter does not need to look for the file in the file system on the server.
- Google will never tell you which of the images could be joined to the sprite and thereby reduce the number of requests to the server to find the desired file.
A fast site will do less work on your server, which means you can not increase the tariff longer and do not make additional hosting costs.
Danger in accelerating the site
It’s probably impossible to fully optimize the site’s speed, it’s easier to do this in self-written sites provided there is a good team and even hands of programmers who will continue to work with the site. But with CMS everything is more complicated.
For CMS there are several dangers and inconveniences:
- When using plug-ins to compress styles, the CMS template can float, because you need to follow the strict order of connecting scripts.
- Danger when upgrading CMS and plug-ins. Very often CMS developers include new functionality and not always this functionality is needed by old sites, for example, the WordPress development team has recently included links to the google fonts service in the box, and on the old site these fonts are likely to be unnecessary, there already is everything.
- Themes for CMS, whether WordPress or other CMS, developers try to make the template flexible in customization for any requirements, so that the template owner can customize it as he wants, but the size and number of styles will be much more. For example, in a site made in manual styles and scripts in total can occupy 40-50 kb.,
- While I met wp themes where scripts and styles occupied more than one megabyte. A lot to the point of indecency!
On good it is possible to optimize the speed of loading a site on the engine if it was originally developed under high speed and quality, it will take much more time and cost will be much more expensive. If those who develop the site are experienced, then they will do some of the functionality for speeding up, and if the site you need is not for one day, then the game will cost a candle, you will not feel it at once, but when there is a lot of material on the site you can pretty save on his progress.
How to speed up the work of the site on WordPress / WooCommerce
WordPress from the box is fast enough, usually the speed of the engine is hampered by additional functionality in the theme or plugins written to put it mildly horribly. But even if everything was done well on the site, you can always achieve great results after working a little with CMS or server settings.
It is important to do to speed up the site
- Set up caching through one of the popular WordPress plugins.
- Configure caching on the server side so that the site visitors’ browser loads images only once and then takes them from the visitor’s computer.
- You can configure lazy loading of images.
- For financial opportunities, I advise you to connect a good CDN, so that images from your site are quickly accessible from anywhere in the world. If this is not possible, you can search for free.
- Cut large images that do not give a normal load to the site to the desired size, rather than compress them in different places with their styles.
- Create sprites for icons and small graphics on the site, or even better use vector icons and logo.
- Customize plug-ins for automatic image compression, so adding a product, service or entry to a blog in which there is a picture, it would shrink to the desired size.
- I advise you to use the SRCSET parameter (only to do it correctly) to display images with different pixel density and different screens. There are plugins, unfortunately good plug-ins are paid and to configure them you still have to tinker with the WordPress API.
- Reduce the number of requests to the database and track slow requests.
- Clean tables and options in the database. Do not forget to make a backup, before starting cleaning and after the end check the site’s performance.
- Compare the analogues of plug-ins on your test site and determine which one works faster. I know that it’s difficult but it can help. I had a case where, due to one plug-in, the server’s response was 21 seconds, after the replacement it was loaded 0,1 second.
- For quite experienced, you can disable some options from the database from automatic loading.
- Do not forget to update WordPress the last time it has become fiercer much. When updating, always make backup.
- If you have an older version of PHP, switch the PHP version on the server to 7.0. (At the time of writing the article with later versions there were problems).
Check it is possible in the theme on WordPress the same data is called within the same template, in such cases you can call them once and put in a variable, and then use it.
How can hosting speed up the site?
- Excellent when the host is configured Apache and Nginx in a bunch.
- If you have VPS or hosting, you can enable Vanish caching and Memcache. It is important that the caching can work perfectly in conjunction with the CMS. Who needs a good hosting, there is an excellent one for the USA.
- Enable gzip compression.
- Often, hosting itself can combine styles and scripts, but after the merger you need to test the site tightly so that there are no problems with the functionality.
- Enable delayed loading of images.
- Combine unnecessary gaps.
- Move small external CSS to HTML.
- Optimize URLs in the href and src attributes.
- Make a Critical CSS, when immediately loaded the main styles of inserted inline into the header of the site, and the rest are loaded at the bottom of the page.
The list of functions can be much more, I did not list every site individually. Just check with your hosting that they can be configured to speed up the site. If nothing can or can not but all, I advise you to look for a new hosting.
If you are an expert, you will be able to understand my blitz story how to speed up WordPress. If you do not understand anything, from what I wrote, then order this service from specialists.
Speed up WordPress business is not easy, but what a cool feeling comes when the site started to load instantly or accelerated a couple of times!
Good luck in speeding up your sites. If you do not understand write a comment, I’ll work for you once.