Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Faster WordPress Speeds

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Are you using a WordPress (WP) website or blog? If so, then you are in good company. Since 2003, WordPress has grown to become the most popular content management systems (CMSs) in the world. There are over 140 million WP CMS downloads and these include top performing websites such as TechCrunch, BBC America, Sony Music, MTV News, Star Wars Blog and The New Yorker among others. With over 45K free plugins and 4K free themes, a WP website is easy to set up, customize and manage.

Importance of Fast Loading Speeds

Well, there are obvious issues that develop along the way, the most prominent being loading speeds. Even a WP website will become prone to slow loading speeds with time and this can affect your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

A 2016 survey shows that 51% of shoppers give speed as the reason for abandoning an online purchase. 39% of people also say they will stop engaging with a website whose images are slow loading. A 2-second delay in loading during a transaction resulted in abandonment rates of up to 87%. A similar survey quantified losses caused by abandoned shopping carts to more than $18 billion per year.  Clearly, there is need to tune your website in order to enhance its performance in terms of speed.

The Ultimate Guide to Faster WordPress Speeds

Well, if you have been struggling with high bounce rates and poor conversion. It is highly likely that slow load speeds could be a major concern. But you are in luck because you can use this ultimate guide to faster WordPress speeds to gain a competitive edge in your niche. Take a look:

  1. Choose reliable web hosting service – Web hosting is a major pillar for your WP website and as such, you need a reliable service. Poor choice will lead to slow response times if the web host cannot match the queries from your website. You can also upgrade your hosting plan to increase functionality.
  2. Content delivery network (CDN) –A CDN unburdens your hosting from multiple HTTP requests coming from diverse browsers. The system distributes queries and finds the nearest server to the user for delivery of files. Ultimately, this leads to faster loading of the site.
  3. Find the right theme or framework – There are thousands of WP themes but avoid those overloaded with in-built features which affect loading speeds. Look for simplicity and speed.
  4. Limit plugins on your WP site – Only use plugins when necessary and look for alternatives instead of relying too much on them. The coding and scripts of each plugin you add will slow the site.
  5. Optimize the WP database – Keep your database lean by minimizing the number of revisions.
  6. Minimize files before publishing – This can be done using a file editor or image optimizers from WP.
  7. Lazy loading plugins – A lazy load plugin enables the images and media files visible from the user’s end to load first; as the user scrolls down the images load one by one, thus reducing loading time.
  8. Stop hotlinking –Hotlinking uses resources from your web hosting and should be stopped immediately.

It is also advisable to turn off pingbacks and trackbacks from the WP dashboard, minify JavaScript and CSS, avoid WOFF (Web Open Font Format) and WOFF2 formats, leverage browser caching, compress files, minimize needless, HTTP requests and have render-blocking resources above the fold.

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