If you’re going to spend time on optimization for WordPress, you’re more often than not looking to a way to make your CMS and website load faster and perform better. In that case, you need to take a look at your code and files. While improving one page or post by itself might not seem like a significant improvement, adding up all of those seconds and milliseconds can add up to plenty of time saved.
Choose Well-Known and Well-Made Plugins
One of the easiest ways to cause chaos and confusion to both yourself and your website’s users is to choose and enable a poorly made plugin. Not only can these slow your site down or give you the wrong information, but they can also mess with things you’ve already set up- like your theme, other plugins, and your posts and other data. Choose wisely and do your research.
Caching can seem complicated. In short, this means that if a page is built or loaded within a specific time-frame, a copy of it is stored and served up to other users. It’s not dynamically rebuilt from scratch every time. This cached version is a lot like a “display model”- users and potential customers won’t be able to tell the difference.
Optimize or Compress Images
If your website load time is under 2.9 seconds, you’re in the top 50%. At this threshold, bounce rates due to delay should be low. However, Google wants to see load times under 2 seconds. That’s their current ideal, though they would like to see that drop to half a second, to match their own personal goals.
Image compression is one of the best ways to improve your load times. If you’re working on mobile affiliate marketing, you know that every second people have to wait increases the likelihood that they’ll just leave. Shorter load times mean you have a higher chance of earning those commissions.
With image compression, a tool or plugin may be used to shrink images to the smallest size they can reach without sacrificing the desired level of quality. Automatic tools aren’t always the most efficient. It may be necessary to use an outside tool and swap images- a process that can be incredibly time-consuming for old websites, but that will ultimately yield necessary results- primarily if you aim to keep meeting and exceeding standards.
Minify and Simplify Your Website’s Code
If possible, use plain HTML. In many cases, this is just as good as and faster than PHP. This is especially true for larger sites or sites that want to allocate processing time to specific complex but necessary features.
Minification can also help in these cases. Minifying code is the process of taking any code file and getting rid of and extra spaces, notes, and tags that might have been put in during the coding process to improve readability for other humans. This process makes it easier for computers and other machines to scan this code and with the highest possible efficiency.
Clean Up What You’re Not Using
The longer your WordPress website has been around, the more junk has been accumulating in your plugins, themes, media, post drafts, and other folders. Clean these up. In some cases, a plugin can even do most of the work for you. Be sure to back up everything before you run any automated processes that will permanently delete files, or even before you do it yourself. Accidents happen, and you’ll be glad to be prepared if and when they do.