We recently ran an article asking if WordPress makes a good alternative to custom built websites, where we looked at the pros and cons of the platform. And it’s hard to criticise when the likes of TechCrunch, The New Yorker and Sony Music are all on board – just to name a few.
There is one criticism it still struggles to shake off though – that it can be painfully slow to load a fully-featured WordPress site. And there’s some truth to it too, because WordPress themes can come to a standstill if they’re poorly created or maintained. But you don’t see the likes of TechCrunch and co. struggling with loading times, so today we want to explain how to keep your WordPress site as fast as the big brands.
Choose The Right Theme
To maintain a fast website it needs to be fast to begin with, whether it’s a custom site, WordPress or anything else. The thing is anyone can create a WordPress theme (one of the great things about it) but such power comes with occasionally neglected responsibility and not all themes are coded in the most efficient way.
So the first thing you need to do is choose the right theme, even if you plan to have it customised. You’re better off having an agency, developer or someone who knows what makes a lightweight theme to help you choose – otherwise you’ll have to make do with some reviews you find trustworthy.
Pick A Good Hosting Provider
Next you need to choose the right hosting provider, because this can have a massive impact on the speed of your site. There are providers who specialise in hosting WordPress sites specifically (a quick search will pull up various) and these are generally your best bet. You certainly want to avoid cheap, shared servers because the DNS response time will leave you running at a snail’s pace.
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If you’ve never heard of a content delivery network then take a look at this guide or speak to your agency about them. Essentially, a CDN stores your static content across a worldwide network of servers so users in Japan download files from the nearest server, while visitors in the US get the same privilege, and so on.
Everyday Tips To Keep Your Site Lightning Fast
Now we can move on to the tips you can follow yourself, once your new WordPress site is handed over to you, to keep it blazing along.
- #1: Go easy on the plugins – The extra code all adds up and, before you know it, you have a bloated site on your hands.
- #2: Compress your images – First of all make sure they’re saved for web and then consider using additionaltools to compress images without losing quality.
- #3: Set image dimensions – This will save user browsers having to do the work themselves and leave visitors waiting while they figure it out.
- #4: Use browser caching – One plugin you really want to consider is a browser caching tool to save users downloading the same files every time they visit your site. Be sure to strictly follow directions or seek help from your agency or developer if you have any concerns with setup – or you could do more harm than good.
- #5: Clean up your database – WordPress is great at autosaving everything , but your database soon fills up with post drafts, pingbacks, unapproved comments and all sorts of other items. So think about using a database cleaner like WP-Optimize to clear out the junk and consider turning off pingbacks altogether.
Enjoy Your Lightning Fast WordPress Site!
So there you have it – you can run a WordPress site and keep it running in top gear, as long as the initial setup is handled correctly and you look after it in the right manner. So don’t fret about loading times or response speed any longer and enjoy all the content publishing power that comes with a Lightning fast WordPress site.