WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.
According to a 2009 Akamai study, 47% of visitors expect a page to load in under 2 seconds, and 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Since this study, no shortage of case studies have confirmed that loading time affects sales.
In 2006, Amazon reported that a 100-millisecond increase in page speed translated to a 1% increase in its revenue. Just a few years later, Google announced in a blog post that its algorithm takes page speed into account when ranking websites.
Below are twelve quick fixes that will dramatically improve your website’s loading time, including:
- identifying which plugins are slowing down your website;
- keeping your website’s database clean;
- setting up browser caching the right way.
Lay The Foundation
When your house is sinking into the ground, you don’t polish the windows — you fix the foundations. The same goes for your website. If it’s hosted on a sluggish server or has a bloated theme, quick fixes won’t help. You’ll need to fix the foundation.
So, let’s start with what makes for a good foundation and how to set ourselves up for a website that runs at lightening speed.
Choose A Good Host
Your Web hosting company and hosting package have a huge impact on the speed of your website, among many other important performance-related things. I used to be sucked in by the allure of free or cheap hosting, but with the wisdom of hindsight, I’ve learned that hosting isn’t an area to skimp on.
To put this into perspective, two of my clients have similar websites but very different hosting providers. One uses WPEngine (an excellent hosting company), and the other hosts their website on a cheap shared server.
The DNS response time (i.e. the time it takes for the browser to connect to the hosting server) of the client using WPEngine is 7 milliseconds. The client using the cheap shared hosting has a DNS response time of 250 milliseconds.
If you want your website to run quickly, start with a good hosting company and package.
Choose A Good Theme
Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes are created equal. While some are extremely fast and well coded, others are bloated with hundreds of bells and whistles under the pretence of being “versatile and customizable.”
A few years ago, Julian Fernandes of Synthesis ran an interesting case study in which he updated his theme from WordPress’ default to the Genesis framework, monitoring page speed. He noticed that just by changing the theme to Genesis, his loading time improved from 630 to 172 milliseconds.
When you choose a theme, check the page speed of the theme’s demo, using a tool such as Pingdom, to see how quickly it runs with nothing added to it. This should give you an idea of how well coded it is.
Source : smashingmagazine