You spend your time creating amazing content for the website. However, it may not be performing to your expectations. This may be a problem with optimization. Although your posts may bring in a slew of visitors from search engines, these people may leave if the site is too difficult to use or too slow to access. Here are a handful of tips to help you optimize WordPress to give your guests the best experience possible.
1. Resize Images
It’s always better to resize images perfectly before uploading them into WordPress. Although you can shrink down the display of the image in code, the entire graphic will still have to be rendered by the computer or mobile device. This can be a slow process which can lead to frustration and annoyance from the visitor.
2. Clean Up Plugins
Using too many plugins can cause the site to become slow and sluggish. In extreme cases, some plugins can also cause others to malfunction. Even plugins you don’t use can cause issues within WordPress. Look around…you may find a plugin that can do the job of several.
3. Inspect Mobile Element
Inspecting how your website looks on mobile devices can help you determine if people are getting lost on your site. Just because a theme is “responsive” doesn’t mean it appears perfectly on smartphones and tablets. Accessing your site from mobile devices can also show whether certain things are being displayed in the right positions.
4. Stay Away from Flash
5. Choose a Good Theme
Some of the most amazing themes you’ve ever seen may be problematic when you want to optimize WordPress. Not all developers use up-to-date coding, which could cause speed issues as well as varied crashes. Find a theme that is ideal for your site even if you have to sacrifice bells and whistles that may cause problems later on.
6. Enable Caching
When you enable caching, such as using the W3 Total Cache plugin, you’re essentially saving important files temporarily onto a visitors hard drive. This means the site will load up much quicker next time. Should the visitor return, he or she may have an even better experience as a lot of the data may already be immediately available on his or her system.
7. Minimize CSS and JS File Use
8. Clean Up the Database
Many people don’t realize how cluttered a WordPress database can become over time. Eventually, you’ll want to remove all of the unnecessary data in order for the database to perform smoothly. Plugins like WP-Optimize can help keep those files from taking valuable resources away from your website’s functionality.
9. Structure the Homepage Accordingly
Website owners will often try to cram as much information on the homepage as possible. This can lead to an unprofessional appearance as well as become distracting for visitors. Keep the homepage structure sleek while offering pertinent information. After all, the majority of your visitors may not even see the homepage.
Wait…9 just simply isn’t enough!
10. Install Security
Installing security measures protects your data while preventing hackers from using your site as a base for spamming others. From brute force protection to hijacking webpages to steal information, attacks are plentiful on the Internet. Never assume that your site is too small to be a target.
11. Search Engine Optimization
Using plugins for SEO can help your site get seen more often in search results. Many of them can also help you create better content for your visitors. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin will give you suggestions about how to fix your content and whether or not it’s too difficult to read.
12. Use a CDN
A Content Delivery Network is by far one of the easiest ways to optimize your site for speed. Essentially, your site is saved on several servers around the world and used to deliver your content to a user closest to one of those locations. This eliminates a lot of latency and lag issues from various Internet connections.
Many forms of optimizing don’t require a great deal of programming or understanding the latest SEO strategies. In many cases, it could be something as simple as shrinking an image. When you optimize WordPress, there is great potential for boosting visitor retention as well as your brand’s reputation.
What kinds of things do you implement for site optimization? How often do you tighten up your site to improve functionality?