WordPress offers a lot of flexibility and control for a platform that doesn’t require a high level of technical expertise to get started with. But because you don’t have that technical knowledge you might find yourself out of options when you run into unexpected issues such as performance drops.
Thankfully, there are a few easy ways you can take action to prevent any serious damage.
In this post, we’ll cover how you can monitor the performance of your WordPress website and optimize it for better results. We’ll start out by analyzing the website and step through some techniques you can adopt to boost its performance. Before we begin, let’s go over why the performance of your website matters.
Why Is WordPress Performance Optimization Important?
How often do you wait more than 30 seconds for a page to load? That's right, never! No one does…instead they go back to the search results and find a page that loads quickly.
A slow loading website can be a huge turnoff for most visitors. And it doesn’t just affect user experience. Search engines also take your site’s page load times into account and a slow loading time will drop your search engine result page (SERP) rank. In addition to this, search engines use bots to crawl through your site which helps improve web page indexing on the back-end and increase your site’s visibility.
Luckily, there are a few tools and techniques you can use to analyze and boost your WordPress site’s performance without breaking the bank.
5 Tips to Analyze and Boost WordPress Performance
In this section, we’ll discuss five easy ways you can optimize your WordPress site’s performance and recommend some useful tools to take the heavy lifting out of it.
1. Check Your Website's Speed
It’s important to have a baseline for your website’s default performance. A great way to get started is by testing how long it takes your home page to load. You can do that by heading over to Pingdom, typing in your site’s URL and selecting a test server location. The tool generates a report for you that not only details the page load times of your website but also gives you performance insights into how you can improve its overall performance grade.
Another handy tool is Load Impact which you can use to gauge how your website operates under stress. It allows you to gather useful data about how your site performs when being accessed by a number of users.
2. Install a Good Caching Solution
A sure-fire way to improve your WordPress site’s performance is by leveraging a good caching solution. Caching solutions work by storing a portion of your website’s files on the visitor’s browser. By doing this, your site does not have to load all the content every time the user accesses it – making page load times significantly faster.
Integrating caching functionality into your WordPress website is pretty straightforward – all you have to do is install a reputable caching plugin. The WordPress Plugin Directory has a handful of free offerings that you can spring for. And when you’re ready to take things to the next level then WP Rocket is an ideal, premium caching solution.
3. Optimize Your Images
If you don’t want your WordPress website to slow to a crawl over time or take up too much space on the server then properly compressing your images is vital. As the number of mobile users continues to increase, image optimization has become more important now than ever before. Optimized images decrease the page loading time for both desktop and mobile users.
In addition to this, image optimization is a major component of your website’s SEO as search engines rank optimized images better in the image search results. Kraken.io is an online image optimization tool that helps you with both lossy and lossless compression. And if you’d rather install a plugin then you can download the Kraken.io Image Optimizer plugin for free.
4. Utilize WordPress’ Background Processes
There is a lot going on under the hood in WordPress. The core processes are constantly running tasks (such as retrieving and pushing files and data) in the background.
It is a good idea to keep tabs on what’s happening in your site’s background. It helps you analyze and evaluate the performance changes that the changes you make have on your site. Whether it’s slow SQL queries, PHP errors, or anything else, having a monitoring tool to analyze your background processes is a must.
5. Analyze the Effect Plugins Have
If your website is powered by WordPress, chances are that most of your site’s functionality is being carried out by the plugins you have installed on it. Since this is true for most WordPress sites, it causes the problem of the website underperforming if those plugins are not up to date. The consequences of this can be much more severe as it renders your site vulnerable to security threats – which are far from ideal.
This can be remedied by simply conducting thorough research before installing a plugin on your site. Reputable marketplaces such as the WordPress Plugin Directory and CodeCanyon are good platforms to find plugins. Two preliminary indicators of plugin performance are the user ratings and number of downloads. It is also a good idea to check when the plugin was last updated so you don’t end up using something that no longer receives updates.
Keeping your WordPress site optimized and performing well is entirely manageable – even without advanced technical skills. Analyzing your website’s page load times and background processes through tools, finding a good caching solution, optimizing your images, and using reputable plugins will go a long way in keeping your site snappy.
Did our post help you optimize your site? What steps do you take to keep your WordPress site running smooth? We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments section below!