Improve the speed of your website
The performance and usability of websites, in general, have become increasingly more important over the past years. Visitors will not tolerate slow loading websites these days, neither will (perhaps our biggest friend) Google. Luckily for us, Google created a tool which focusses solely on improving the performance and usability of your website, called Pagespeed Insights. Running Pagespeed Insights on your website results in a list of possible improvements, which often can be easily implemented. Want to improve the speed of your website? Take a look at the most common improvements as well as an explanation listed below:
1. Optimize the file size of your images
One of the most common causes of a slow website I've personally encountered is the loading of images with big file sizes. People easily neglect the fact that every single visitor of your website will have to download the content of a webpage. This mostly isn't an issue for desktop visitors, but your mobile visitors (which probably contains more than 50% of your total traffic) won't appreciate big file sizes. The file size of an image can be reduced by scaling the image, compressing the image or lowering the quality of the image. Compressor.io offers a simple image compression tool free for you to use, make sure to check it out here.
2. Optimize the scaling of your images
Scaling images can take some time while loading a website while scaling images is essentially unnecessary. Just keep one thing in mind while saving your images for use on your website; what pixel dimensions will this image actually contain? For example, if you want to upload your 2500 x 2500 px business logo to your website, and you know the actual pixel dimensions on your website will be only 150 x 150 px, change the image size to 150 x 150 px before uploading the image to your website.
5. Make use of browser caching
Do you get a lot of returning visitors? If so, browser caching might be a great way to reduce loading times. Enabling caching is a quick way to improve the speed of your website. Browser caching prevents returning users from having to download the content on your webpage again, within a certain timeframe. Both WP Fastest Cache and Autoptimize offer caching solutions. I personally recommend you to use WP Fastest Cache as it's the most simple and one of the most effective methods of enabling caching on your WordPress website.
6. Enable Gzip compression
A lot of web hosting providers offer server-side Gzip compression. This compression decreases the file sizes of all scripts on your website, making it load even faster. Not sure if your web hosting provider offers Gzip compression? Try contacting the support team of your web hosting provider, they will likely be glad to enable Gzip compression if possible.
8. Removing unnecessary plug-ins and themes
A lot of WordPress installations contain unnecessary themes and plug-ins. You can easily decrease the file size of your entire website by deleting unused themes and plug-ins. Try to delete unused plug-ins instead of deactivating them, as deactivated plug-ins often still make use of various scripts while loading your website. Instead of using plug-ins for simple elements like page headers, try using HTML and CSS to get the same result for much better performance.
9. Running an international website? Consider making use of a CDN
Are your running an international website? Try improving loading times by implementing a CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN's like CloudFlare will decrease loading times globally.