Slow website page speed is detrimental to your readers and to your business. In this day and age where globally, a majority of us are privileged to have high internet speeds, you have no excuse at all to have a slow loading blog or website.
In fact, your website or blog page speed can be the difference between success and failure. Poor blog or website performance has the potential to result in losing your readers, lost revenue and even damage your site reputation among popular search engines such as Google, Microsoft Bing and others.
I love WordPress and I use it by default as my website and blogging platform. In fact, this very blog is powered by WordPress. I once worked on a product website and upon finishing, it looked stunning and the client was happy. Visitors began streaming in from various countries. My client was excited and I was happy I had done a great job!
However the excitement was shortlived, soon after the launch, there was a problem. Visitors began complaining that the website was loading slowly and my client was not happy with the feedback.
I decided to check for the website page speed to confirm for myself. The results were not good, it recorded a low grade “C” on GTMetrix page speed analytics.
I also checked for visitor bounce rate using google analytics and it was more than 56% and the time on site was less than five seconds. I had to do something.
I took to google and searched for techniques and plugins I could use in WordPress to speed up my client’s website. Thankfully, I found three techniques and plugins that did a great job for me. I hope you will learn from these techniques and it will be of great assistance in improving your website performance. Let’s dive in:
Consider using a caching
Caching is a technique where a static website or blog content are stored the first time a visitor loads a page. This is important because it helps reduce the number of requests the browser makes to the original server. By doing this page load speed increases massively as requests are only honoured for dynamic content.
In WordPress, I would recommend two best free best WordPress caching plugins i.e. W3 Total Cache plugin and WP Super Cache. In my experience, they do a great job and can shave up to a minute-plus of page load time and a quarter percentage points of page load speed. The only drawback is that it may take a bit of your time to configure properly. However, if you are in a hurry the default settings do a pretty good job.
For premium plugins caching plugins, I would recommend is WP-Rocket. I have been using it for close to two years now and it has not disappointed me so far.
What I like about WP Rocket is that it is easy to use. In fact, after installing, you can get up and running by the click of a button i.e. Enable it and it does its job. Easy peasy they say. If you want detailed configuration you can check at the advanced configurations section. Chances are you may not need them.
WP Rocket also comes with great performance at an affordable price. For only $49, you have an all year round caching that will speed up your site. There is more can do, you can also integrate with your existing content delivery network service seamlessly. I have done this in my client’s projects with success. I have witnessed faster page speed and the website performance has improved massively! I cover more on content delivery networks in the next section of this article.
Leverage on content delivery networks (CDNs)
Popularly known as CDN, content delivery networks are a set of server instances distributed globally that work together to serve requests for web assets such as images, videos, HTML pages and any other media that can be loaded on a web page.
Let’s face it, your current host may not be really great at serving content globally. Your website or blog is domiciled in one server and with many global requests, it can be overwhelmed. This potentially impacts your site or blog performance negatively in terms of speed and page load time. This is the reason why you need a content delivery network service.
By leveraging CDN, you have the potential to massively increase the performance of your website and also prevent DDOS attacks on your website which will guarantee your website or blog availability.
There are many CDN providers but the one I currently use is KeyCDN. I like KeyCDN because of affordability, ease of setup and reliability.
The beauty of CDN is, you can use it in conjunction with your caching plugin so that they work hand in hand to deliver great performance. I have implemented this with WP Rocket caching plugin and it is working great so far!
Apply lazy load images techniques
Have you ever visited a website and when you scroll, what you see first is text followed by images as you scroll down? That is what we call lazy loading! Its purpose is to delay loading media files such as images or video or scripts which are not required initially.
Thankfully with WordPress, there are many plugins you can use for lazy loading. My favourite one which I would recommend is the WordPress Jetpack plugin which provides lazy loading for free and can easily be enabled with one click. I recommend this plugin because it has several other functionalities such as sharing, analytics, security optimization, subscription opt-in’s and so on.
In conclusion, these are only three ways you can get your blog or website perform better. There are many other techniques you can explore. Remember also that there things outside speed optimization that can affect the performance of your website or blog. These include theme you choose or your hosting type and plan and so on.
Thank you for reading this far, I hope you will find the points I have shared helpful in your quest to improve your blog or website page speed.
Should you have questions feel free to ping me in the comments section.
All the best 🙂