As a solopreneur, you have many tools at your disposal that can catapult you to instant online fame – well, maybe not instant.
One tool in particular, WordPress is what all the cool kids are using. It’s one of the single greatest things you can use to further advance promoting yourself, whether it be for blogging, or for business.
But despite the amazing-ness of WordPress, it is not without its imperfections.
It’s notorious for having a very slow lag time.
We are in the want-it-now generation. People are busy. And they don’t have time to wait hours on end – or even minutes, in some cases, for your website to load.
And if that weren’t enough, Google now has added site speed to its page ranking system, better known as search engine optimization (SEO).
What does this mean for you?
Not only will you lose visitors, but you will also lose the potential of visitors even finding your site in the first place. If Google, reduces your search ranking that means you lose an audience. No bueno.
So what’s an solopreneur to do? Don’t worry, ladies and gents because I’ve got you covered.
TIME TO SPEED IT UP
Listen, I get it. It can get frustrating when you’re first starting out, and you’re trying your hardest to build up an audience, but there is no growth happening.
While you may not be able to control everything, this is one thing I do know that YOU can control.
But I’ve done enough yapping, it’s time to show you how to speed up your WordPress website.
1. Optimize Your Homepage
If you know anything about computers, then you may already know if you want your laptop to be lightning fast, you’ve got to clean up that desktop.
The same thing applies to your website.
Quicken up the pace of your WordPress website by doing a little spring-cleaning. You want to streamline your site and make it as simple as possible for your visitors to navigate.
So how you we go about doing this?
➽ Remove unnecessary plugins & widgets: you know those inactive ones and those that are NOT really needed such as animation plugins, flash + duplicate plugins (sometimes you may have two different plugins but they have the same functionality, just use the one that’s best for you)
➽ Reduce the number of posts that you display on your page: display around 6-10 posts per page, then add a “next” button to make it easier for people to browse your posts.
➽ Show short excerpts, not long posts
➽ Compress your files (CSS, JS, HTML): W3 Total Cache plugin can help you out with this
When in doubt, just KISS (Keep It Simple Silly).
2. Optimize Your Images
Humans have always been visual creatures. Heck, I can get lost for hours admiring gorgeous muscular bodies on Instagram.
Did I mention how much I love The Gram?
Sorry, back to WordPress.
On a serious note, if you want to take your blogging to the next level, then you must include some visuals for your audience to look at. It’s more appealing, and makes your website spring to life.
Unfortunately, photos have a nasty habit of taking up storage space.
In order to combat this, resize your images.
This is something you can easily integrate onto your site, as it’s a WordPress plugin.
Last, but not least. USE THE RIGHT FORMAT. Save your files in a JPG or PNG format always. Even when you save, you can adjust the quality to lower format, to lessen up space, and speed up your website.
3. Do Mobile Optimization
Regardless of whether you are trying to speed up your website, you should still incorporate some mobile optimization on to your site.
According to a recent report, nearly 60 percent of all online searches come from mobile devices. Google also sees the advantage of this. So they have now made websites that are mobile optimized rank higher.
So even if people happen to be searching for your website from their computer, your site could still be buried, if your site isn’t optimized.
Don’t let your website get lost in the shuffle based upon something that is easily upgradable.
Here’s a guide on how you can make your website mobile-friendly.
4. Lessen Your Redirects
Believe it or not, redirects can majorly slow up your site.
A redirect is when you send the visitor from one page to another, due to it being removed.
The reason why you want to minimize your redirects is because this essentially wastes your website’s energy by it having to send visitors to various locations.
First, don’t direct people to a page, or resource, that already has redirects on it. For example, you want to redirect this page http://www.twelveskip.com/page1 to this page: http://www.twelveskip.com/page2, but you figured I want to redirect to this page instead: http://www.twelveskip.com/page3. Delete the first redirect first before creating another redirect. That way it will not have too much redirecting going on.
Another way to avoid creating redirects is by naming all of your resources the same. For instance, if your website is using www., then you would proceed to name all of your CSS files with www. as well.
5. Opt for a Simple Theme
Themes are great because they really give your website character, and can be a beautiful extension to your brand.
But they’re also extremely useful in helping to speed up your WordPress website.
You may be shocked to know this, but the WordPress theme “Twenty Fifteen” is as speedy as they come.
The framework is kept simple. It doesn’t include a lot of additional features, making it particularly lightweight.
Things to keep in mind, the lighter something is, the faster it becomes.
So look for a theme, which doesn’t contain a lot of additional features like too much animation, flash elements, large backgrounds, sliders and all that fancy stuff you don’t really need.
6. Use a Reliable Webhost
A reliable web host is crucial to WordPress success.
Your web host is what will enable your website to run. So it’s paramount that you find a host that can handle the size of your site.
There are a ton of hosting options to choose from. It can be overwhelming trying to figure out the right one for you. Here’s a post that can help you choose a web hosting for you.
Once you have one that you think will work, do your research to make sure it IS indeed the right one for your website needs!
7. Invest in a CDN
If you want to turbocharge your website, then getting a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is the way to go.
This results in lighting fast content delivery for the user.
I’m currently using MaxCDN. They actually help my websites run faster.
You work hard to generate content for your site. Don’t let it go to waste by making due with a slow WordPress website.
These are just a few ideas to get your started.
But technology is continually evolving. Do your due diligence to ensure your website is the best it can possibly be.
And oh, here’s my favorite tool for checking my website speed: Pingdom. Use it to test your speed. It will also give you a list the things you need to improve.
Got any other great suggestions for a speedy WordPress website? Shout them out below, yo!
WRITTEN BY PAULINE CABRERA
Pauline Cabrera is a savvy front-end web developer + SEO strategist based in Toronto, Ontario. Passionate about blogging, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and internet marketing.
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