Speed Up Your WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes can be more faster than you think let’s see how !!?

A few months ago, I ran an experiment to see how much faster I could make one of my websites in less than two hours of work. After installing a handful of WordPress plugins and fixing a few simple errors, I had improved the website’s loading speed from 1.61 seconds to 583 milliseconds. That’s a 70.39% improvement, without having made any visual changes to the website.

According to a 2009 Akamai study, 47% of visitors expect a page to load in under 2 seconds, and 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Since this study, no shortage of case studies have confirmed that loading time affects sales.

In 2006, Amazon reported that a 100-millisecond increase in page speed translated to a 1% increase in its revenue. Just a few years later, Google announced in a blog post that its algorithm takes page speed into account when ranking websites.

So, how can you speed up your WordPress website?

Below are twelve quick fixes that will dramatically improve your website’s loading time, including:

  • identifying which plugins are slowing down your website;
  • automatically compressing Web pages, images, JavaScript and CSS files;
  • keeping your website’s database clean;
  • setting up browser caching the right way.

Lay The Foundation

When your house is sinking into the ground, you don’t polish the windows — you fix the foundations. The same goes for your website. If it’s hosted on a sluggish server or has a bloated theme, quick fixes won’t help. You’ll need to fix the foundation.

So, let’s start with what makes for a good foundation and how to set ourselves up for a website that runs at lightening speed.

CHOOSE A GOOD HOST

Your Web hosting company and hosting package have a huge impact on the speed of your website, among many other important performance-related things. I used to be sucked in by the allure of free or cheap hosting, but with the wisdom of hindsight, I’ve learned that hosting isn’t an area to skimp on.

To put this into perspective, two of my clients have similar websites but very different hosting providers. One uses WPEngine (an excellent hosting company), and the other hosts their website on a cheap shared server.

The DNS response time (i.e. the time it takes for the browser to connect to the hosting server) of the client using WPEngine is 7 milliseconds. The client using the cheap shared hosting has a DNS response time of 250 milliseconds.

If you want your website to run quickly, start with a good hosting company and package.

CHOOSE A GOOD THEME

Unfortunately, not all WordPress themes are created equal. While some are extremely fast and well coded, others are bloated with hundreds of bells and whistles under the pretence of being “versatile and customizable.”

A few years ago, Julian Fernandes of Synthesis ran an interesting case study in which he updated his theme from WordPress’ default to the Genesis framework, monitoring page speed. He noticed that just by changing the theme to Genesis, his loading time improved from 630 to 172 milliseconds.

When you choose a theme, check the page speed of the theme’s demo, using a tool such as Pingdom, to see how quickly it runs with nothing added to it. This should give you an idea of how well coded it is.

USE A CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK

I recently started using a content delivery network (CDN) for one of my websites and noticed a 55% reduction in bandwidth usage and a huge improvement in page-loading speed.

A CDN hosts your files across a huge network of servers around the world. If a user from Argentina visits your website, then they would download files from the server closest to them geographically. Because your bandwidth is spread across so many different servers, the load on any single server is reduced.

Setting up a CDN can take a few hours, but it’s usually one of the quickest ways to dramatically improve page-loading speed.

12 Quick Fixes To Speed Up WordPress

Now that our foundation is solid, we can begin fine-tuning our website.

A good way to start speeding up a website is to look at what can be removed. More often than not, a website is slow not because of what it lacks but because of what it already has.

1. IDENTIFY PLUGINS THAT ARE SLOWING YOU DOWN

P3 is one of my favourite diagnostic plugins because it shows you the impact of your other plugins on page-loading time. This makes it easy to spot any plugins that are slowing down your website.

A common culprit is social-sharing plugins, most of which bloat page-loading times and can easily be replaced by embedding social buttons into the theme’s source code.

Once you’re aware of which plugins are slowing down your website, you can make an informed decision about whether to keep them, replace them or remove them entirely.

2. COMPRESS YOUR WEBSITE

When you compress a file on your computer as a ZIP file, the total size of the file is reduced, making it both easier and faster to send to someone. Gzip works in exactly the same way but with your Web page files.

Once installed, Gzip automatically compresses your website’s files as ZIP files, saving bandwidth and speeding up page-loading times. When a user visits your website, their browser will automatically unzip the files and show their contents. This method of transmitting content from the server to the browser is far more efficient and saves a lot of time.

There is virtually no downside to installing Gzip, and the increase in speed can be quite dramatic. As we can see in the screenshot above, MusicLawContracts.com goes from 68 KB to only 13 KB with Gzip installed.

for more : http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/06/25/how-to-speed-up-your-wordpress-website/

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About Joy Chukwu

Joy is passionate about Technology and believes in “You can do it” approach to life. She is the CEO of Netstark Solutions and the Founder of Smarthire.ng. Her main goals are to impact knowledge, encourage young girls to get involve in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and also make a difference. She loves people and hope to guide you through the digital world.

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