Website Speed Spring Cleanup

Happy Spring Everyone!

It’s not just time to set the clock ahead an hour or change your smoke detector batteries. Its also time to optimize your website speed and do a website cleanup.

If you don’t already have a cleanup, back up, or website speed optimization plan in place for your WordPress website then its critical you read this as the web is changing.

When I began using WordPress as my platform of choice for website design and development, I had to understand the full scope of the platform and its effects on the web.  Plugins and other elements of every WordPress site play a role in the speed of your site, but more importantly the footprint of WordPress CRM across the internet has forced WordPress to stay ahead of the scope of its users.

WordPress statistics

as of Feb. 2018 according to www.codeinwp.com [1]

  • WordPress runs 28.9% of the internet
  • Around 19,500,000 websites on the entire web use WordPress.
  • 8% of the top 100 blogs according to Technorati are managed with WordPress.
  • 2,645 of the top 10k websites on the web use WordPress.
  • 22,111 of the top 100k websites use WordPress.
  • 297,629 of the top 1M websites use WordPress.
  • 50,000 WordPress.com websites are being launched daily.
  • 120 languages are in use at WordPress.com sites.
  • 71% of WordPress.com blogs are written in English / 5.1% of are written in Spanish.
  • WordPress.com gets more unique visitors than Amazon (126 million per month vs. 96 million per month).

Yes, I know, you don’t own WordPress.com! These stats are critical because your website, if it isn’t already, should be on the WordPress CRM.  When I started in web design in 2003, I was an avid user of Dreamweaver which was all the code and fancy stuff from back then. But today, I believe, I write about 2% of actual code for any website I manage.  This has allowed me to boost my web design business, expand service vs. writing code and analyze data and reach more frequently with proper integrations.

With 95% of my clients using WordPress and me using Managed WordPress to manage my sites I can say resources are much faster and these are some key tips for improving your website speed.

Increasing your WordPress website speed.

  1. Optimize Images

Images are often the culprit for sluggish sites.  If you are saving your images be sure you are saving images as optimized jpeg, gif, png formats.  From Photoshop its as easy as saving for web vs just saving or exporting an image.

  1. Use a CDN

A CDN, Content delivery method, is a proven way to improve site speed.  Because CDNs are Global Network of Servers that provide site visitors static content as images, JavaScript, stylesheets and more, this makes them instant speed boosters on a website.

  1. Minification

Minification is simply the process of removing unnecessary characters, and whitespace from source code without changing the codes functionality.

  1. Choose the Right WordPress Theme

A badly coded wordpress theme can make your site move as slow as molassis.  Look for themes that provide the visual aspect of your site and leave additional functionality to the plugins.

  1. Reduce HTTP Requests

When someone visits your page on your site all the corresponding files must be sent to that persons browser which can be slow if you don’t have them coded correctly.  That’s all the images, CSS files, Javascript, etc.  Reducing the number of objects associated to a page can minimize the number of HTTP requests required for the page to render.

All of these tasks may seem tedious. At most, for the non-web designer like me, you should get accustom to using three (3) critical plugins to assist with website speed on my WordPress sites.

W3 Total Cache is a free plugin with Premier upgrades, that I personally do not use.  This plugin allowed me to increase the website speed of my sites by 29% simply by utilizing these methods.

The second plugin I utilize is SmushIt.  This plugin is a free image optimize that reduces the file size of an image on your site and increases your website speed.  For every 1M content is 10 seconds of load time.  Reducing images on my site has increased the load time by 4.32 seconds.

The last plugin Yoast SEO.  I went back and forth between All in One and Yoast SEO but recent updates to the WordPress community and both these plugins pushed me to use Yoast SEO over All in One.  Yoast not only allows you to improve your site SEO, but includes optimization extensions that connect both W3 Total Cache and SmushIt which allows increased website speed load times.  Now, if you aren’t an SEO expect this wonderful plugin guides you through improving your site’s presence on the web.

Run a Website Speed Test

I recommend you run a website speed test on your site if you haven’t already.  Either you or your website develop can run a quick test with Google Developer Tools>Page Test Insights. Its free and quick and easy to run.

VSmith Media is available for website optimization. Please contact us to review your website (s) and how we can provide a monthly maintenance package for your site.  901-754-0108 or by email at blog@vsmithmedia.com

 

Resources:

[1] https://www.codeinwp.com/blog/wordpress-statistics/

 

Website Speed Spring Cleanup

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