Back in the early 2000s, ranking your website on the front page of Google was simple. Just a few pieces of content, some basic knowledge of SEO and a bit of keyword stuffing would almost guarantee large amounts of organic, targeted search traffic.
Over the years Google has significantly improved its algorithm which determines search rankings, which in turn, has made it progressively more difficult to grab that number 1 spot.
It has been confirmed that site/page speed and performance both play a role in how well a page ranks in the search results.
With that in mind, here are a few simple steps which can be taken to ensure that your WordPress site performance is as fluid as possible, without sacrificing any features.
1. Make sure that your plugins and themes are always up to date
Regularly update your plugins whenever updates are available. Outdated plugins may not only affect your sites overall performance but can also lead to other more serious issues if left outdated for too long.
2. Uninstall plugins that are not in use
Much like bloatware on a PC hard drive, having too many plugins installed onto the backend of your site can significantly hinder the overall performance. Cleaning up and removing any plugins that are not in use or are not necessary can make a noticeable difference.
3. Compress images
Compressing images with tools such as shortpixel can improve your pages loading time by decreasing the size of your images without the need to sacrifice quality.
4. Install a caching plugin
Using a caching plugin, such as LiteSpeed Cache can boost your WordPress site performance by up to 10x with no extra work needed from your end once installed.
5. Update to the latest possible PHP version
Your PHP version plays a vital role in the overall performance of your WordPress website. PHP versions have a life cycle and it is important to keep your PHP up to date, as patches, improvements and bug fixes are released for later versions more regularly. The life cycle of any PHP version is supported for around 2 years for each major release.
6. Regularly scan and fix broken links
Broken links and 404 errors can be a pain both on your own site and while browsing someone else’s site.
Regularly scanning and fixing any broken links on your website can do wonders to improve your sites speed, performance as well as overall user experience.
7. Clean out your database
Making good use of a plugin such a wp-optimize will assist in cleaning up and removing any unnecessary data, such as spam and unapproved comments, which can all be automated to make the whole process simple and hassle free. Removing all of this unwanted data will yield a noticeable improvement in your website’s performance.
8. Make use of Cloudflare
Cloudflare eliminates many issues revolving around latency, or, the time it takes for a page to be loaded from the server that it is hosted on, to your device. This is done by caching your websites pages at certain points around the world, thus decreasing the physical distance that the data needs to travel when accessed by someone wanting to view your site.
9. Use GtMetrix
GtMetrix analyses your websites speed and performance and returns suggestions which can be carried out to improve them. It is a useful tool and can make the entire process much simpler, straight forward and it will save you a great deal of time.
10. Choose a great hosting company and package
Lastly, but arguably the most important factor in your sites speed and performance, choosing a good and reliable hosting provider can be the difference between ranking on the first page of Google and having your page get lost among the millions of other sites out there. Of course, we recommend choosing EZtransition to handle your website hosting, as we have great customer service, competitive prices, and excellent service delivery.
Optimizing your websites speed and performance is not as simple as just flipping a switch and having everything fall into place. It is an ongoing process that needs to be monitored regularly, however, the results will be well worth the effort over time. EZtransition includes performance monitoring as a standard service is all our plans that include managed hosting.