No one likes waiting for a website to load. A slow website can affect search engine rankings and overall website traffic. Believe it or not, 47% of consumers expect his web page to load within 2 seconds of him. Another amazing statistic is that 40% of her users abandon websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Below are some ways to improve the performance of your website.

#1 Compress Images

One of the biggest things you can do to improve your website speed is to optimize your images. Images are very important to your website and the overall performance of your website. Not only does it bring your website to life, but it also increases user interaction.

However, if your website is full of huge, non-optimized images, it can negatively affect your website’s performance. Image compression is the process of using plugins and other software to reduce the file size of an image. One of the best WordPress plugins for image optimization is Smush. This plugin will automatically compress your images when you upload them to your media library. You can also use this plugin to compress images already in your media library. If you don’t want to use plugins, you can use TinyJPG. All you have to do here is put your image in “Drop your.png or.jpg files here!” Prompt and leave the compression on the site.

Another thing to consider is the image file type. The two main types used are PNG and JPEG.

PNG – Usually larger file size, but higher quality. These should be used primarily for graphics.
JPEG – smaller file size compared to PNG. Photos must use JPEG.
Choosing the right format for your images can also affect your website’s performance.

#2 Combine CSS and JS

Every CSS file and JS file on your site adds to the number of HTTP requests. CSS contains the styling of the page while Javascript (JS) determines the dynamic and interactive elements on the page. The more HTTP request your site has, the more it will affect the loading speed of your website. Combining your JS and CSS file into a couple of files will reduce the number of HTTP requests your site makes.

Hummingbird is an excellent plugin to assist you with asset optimization. This plugin has a user-friendly interface in the backend that you can use to choose which CSS files and JS files to combine. One thing to note when optimizing your site is that sometimes when combining a lot of files into one file, your site may be susceptible to breaking. This is especially true with JavaScript. To avoid this glitch, I would suggest creating a staging site first or going slowly when combining files. Combine a couple of files and then test your website performance. If everything is fine, you can keep optimizing.

#3 Do a Plugin Audit

Plugins are excellent tools to extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress site. However, a lot of plugins will load images, JS files, and CSS files. Each one of these files is another HTTP request, and the more HTTP requests that you have, the slower your site’s loading speed will be.

Review all of your plugins. In all likelihood, there will be some plugins that you don’t necessarily need. There will also be some plugins that have been installed that you just forgot to delete.

#4 Use a Caching Plugin

Every time you visit a website, you make a request to a server. This server then delivers the webpage to your browser with all of the files, images, and elements required to build that page. In all likelihood, your site is going to be serving the same content to users every month. Installing a caching plugin will tell the server to remember and copy the same content that it’s been serving. By delivering all of these files and assets from the cache, your website performance and load speed will prove to be much faster.

#5 Update PHP

PHP is a scripting language that is used for website development services. The WordPress core, all of your plugins, and the theme you use are all built with PHP. It has been shown that PHP 7 vastly outperforms PHP 5. Overall, PHP 7 is faster, runs with less memory consumption, and can serve more requests per second. All of this will lead to a significant performance boost in website speed.

To check what version of PHP your site is using, you will need to contact your hosting provider. If it is below PHP 7, you can ask your hosting provider to upgrade the PHP version. You will want to use the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin before upgrading to see which parts of your site won’t work with PHP 7.

Improving Site Speed

Overall, optimizing your site speed is integral to maintaining and improving traffic. Having a fast site will ensure users stay on your page rather than abandoning it due to slow loading times. By following the tips above, you should be able to see improvements to your site’s performance.

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