Web users are well known for having a short attention span and a slow website can severely hurt your online business. Today, many people blog for a living or maintain a blog in conjunction with their main website to provide everything from product news updates to articles related to their niches. WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging platform, is the content management system of choice for almost every professional blog. This open-source platform provides numerous themes, plugins and other features, but it is also easy to end up with a poorly performing site unless you take some important extra steps to optimize it.
Use Less Graphics-Intensive Themes
Some themes might look particularly great, but you must also find the right compromise between a theme that looks good and one that does not hold your website back in terms of speed. There are literally thousands of themes available for WordPress and the majority of them are available for free. You can easily swap between themes with just a few clicks of the mouse, making it easy to test your blog until you find something which performs adequately.
Use Fewer Plugins
The countless plugins available for WordPress can provide a great deal of extra functionality to your blog and almost every blog has a selection of them in use. However, it is easy to go overboard with plugins and end up using additional features which your site really doesn’t need. Try cutting down on plugins and ensure that you keep the ones you use up to date in order to keep your site running at its best.
Almost all images on the Web are in the JPG format, but pictures in this format can also be of varying levels of compression. Pictures make a considerable impact on site speed, so try to find the best compromise between quality and file size. If your Web host is fairly slow, then you may want to consider hosting your images on a popular image sharing website such as Flickr. There are plugins available for Word Press which allow you to display such images on your website without them actually being hosted on your site itself. This also cuts down on bandwidth and disk space required.
Optimizing Your Database
The database is what operates your website and optimizing it can make a very significant impact on its performance. To optimize your WordPress database, clean up your website by removing old versions of posts and any other content that you don’t need. You can also take some extra steps by manually removing unused data directly from the database itself, although this requires a fairly in-depth knowledge of MySQL. Alternatively, try using a plugin such as WP-Optimize or WP Clean Up.
Your Hosting Company
Last, but certainly not least, it may be time to choose a different hosting company, particularly if you find that the performance of your blog is consistently poor even after making the above optimizations. The Internet provides a wealth of useful resources to help you find a better hosting company. Read user reviews and ratings before moving to a new hosting company.