Building Your Website with WordPress? Learn How to Optimize it
Haven’t you notice that WordPress had became the most popular content management system choice for blogger and businesses. Well you should because according to statistic research by W3Tech, WordPress is used by 58.9% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 27.6% of all websites. When founder Matt Mullenweg and co-founder Mike Little first released this content management system back in May 27, 2003, they didn’t expect it to be widely use in blogging community, the intention of creating the WordPress CMS was to have a more simpler and more user friendly UI than b2/cafelog, that’s when this useful open source blogging software is birth.
To this day, many notable big brand had been using WordPress as their blogging system. This is due to the fact that WordPress is constantly updated to adapt the modern web blogging system and they also always updated to fix any loop hole and security risk hence make them trustworthy and secure.
Although WordPress is SEO Friendly out of the box, you still need to do some tweak to optimize your WordPress website to properly search engine(s) optimized, load faster, perform better and decrease the resource usage from your hosting server. Here are few tips to optimize your WordPress website
1. Install Caching Plugin
Every seconds count, if you think cache content to speed up your load time for even 1 second will not have any effect on your site, you’re dead wrong! Kissmetrics had compiled facts and infographic on how loading time will affect your business. According to them, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. That’s why installing a WordPress cache plugin such as WP Super Cache is crucial to your businesses.
2. Reduce Your Image File Size
I’ve seen many sites, particularly a photo related site, they all had one similar fault and that is having a gigantic image dimension size, i mean like 5000px width, and this also cause the image to have an enormous file size, about 5-10MB each. Imagine you need to load a website with 5 images and each have 10MB file size, it will take you around one minutes to load a 50MB webpage, well it will depend on your internet speed. Showcasing a high quality images is great for your site or portfolio, however you need to learn to “optimize and resize” the image. In standard point of view, images to view in your computer shouldn’t be more than 2000px width, optimal size would be 1280px width. Luckily if you’re running a website using WordPress, you can use auto image optimization such as WP Smush-it.
3. Use a Mobile Responsive Theme
If you didn’t know what’s “responsive” is then you shouldn’t start your own blog ‘yet’. Unlike the “good ol days” where web developer will only focus on building a website appearance to be suitable on computer screen. In today modern digital age, almost 60% of world population use their mobile phone to browse online, shopping and even blogging. Most WordPress theme developer already adapted mobile responsive in their themes so it wouldn’t be hard to find a suitable responsive theme for your WordPress website. Here are few places you can find free downloadable responsive theme for WordPress. Here’s facts on responsive:
- Responsive make your website view-able in smaller screen such as mobile phone.
- Responsive is cheaper than building your own apps for mobile users.
- Responsive is css based method and its much easier to implement or create than apps.
- Responsive make your visitors happy 🙂
4. PHP7 is Way Better than PHP5
If your web hosting supported PHP7 then you would want to upgrade your PHP version to 7.0.x. PHP7 is faster and less resource consumption, meaning better code process. Version 4.6 and later version of WordPress are now fully compatible with PHP7 so you wouldn’t have any issue when upgrading, however before you upgrade your PHP version, make sure your current use WordPress theme and plugins are fully compatible with PHP7. Many cases had been reported where users website is down or face the ‘blank screen’ after upgrade to PHP7.
5. SEO Plugin is a Necessity
Even though some said WordPress is already search engine optimize out-of-the-box, it is by far perfect. You would need plugin that can help control your site and post meta title, descriptions and index control, this is what WordPress lack built-in. Sometime you need a different or shorter title to show up in search engines, maybe a more catching descriptions to boost your CTR or maybe you do not want a certain post to be indexed by search engines, this is just a few tweaks that WordPress plugins such as All In One SEO or Yoast SEO are able to do it for you.
The tips above are only a friction of what you can do to fully optimize your WordPress website. There’s plenty more on-page and off-page optimization such as minify your WordPress theme html, js and css code, lower your server responses with Gzip and the “Holy Grail” of any website optimization by using CDN. You can learn more off-page optimization WordPress tutorials within the WordPress community.