You should know by now that starting a WordPress website is easy to do, even if you have no web development technical knowledge or experience.
After all, hosting providers provide setup wizards and one-click WordPress installations. Not to mention, there are plenty of free resources available to help you when you have a problem.
But what you may not realize is that once your website is up and running, you’ve only just begun.
For example, you have to:
- Plan and publish killer on your blog to drive traffic
- Capture emails and create an email signature to encourage campaign opens and click-throughs
- Build a social media presence to expose your brand to a broader audience
- Upload and promote eCommerce products and services
- Perform keyword research, optimize for SEO, and monitor your competition
- And so much more
And to top it off, if you don’t focus on your site’s speed and performance, it won’t matter how much work you do; you won’t rank well in search results and your traffic numbers will suffer.
Plus, with 40% of people abandoning websites that don’t load within 3 seconds, you can expect a high bounce rate, low conversion rates, and minimal revenue generated if you aren’t proactive.
As overwhelming as all of this may sound, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
If you need help maximizing your WordPress website’s performance, check out these helpful tips and start worrying about other things instead such as growing your following or business.
1. Monitor Site Speed
Remember what we said earlier about people abandoning websites that don’t load fast?
Well, it’s true.
And if you don’t do something about a slow loading website, you’ll never become a success.
The best thing you can do when you set out to maximize your website’s speed and performance is to find out where you stand right now before making any changes.
To do this, use the online Google PageSpeed Insights tool. It’s free to use and only requires you to enter your site’s URL for analysis.
After your site is analyzed, you’ll be able to see how fast both your desktop and mobile sites load and even receive suggestions from Google for making improvements.
Once you’ve established a baseline, every time you make a significant change on your site to maximize its performance, you can retest your site and see how far you’ve come.
Continue to monitor your site’s speed and performance as long as you’re in business to ensure your site visitors get the best user experience possible.
2. Optimize Your Images
When it comes to having the best performing WordPress website around, 46% of web performance experts say that image optimization should be your number one priority.
After all, images tend to take the longest to load on your website.
And your site visitors won’t see a thing on your site until every image loads into their browser, which may take longer than 3 seconds if you’re not careful.
Luckily, when you use WordPress as your content management system, optimizing images is a cinch. Using the popular Smush It plugin, you can do the following to your site’s images:
- Resize images’ heights and widths, so they aren’t too large
- Compress images into smaller files without sacrificing their quality
- Process JPG, PNG, and GIF formats
- Manually compress images or set Smush It to do it automatically when you upload a new image
- Bulk compress images to save time
Also, Smush It uses their own servers to do all the work, so your site’s server is never compromised, which also helps keep things running fast.
(Image Source – my website)
Adding images to your website is a great way to grab people’s attention and get them to take action.
They also serve as a good way to break up long text, so people don’t leave before reading everything you have to say.
Not to mention, creating a custom business logo and uploading it to your WordPress site is the best way to build brand recognition and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
But if the images hurt you more than they help, there is no sense using them. That’s why you need to invest some time into optimizing them for maximum loading speeds.
3. Use a Reliable Hosting Provider
There are so many hosting providers out there to choose from that it can be tough to figure out which one is best. This is especially true if you are just starting out and are on a limited budget.
However, we can make things a little easier for you by telling you what to look for in a good hosting provider so you know your site will load fast and perform well – all the time.
So, let’s see what a high-quality web hosting plan should have:
- Support for PHP 7, the fastest version to date
- Built-in security measure to prevent DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, and other malicious activity that can take your site down
- Bandwidth and storage amounts that will let you scale as your business grows (and handle one-time traffic spikes too)
- An easy to use cPanel that you can access when something goes wrong
- Automated backups of your site that are easy to restore in case your site goes down (because it does happen)
- 24/7 support to help stop speed and performance issues in their tracks
- Uptime guarantees
- Built-in speed and performance features
(Image source – my account)
Lastly, you should research a reliable third-party company for buying a unique domain name if the hosting provider you decide to go with doesn’t offer domain name registrations.
After all, a website is no good without a domain name. And the one you choose will have a direct impact on the success of your business.
People will associate your domain name with what you have to offer. If you don’t use one that correlates with your industry, you’ll miss opportunities to get people to convert because they’ll never click on your site.
If you make your domain name too long or complicated, people will mistype it and never show up.
And if you choose a domain name that infringes on a copyright or trademark, you can expect legal troubles to come your way.
That’s why using a good company to register your domain name and putting some extra thought into it is crucial for your future success.
4. Enable Browser Caching
People that return to your website are doing so because you have something they want. And if you make their user experience seamless, chances are high they’ll continue to return.
Enabling browser caching on your website an excellent strategy for delivering static content to site visitors as fast as possible.
That’s because those files are stored in your site’s cache.
And, when someone who has visited your site before returns, they will be given the stored files without having to wait for them to reload through your site’s server and their browser.
For a WordPress website, you can use a free caching plugin such as WP Super Cache, select a single checkbox, and start serving up cached content right away.
(Image Source – my website)
As you see, there are plenty of easy ways to make sure your site is performing the way your site visitors expect it to. You just need to set aside some time to see how fast your site is loading now, and then make changes based on those results.
Before you know it, you’ll be ranking higher in search results, more traffic will be coming to your site, and you’ll see a lower bounce rate as people stay engaged with your content when they arrive.
So, if you’ve just launched your WordPress site and want to make sure you continue to grow and become a success, implement a few of the above strategies and you’ll be all set!