Cameron FrancisAugust 14,2014

Making Your WordPress Sites Operate Faster

Category: Site Design

Faster WordPress Sites

WordPress Site Speed

Nothing frustrates a site visitor more than a site that takes a long time to load. The visitor waits 4 seconds, then 5 seconds and 8 seconds later the web page is still loading! Researchers have found that if a site takes in excess of 4 seconds to load, it is likely to lose one-fourth of its visitors. Sites that take more than 8 seconds to lose can lose approximately 40% of them.
When developing a WordPress website it’s important to use best practices for design and coding in order to keep your site load time to a minimum. Following these best practices will help you to develop a fast loading site.

Optimise All Your Site Images

Many sites still use large images of 100K or more on their home page. If your WordPress site has 30 posts on the home page with links to “read more” and each of the images are over 100K, your home page will be at least 3.0 MB in size.
That bodes very poorly for site speed.
In general your images should not exceed 30KB in size.
Fortunately, you can use Photoshop to easily resolve this issue. Be sure that the resolution of your image doesn’t exceed 72 and that the size of your image is approximately 250 by 250. Image size will vary depending upon your design. When you save your image, save it at the high level, which is 70. This quality will work well for the majority of websites. In addition, rather than using the progressive setting use the optimised setting. This will normally create faster loading images at better quality levels, as opposed to using progressive.

Minimise Plugin Use

Bear in mind that it takes time to load plugins. Don’t include a lot of unnecessary plugins that must load along with your home page. Only maintain those plugins that are vital and get rid of the remainder. Your loading time will be reduced.

When Possible Use Code Rather Than Images

When you’re designing graphics for your WordPress them, attempt to replace graphics with much smaller repeating images. Most sites have graphics that can be tiled vertically or horizontally, unless you are using still photography. Design a repeating background that is relatively thin. This will be approximately 2K in size and may even be 500 bytes.

Utilise A CDN

Making use of a CDN (content delivery network) will allow your content to be delivered much faster. Most CDNs host resources that are not dynamic like audio, images, CSS, JavaScript, and video. CDNs will cache files, which will boost the speed of your site considerably. When a visitor arrives on your site which is on a CDN, the files they need to few will probably have been downloaded already.

Minify External CSS and JavaScript Files

When your site has numerous JavaScript and CSS files the number of HTTP requests to your server will increase. Each HTTP request takes time and creates an increased server load. This will result in a greater bandwidth usage. You can reduce this inefficiency by JavaScript and CSS minifying. This technique will combine all your external CSS and JavaScript files into a single file each. You’ll end up with one CSS file and one JavaScript file that will contain all of your scripts.
This technique can take 25 files and turn them into only two files. This will significantly reduce your server load. It will make your site much more efficient and reduce load time. This will be particularly helpful for mobile users, where load times are often longer than on desktops.

Pre-load Images With A Caching Plugin

Many designers have had the experience of using JavaScript to preload customised CSS and HTML layouts. They reduce the load time by pre-loading them in the cache of the user prior to the site being fully loaded. This is the same methodology that’s used by WordPress caching plugins. They pre-cache images which would take longer to load using standard delivery methods.

Make Sure Your Host Is Good

If your host does not allocate your site with adequate resources, your site will be slow. After you have used the techniques we have described above and your site is still slow, you may have to consider another host. As an alternative, it you may need to upgrade your existing hosting. In any event, if your host does not perform well, then your WordPress site is likely to be slow. Ensure that you are using a quality host.


Using the techniques we have mentioned above will minimise your sites load time and help you to provide a better experience for your visitors. In addition, you are likely to attain improved rankings in the SERPs. Making it easier and faster for visitors to view your content will reduce your bounce rate and improve your user’s experience.

Check out this video to learn more:

Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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