Did you know that website load times can affect your Google search ranking? Google has actually considered site speed a ranking factor for years, and these days it also includes mobile load times.
So how can you speed up a sluggish WordPress site? We suggest:
Delete unused plugins
Resize and compress your images
Optimizing images is low-hanging fruit when it comes to speeding up your site. Most people upload images that are much larger than they need to be! A good rule of thumb is to consider the largest size an image will ever need to be – for instance, if you’re uploading an employee photo that is displayed at 400×400 pixels at its max size, resize it to 400×400 pixels before uploading.
For smaller file sizes, save your photos as JPGs, not PNGs – PNGs are better for transparent images and logos.
Image compression is important too. Optimizilla makes it easy – run your images through their tool to shave off seconds.
Enable page caching
We’ve written about browser caching before, but today we’re talking about page caching. Page caching happens on the server where your site is hosted. When page caching is enabled, the server is able to serve up your website quickly because it’s been pre-loaded, more or less.
If your site is hosted on WP Engine, they take care of page caching for you. If not, we recommend the WP Fastest Cache plugin.
Take a deep dive into your theme’s code
Not all WordPress themes are created equal. Many WordPress themes are bloated and slow because they try to offer every possible customization to their users. A speedy theme asks for only what it needs.
Looking at your theme’s code for optimization opportunities is a technical task, so consider working with an experienced developer.