No one likes a slow blog. Your visitors don’t like a slow loading site and will most likely abandon it before it even loads.
And you, yourself as a blogger know how frustrating it can be when you are trying to write a blog post, but uploading images, or navigating the back end takes forever.
Not to mention, load speed is a ranking factor in Google. A fast loading website is more likely to appear higher up in the search results.
Fortunately there are ways to speed up your WordPress blog.
The first thing you want to do is check your website speed. The 3 free tools outlined below should provide you with a good overview.
Google PageSpeed Insights – This is a tool by Google and will show you the speed for your mobile and desktop websites. They will score both websites out of 100. In addition Google will provide a number of recommendations to help speed up your WordPress blog.
Pingdom Website Speed Test – This is another good tool. It provides more information than the Google test. You will be able to see all the resources that loaded on the page as well as sort it by order of your choice. Pingdom also features a timeline so you can compare the speed again once you have implemented changes to improve the speed.
WP Engine Speed Test – WP Engine is a WordPress hosting company. They specifically analyse your WordPress blog. You have to enter some contact details and they will send you a link to the report to your email. They provide useful and simple recommendations.
Here are 5 ways you can speed up your blog:
Every time someone visits your website, WordPress has to access the database, read code and then produce the webpage for the visitor. This happens every time a web page is loaded on your blog.
Consider installing a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache. This plugin helps to save a version of your website in the database, so rather than creating the page again from scratch this page is served to the visitor a lot quicker.
Images take a lot of time to load, especially those of large sizes. If your blog uses a lot of imagery, this may be causing your blog to load slowly.
Often people running blogs are unaware of image resolutions and they use print quality images on their blogs, which are very large in nature because they are created for print.
Use a plugin such as WP Smush. This plugin will automatically resize large images and compress them to make them faster to load.
WordPress saves a lot of information in its database, over time this can clog up the database and make it slow. Things such as post revisions, unapproved comments and post trash to name a few all build up over time and remain in the database. This can result in making your blog front end slow as well the backend slow.
Use the plugin WP-optimise to clean up your database. This should help improve the speed in the back end.
4. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
A CDN is essentially a network of severs spread out across the globe. When you use a CDN static version of your web pages are stored on these servers. The server used to show your web page is usually the one nearest to the location where the visitor is accessing your website.
Use a CDN for your blog. I would recommend using CloudFlare which has a free service as well as a paid service for larger websites or those who require additional features.
The type of hosting you use can have an impact on your WordPress speed. Shared hosting is cheap but also means you are sharing the server with a number of other websites which could have an impact on your speed.
Consider opting for a dedicated server, or choosing a managed WordPress hosting service such as WP Engine. Fourth Source is hosted with WP Engine, you can read our review here.