3 Ways to Increase Site Load Time
I previously posted that I discovered my site did not load very quickly – you can read that post here.
So, in the week I have been looking at what could potentially be slowing my site down.
There are a lot of things to consider, but for this post I am going to concentrate on 3 of them.
Plugins are a great addition to any WordPress website and I don’t know about you, but I like testing out new ones I hear about, just to see if they are any good. What I sometimes do though, if I decide not to keep them, is just deactivate them and not delete them. This is a big no no if you are trying to have your site load faster.
Deactivated plugins do not directly slow the site down, they just take up extra space, which could lead to the slowing down of your site. Either way, deleting unwanted plugins, is a good habit to get into.
A cache plugin stores copies of your generated pages as flat html files. This means that, unless something changes (new post/ comment), subsequent visits do not need to touch the database, saving a lot of processing. So, when visitors visit your site they are seeing a stored version of your page.
The two most popular plugins seem to be:
W3 Total Cache does all of the things that WP Super Cache does and then has some more advanced features. For now, I am going with WP Super Cache, as I found it easier to set up.
Web Trick Blogs has a great post to talk you through setting WP Super Cache onto your website.
Similarly, WP Lift has a post to take you through the setup of W3 Total Cache.
Image size plays a massive part in the load speed of your site. You can optimise images using any photo editing software you have on your computer, or another option is to use Yahoo Smush It. You can either upload the picture to the site or supply the image URL and it will ‘smush’ the image for you – optimising the image without losing any of the quality. It gives you the results of how much it was able to ‘smush’ the image. You can then download the modified image to your computer.
There is also a WordPress plugin, by the same name, that images automatically get run through when they are uploaded to the site. You can even ‘smush’ all of the images that are already on your website. The best result I had was a 66% reduction in size of one of my images.