Have you been wondering exactly How to make a Fast WordPress Website that loads in 1-2 seconds? Did you know that Google and other search engines penalise you if your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load?
You might read online that you need to do lots of fancy stuff, including server side caches and other technologies. The truth is that whilst that is true, it’s a lot about the design and server location.
Go for minimalist
When I create a WordPress website, I use the leanest theme available, like the ‘Hello’ theme. I then tweak them with a child theme and my own CSS code.
This keeps them lean and fast, and reduces the maintenance of the site significantly.
If you love lots of bells and whistles and top heavy themes, you will find your site performance will drop.
Reduce the plugins
Sometimes I see websites with 50 or more plugins. In fact I have created them for clients who insist on every feature known to man. When you create your own child theme you should be able to keep your plugins down under the 20 mark. My website has just 8 plugins, and these include the required ones (in my opinion) like Up Draft back up, Yoast, WP Fastest Cache.
Don’t be lured into adding more and more features. Each plugin has the potential to slow you down and crash your site during updates.
Learn to work within the theme without unnecessary plugins.
If you sell to Australian clients, don’t use the overseas server as it will add seconds to your load time. You will see server hosts for as little as a few dollars per month. Most of these are not based in Australia.
I only use Australian servers, and recommend you do the same. Even though they cost around $10 per month more for an average small site.
Keep your site hosted in the country you sell to as your primary market.
Some things you will need to add on that will slow your site down, like Google Analytics code and Facebook chat. These will ad a second or two to your page load times, however they are beneficial and worth it.
Optimise your images
Try and avid too many large images and ensure your images are optimised. There are many online optimisation websites that are free and easy to use.
To use them, simply visit the site and upload your images. You can then download the optimised version, all for free.
Here is one I use. https://tinypng.com/
You can also use the paid version of WP Fastest Cache to optimise your images, or the CDN feature of Autoptimize.
Ensure you have a WordPress cache plugin, I use WP Fastest Cache, free version. This will speed up your site, but you will need to experiment with the settings to get the best result. I generally use just the Cache feature of WP Fastest Cache and use Autopimize to handle the CSS and JS minification.
It’s no point having a beautiful site if people bounce off it as it takes too long to load. It’s also no point if the search engines don’t display your website.
Keep your WordPress website lean and fast, and keep your clients happy.