The need for speed is real and not just in the world of F1 but also in the cybersphere, where slow-loading sites dig their own graves. Higher loading times will ultimately affect SERP rankings, and your website might not bring in the business you imagined it will. Even with the best content and tidy execution, a WordPress website that is not optimized for efficient loading will not rake in the moolah.
Sounds like something you wouldn’t wish to experience? Then stick with us and get acquainted with the top four technical hacks that can help you get the most out of your WordPress website.
1. Install a Good WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress pages are not static; in other words, they aren’t ready-made or fixed. They are created new whenever someone looks at them on your website. In order to create and load your pages every time a user accesses your website can take a lot of time and effort, thereby making it a slow experience when multiple users are looking at it at the same time.
We suggest using a caching tool that can save a copy of your pages and show them to your visitors instead of making it afresh every time. This way, your WordPress website can load faster and use less bandwidth.
When a user visits your website, the server retrieves data from your PHP files and MySQL database, conflates it, and serves it in the form of HTML content to the user. This long process can be shortened by using good WordPress caching plugins such as WP Super Cache (free) or WP Rocket (premium).
2. Deploy the services of a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Real-world or geographical distance can also be a deterrent to loading speeds and site performance issues on devices that are away from the physical location of your web servers. For instance, if your web hosting servers are located in the USA, a visitor from the Indian subcontinent may experience slower loading speeds as compared to a visitor from the States.
Most hosting service providers are likely to provide a CDN service as part of your plan or as a paid ad on. One could try CDNs such as StackPath, Cloudflare, etc.
3. Consider splitting long-form posts into pages
Readers appreciate informative long-form blogs, articles, and other deliverables, but if your articles are peppered with multiple images, infographics, GIFs, and the likes of it, it could hurt your page loading speeds! But there is hope; here’s what you can do:
WordPress comes up with a built-in functionality to split long posts into multiple pages using the <!––nextpage––> tag at the point in your article where you’d like the article to appear on the next page. Repeat the process if you’d like to split the article into further pages.
4. Try to reduce the number of database calls by using child themes
You must be familiar with WordPress themes and might want to go with fancier, feature-rich ones. Simply said, a WordPress theme refers to a set of files that determines the look and functions of your website. However, some of them are not coded that well.
The downside to using such poorly coded themes is that they make too many requests to the database, which is a repository of all your website’s information, such as post page, settings, etc. Every time there is a need to display some information on the website, a request is made for the same to the database; this is known as a database call.
Frequent and unnecessary calls to the database can slow down your server’s efficiency by giving it too much work to do. The way around this is to keep a store of static information handy to reduce the number of database calls. Static information refers to data that doesn’t change or depend on the database, such as your website’s language, character encoding, etc. For instance, instead of continually requesting your website’s language from the database, you may simply mention it in your code.
To execute this, you need to employ the services of a child theme which is a modification of the parent theme without tampering with the original files. Hence you can improve the performance of the parent theme without affecting its functionality and design.
Take the example of the code below, everytime you see <?php, it is the sign of initiating a new database call.
- <html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml” dir=”<?php language_attributes(); ?>”>
- <head profile=”http://gmpg.org/xfn/11″>
- <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”<?php bloginfo(‘html_type’); ?>
- charset=<?php bloginfo(‘charset’); ?>” />
You can replace these with static information in your child theme, such as:
• dir=”ltr” instead of dir=”<?php language_attributes(); ?>”
• content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ instead of content=”<?php bloginfo(‘html_type’); ?> charset=<?php bloginfo(‘charset’); ?>”
This will reduce the number of database calls and make your website faster and more reliable.
In addition to the above-mentioned technical hacks to optimize the efficiency of your WordPress website, you could also try a whole host of other tips and tricks, such as trying lazy loading, using a DNS-level website firewall, switching to the latest PHP versions, etc. In case you’d rather have experts look at everything related to your WordPress website development needs, then Team Mavlers is the one you need to hit up!