Great question! Speeding up your website gives you multiple benefits. When the page loads faster:

  • Your visitors are happier and more likely to explore your site.
  • Google likes your site better and gives you a better ranking.
  • You site requires fewer resources to load, so your hosting will be cheaper.

How can you speed up your site? Luckily there are some great FREE WordPress plugins and other resources that can help you.

  1. Install a Caching Plugin
    • Why? – Caching plugins can help make the code for your website smaller and more compact so that it loads faster. They also save a snapshot of your page that will load faster than the original which has to be compiled from multiple files and the database.
    • How? – Comet Cache is a great free caching plugin that’s easy to configure. Just install, activate and configure it. To configure it go to the settings page and
      1. check “Yes, Enable Comet Cache”
      2. scroll down to the bottom and click on GZIP compression, select the option for Yes for that feature
      3. then click “Save All Changes” and you’re done!
  2. Optimize Your Images
    • Why? – Images are often the largest part of your site! What looks like a small image on your site can actually be a HUGE image that’s just been squeezed into a tiny box. Optimizing your images will page your page load faster.
    • How? – Check and adjust the size and resolution of your images before you upload them or use a plugin to auto-optimize just the resolution. Keep in mind that the automatic plugins cannot appropriately size the images for you, which is why editing them before you upload them is your best bet.
      • Use the online Pixlr Editor to resize higher resolution images from your camera or phone to a reasonable size and resolution for your website. The nice thing about Pixlr is that the resolution change is built in. If you open and save an image, the resolution is automatically optimized. BUT! you still need to make sure that the size is appropriate. If you are going to upload an image from your phone that is 4000px wide, to fill a space on your website that is 1000px wide, then it’s way too big. Check the dimensions of the file and check the size of the space available on your website and make sure that the image you upload is fits the space available. If you need help with this – give us a call and we can set up a training session.
      • For auto-optimization the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin is great. If you already have hundreds of images on your site and don’t have the time to resize them all, this plugin can batch optimize them for you. They will look the same, but load faster!

These two items should give you a significant boost in your site loading time. You can test your page and see how fast it’s loading using Pingdom Tools. Run a test before you optimize and after to see how much faster the site is.

If you’re interested in further optimizing your site please contact us and we can do a full evaluation on the site including checking your theme and plugins which can also greatly affect your page speed.