WordPress is an open-source software that can be used to create a website, blog, or even applications of sorts.
WordPress is easy to use, and a lot of people use it.
With an active development community and a wide variety of themes, WordPress is hugely popular.
But popularity isn’t everything.
A website visitor doesn’t care about what theme you’re using. He wants to see what he searched for or clicked on immediately.
With shortening attention spans and a lack of patience becoming prevalent amongst internet users, it has become essential for WordPress themes to be optimized for performance.
An optimized WordPress theme helps with page load times, which in turn helps get the user what he wants to see faster and increase conversions. Having a free live chat application for websites will also help you keep your online visitors satisfied.
Here is how you can optimize your WordPress theme performance:
Get better hosting.
Your website lives on a server. If your server isn’t fast, it will hinder the performance of your WordPress theme.
If you’re using some free hosting, you need to stop immediately. Free hosting is free for a reason. You’re not getting top-notch page load speeds from a free host.
Use a free host to get an idea about hosting but then move on to something better.
The next best thing is shared hosting. Shared hosting is slightly better than free hosting. But still, you’re only paying a couple of dollars or so for hosting, expect the same in performance.
If you have shared hosting, you’re going to be sharing resources with other websites.
If you get a dedicated server to host your website, you’ll see what speed and performance are all about. With a dedicated server, you’re most likely going to get better customer support, which is great if you come across any problems.
If you are currently using free hosting, immediately switch to shared hosting. The performance boost you get from spending a couple of dollars will give you enough reason to switch to a dedicated server later on.
Only install the plugins that you need.
Use what you need. That should be your mantra while using WordPress.
You can find plugins of all kinds that help you out with your website. Almost all of them seem to be offering functionality that would be helpful.
But you need to realize that installing several plugins on your website comes at a cost.
Performance-wise, you’ll notice a significant decrease as you keep increasing plugins.
The number of plugins your website can easily accommodate depends on the hosting you have. If you have a dedicated server, you might be alright. But if you have shared hosting or even worse, free hosting, you’re going to need to become smart about the way you use your plugins.
Once you have your selected plugins installed, you’re going to want to monitor them.
Try disabling a plugin and see how that affects your website’s performance. If you see a significant difference, you might want to have a look at other plugins that have the same functionality and test them out.
Sometimes a WordPress theme doesn’t support a plugin. Make sure that the WordPress plugins you use are compatible with your selected theme.
Optimize images before uploading them.
Images are essential in providing a modern, more user-friendly experience to your website visitors.
But images take up a lot of space. High-quality, high-resolution images require vast amounts of space.
Having a lot of large images on your website can increase the time it takes to load, which is a bad thing.
Use only the most impactful images on your website.
If you have a massive info-graphic, but you’re concerned with displaying only a tiny part, crop the info-graphic and upload the cropped info-graphic.
Also, you should use file formats such as JPEG that help in compressing your image.
When you’re converting an image to JPEG, you’ll be asked what quality you want your image to have. Try to reduce the quality of the picture, but not so much that it would hinder a visitor’s experience.
Use embedded videos.
Videos are interactive and engaging. Having video content on your website increases the likelihood of a visitor spending more time on your site.
But video content, especially high-quality video content, takes up a lot of space. Your server won’t be able to sustain the load of multiple videos.
What you can do to increase performance is to limit the number of videos on your website first and foremost.
The next thing that you should do is use embedded videos on your website from other platforms such as YouTube.
By using an embedded video, the video will load from the resources from YouTube and not your website.
This doesn’t mean that you can go crazy with embedded videos. Use them in moderation as well.
One thing that you can test is to use soundless videos. These videos usually take up less space than ordinary videos.
When testing soundless videos, check for audience engagement. If people don’t mind these sorts of videos, you’re clear to go. But if you find resentment consider embedded videos.
Use a cache.
The cache is a memory where you get to store frequently used images, documents, all kinds of resources.
If you want the best performance for your WP theme, you should have a separate cache for each web page. That way, you’ll be able to ensure the optimum performance of your website.
There are many plugins that you can choose from that will aid you in your cache. WP Super Cache is a great plugin that you can use to increase your site speed significantly.
There are several WordPress themes available that you can choose from. Choose the themes that suit your needs best and have excellent performance.
If you end up choosing a theme that isn’t well known for its performance, you might need to reconsider your choice.
By optimizing your theme, you’ll be able to increase your overall website’s performance. That will help you improve your conversions because more and more users would be compelled to stick around your site for longer.