Do you have issues with the loading speed of your website, or maybe you are running out of website hosting space?
If so, then we have some good news for you. There are plenty of ways that you can optimize these factors and make sure that people don’t leave your site before they even get started!
Here are six things that will help improve both loading time and size:
- Optimize your images
- Use a CDN for loading assets such as JS, CSS, fonts, and media.
- Remove any unnecessary plugins that may be slowing
- Use a professional hosting company that gives you more space!
Of, so the first 5 of these solutions may sound technical and if you’re not in the business of building or maintaining websites you are probably sweating that this is going to be expensive!
If you are running a WordPress website it is actually very easy for anyone to do, and it can cost you absolutely nothing!
The sixth issue of not enough web space is also very easy to fix, and you’ll thank me for this advice! We’ll look at this one at the end of this post.
Optimising your images
Oversizes images account for one of the biggest factors when it comes to a slow loading site and excess use of hosting space, but is very easy to resolve.
In WordPress, go to your plugins and click on Add New Plugin, and search for a plugin called ‘WP Optimise‘.
This plugin could actually fix all the issues mentioned above.
Once you have installed this free plugin, click on the new link you’ll find in your sidebar in WordPress and click on ‘Images’. This feature lets you compress the size of your images without compromising the quality of the images. You’ll find you have the option to choose the amount of compression from Maximum Compression to Best image Quality. You’ll also see the list of images that require compressing. Click on the Select All link and compress these images. Depending on how many you have could take any where between a few minutes to an hour or so to complete this task. It will tell you how much space you have saved. Once coupled you should start noticing your site loading faster if it was needed.
Depending on which theme your website was developed in, you may or may not have a compression tool built into the theme. The themes I use always have this, which greatly increase the loading speed of my clients websites. However if you don’t have this, then the WP Optimise plugin can fix this as well.
Use a CDN for loading assets such as JS, CSS, fonts, and media.
If you are really having slow loading speeds, I recommend signing up to Cloudflare. Cloudflare is a CDN (Content Delivery Network) which helps distribute your content, minimising the lead-time on your server. Cloudflare has a free version available which manages this perfectly. You just need to ensure your Domain’s Name Server records are changed to point to Cloudflares, and then you are all set! IT only takes a few minutes to complete this process.
In WP Optimise you’ll find this functionality is available. Before changing any settings I strongly recommend you backup your site with a plugin such as Updraft Plus (also free) just in case you change something and your site doesn’t like it, you can always revert back. By minifying the HTML you should notice a difference in speed.
Remove any unnecessary plugins that may be slowing
This is important as many websites will often have plugins installed that are either not being used. Even if they are not active they can slow down the load time of a site. On average a plugin adds about a quarter of a second to your load time. A good web developer will know how to select a theme that has the functionality included, doing away with as many unnecessary plugins as possible, however if you have a site that is overloaded with plugins, run your site through GT Metrix and see which plugins are slowing your site down, and see if they can be eliminated.
Once this is all done, I recommend refreshing the site’s cache and turn on the Caching plugin inside of WP Optimise and usually you’ll see a much faster running site instantly.
Use a professional hosting company that gives you more space!
OK, now this sounds like a no brainer, however it is easy for businesses to be talked into a hosting plan without knowing how much hosting space they will have available or need. And the amount of hosting you get on a plan totally depends on the hosting service.
At Smartfish our base plan starts with 150GB of space. So this ensures that you’ll pretty much never run out of hosting space, even if you decide to load large product catalogues or videos.
However some of the less professional hosting solutions will charge you a premium for plans as small as 500MB, which to me is criminal. Even Google Drive gives you 15GB of space for free!
So avoid these hosting services at all costs and ensure you have plenty of hosting space and bandwidth available from the start so you don’t run into any problems later on and have to change providers or pay another premium to upgrade.
And of course, if you have any questions about your loading speed or hosting solutions, talk to the team at Smartfish. We’ve built and hosted hundreds of websites and know how to get the best results from any WordPress site.