Website Speed Optimization is a topic that many people care about… especially those who have just approached to build a website with WordPress.
Because not only Website Speed helps users have the best experience but it also affects SEO.
If you are a professional programmer, this is not difficult. However, not everyone has knowledge and experience on this topic. Therefore, in this article, I will give 7 tips in optimizing website speed for newbies.
These tips are quite simple, everyone can do it and you don’t need to have high technology.
1. Choose the good hosting / server
In order to create a professional website that does not require a lot of technical skill, WordPress is one of the top choices. In Easy Step-By-Step Guide to Building a WordPress Website, I have mentioned that you will need to pay a fee to buy a domain name and web hosting service.
Currently there are many hosting / server providers, however not all offer good quality services. So if you determine from the beginning about building a professional website, you need to choose a reputable provider. Such as: Godaddy, A2hosting, Stablehost,…
If you are a newbie, you should choose shared host!
If you do not have much experience, shared host with Cpanel manager will be the choice I recommend, because it is easy to use, and There are many guides about it on the internet.
Here are some reliable providers I recommend:
- Godaddy:This is the hosting I used when starting to build my website because the price is quite cheap and there are many discount coupons monthly. The quality of service is not equal to the higher-end providers, but this is still relatively stable. This is still a good choice for beginners to make websites.
- A2hosting: A2 is the Shared Host that I like the most, in terms of the general cost, it is more expensive in the renewal for the next year ($ 131.2 / year) compared to Hostgator or Stablehost… but its swift package is very quality, The cost for the first year of using the service is $67 if there is no coupon and you will receive a free domain included.
- Stablehost, Hostgator: These are 2 providers with medium quality, better than Godaddy but slightly less than A2hosting. Of course these are still two good choices for you to start using and rest assured about quality and stability.
You should choose the server location near the source of the traffic.
For example, if your customer is in Southeast Asia, the server should be located in Hong Kong, Singapore or Tokyo. As you can see on this blog, the content is posted in English, and I focus primarily on readers in the US and Europe. So I set server location in US.
Also you should consider other factors of hosting / server such as storage capacity, RAM, CPU,…
When you have mastered Cpanel, switch to CPS
After a while, when you know how to develop the website and have more and more traffic, investing in a better server with faster speed is necessary.
Currently there are very good and popular VPS Server providers such as Vultr, DigitalOcean, Linode,… and almost all have attractive coupons for new accounts.
For example, you will be awarded $52 or $ 32 for a fully new registered Vultr account, similar to DigitalOcean and Linode. You can easily find these coupons on google.
2. Use optimized WordPress Themes
If you are in the early stages of blogging, there are currently 2 providers of themes that I recommend you to use: Genesis (including Genesis Framework and its accompanying Child Theme), and Mythemeshop.
After you’ve used it well, there are many other options, such as Thrive Themes. However, the 2 themes I mentioned above are easy to use for beginners, you can also create many beautiful websites in many niches with them.
Genesis ranked first in optimizing page loading speed. I had an article explaining in detail about this themes platform, you can refer to details here.
You will find many sites with very beautiful and sophisticated interfaces. However, most of the default interfaces of the themes after activating on your website will not be as cool. Because those site owners have edited and optimized the code in the theme a lot. This is almost impossible for beginners.
The Mythemeshop themes are not as compact as Genesis, but they are relatively standard and there are many multi-feature themes, suitable for you to make news sites or blogs that are not too complicated.
Especially in Mythemeshop there is a function that is importing demo, which means that when you download the theme and install it on the website, it has a feature that helps you upload the demo file or download the demo file to import.
After importing it, your site has the same interface as the sample site that Mythemeshop posted on their homepage. This feature is very useful and convenient for newbies.
3. Do not install many unnecessary plugins
In the process of building a website, you imitate the installation of plugins on other websites without carefully considering whether it is really necessary or not. This leads to a situation where a simple website has 20-30 plugins installed. Thus, the website speed will not be smooth.
How many plugins for the site should I install?
I have a post to introduce the top 10 essential plugins that you should install as well as the utility of each type of plugins and how to install them in detail. You can check it here!
You just need to refer to it in that article. From time to time when you are more experienced, you will know which plugins are needed for your site.
I am using 15 plugins on my site. Of course each plugin has its own functions and uses for my purposes.
Delete unused plugins!
If you have installed any plugins that are not used, please deactivate those plugins and then make sure to delete it completely from the website database.
If you do not delete the deactived plugins, they will still occupy a certain amount of data and potentially affect the page loading speed of the website or admin area.
To deactive and delete the plugin, go to Plugin => Installed plugin. Here you will see a list of plugins you have installed, where you can easily disable and remove them.
Or another way, if you accidentally install a certain plugin that affects the admin area access, you can’t enter this area (page error or other error display), so you can’t go to the plugin section to manipulate. So to delete the newly installed plugin, you should go to WordPress Installation on hosting or server
- On Hosting: Go to Cpanel -> File Manager -> select the right site to delete -> wp-includes -> plugins-> and delete the plugin folder that you don’t need to use.
- On the server: Use bitvise SSH to connect, then go to the WordPress installation directory, go to wp-includes and do the same as above.
4. Use Summary feature in Reading setting
If you do not customize anything, by default WordPress will display the entire article content + images in the article on the homepage and archives page. This will make the loading speed of Homepage, Tags Page, Categories Page and other Archives pages very slow and affect the user experience.
Depending on the Themes you are using, there will be Themes Options to customize the Post Excerpts section as you like. With General Setting, you can go to Setting -> Reading -> Summary instead of Full Text.
5. Do not upload music or video directly to the server
To add videos to the article, you can upload it directly to the website via the Add Media feature and it will be displayed as HTML5. But Why did you upload it to the server when you already have many other platforms to upload music and videos, such as Youtube, Vimeo,…?
When uploading media files directly to the server, your site is easy to encounter some problems such as:
- The files cannot be uploaded, the server is overloaded, the video size is too large.
- The server runs out of capacity after uploading files
- The video failed to run due to some format problems of downloading the video and uploading it directly to the server
Youtube is a platform created by Google dedicated to uploading videos, and it supports embed code so you can embed it in wordpress editor very easily. There are several options for you to do this:
Responsive video Shortcode
Just select that shortcode, it will show you where to paste the URL link of Youtube / Vimeo / Dailymotion video, just copy and paste the URL and you’re done! For example, this is my ThriveShortcode:
Embed code of YouTube in the text of the editor
In this way, you do not need to install anything, just go to Youtube, open the Video you want to put in the website, select Share => Embed and copy the code and then paste the embed code into the post.
6. Use Caching plugins
Using caching will help speed up page loading for your website. It works by saving the cache for visitors who have visited your site, thereby speeding up the page loading for those visitors later on.
The recommended Cache plugins are:
You can refer to this article about the best Caching Plugins!
7. Optimize images properly
If you are uploading large images directly to the article, it will be easier to encounter the “down time host” problem. And with large images, when users visit the site, the page loading speed will be very long, affecting their experience.
This situation happens very often because almost all beginners always take photos they find online and insert them into the article without noticing the size of the image.
Optimize images for websites in Photoshop
Always Resize the image size before uploading. Use Photoshop -> Open the image -> Image -> Image Size -> and resize the image to the size of your website. (I usually choose 700-1000px depending on the page). Selecting an image size that is too large is not necessary because it only displays enough to your website size. Resizing will help you reduce the image size quite a lot.
Optimize image resolution in Photoshop: After resizing, select File -> Save For Web -> Quality 70-80. You should choose jpg format. After optimizing the image with Photoshop, your image may be approximately 100kB or less. You can save the image and use the edited image to upload it to the website.
These are very basic and easy operations with photoshop!
Use image compression plugin / service
If you do not want to optimize images manually, then you can use image compression plugin, but I still prefer to use Photoshop, depending on your choice.
Currently there are many good image compression plugins, the most popular are Kraken and WP Smush. With Kraken, you may not need to purchase it, you can use Kraken’s free image compression feature here: https://kraken.io/web-interface
Fact: I am using the free version of WP Smush Plugin on this blog!
These 7 tips are all very basic and easy to implement tricks. However, the effect is not trivial at all. Hopefully the above knowledge will help you optimize the page loading speed for your website in the fastest way.