These last few weeks I talked about creating a good user experience on your website including optimization tips to keep your site running lean and mean. When its time to optimize your WordPress site there are some apps and plugins that come in handy to make the job easier.
I'm sharing my favorites tools that I have in my virtual toolbox. Some of these links are affiliate links and I may make a few shekels from them but that's not why I'm sharing them with you. Most of the resources offer free versions or trial runs so you can make sure they fit the bill of your needs.
Let's start getting your website into shape.
Choose A Good Web Host
The best way to optimize your WordPress site to choose the right provider for a fast loading website. WordPress.org recommends that your host supports PHP7.2, MySQL 5.6 or greater and HTTP/2 and fortunately my recommendation of SiteGround hits the mark.
Besides meeting the recommended criteria, Siteground also provides the easy addition of SSL certificate through Let's Encrypt and CDN from Cloudflare. Both of these resources will help to keep your site running fast and secure.
With levels of service to meet all budgets and needs, they are a smart choice for your WordPress website.
Larger images will slow a site down and my process it crop, compress and upload. Quality images are the heaviest assets but sometimes the image is what draws the reader in so you want to be careful that you keep the flavor. Ready to optimize those images?
- Using Photoshop I crop my images. I have smart objects set up on art boards so this process does pretty quick for me. You can use other programs but I found that I prefer to work on my desktop when doing this task.
- In Photoshop I have the TinyPNG add-on that compresses the image when I save it. But if you're using another program like Canva or DesignBold then you can run the image through TinyPNG's online compression optimizer.
- Once my images are ready it's time to upload them to WordPress. This is where the ShortPixel plugin comes into play for me. When I upload an image to my site ShortPixel does its thing to compress and optimize it even more.
Part of the process to optimize your WordPress site includes caching options can speed up high-traffic WordPress sites dramatically and Siteground has their own caching plugin. Some Managed WP hosting disallow caching because they include that in the managed part of managed WordPress.
Optimize Your Database
Over time as your site grows you start to accumulate unnecessary data from deleted plugins, posts and images. WP-Optimize is a WordPress plugin built to help you keep your database clean for maximizing efficiency when you optimize your WordPress site.
WP-Optimize will help you clean up information like spam comments, post revisions, and other trash items from your MySQL database, speeding up how quickly your site loads.
Some other options to optimize your database are WP Cleanup, WP-DB Manager and WP Database Cleaner.
Without optimization, your site can become slow and sluggish which would allow your competition to sneak right in the door before you. Chances are others in your industry are doing their best to improve their websites and you ought to do the same.
If you're not sure how your site is measuring up you can run a speed test Pingdom or GTMetrix. And if you need help optimizing your site for speed, check out Alexei over at WPSpeedGuru.