The cryptocurrency industry is faster than you think, and web publishers need to keep up with it.
CMS platforms(Content Management Platform) help significantly, but users know how slow a WordPress website gets.
Therefore, learning how to speed up your WordPress website can make the difference between being a “top information source” and “just another website.”
But why do we concern ourselves with website speed so much?
The answer is simple: usability.
You may have the greatest content. If your website is slow, your users won’t have the patience to wait for it to load.
And besides the concern for your users, there is one other thing that helps you get more traffic: Google.
Google and most search engines may get a strong ranking signal if the website loads fast. Most search engines want to show their users content that provides a great user experience. Thus, unsurprisingly, you may see new websites ranking higher than older websites just because they are faster.
There are, of course, other ranking factors we won’t get into right now, but speed may undoubtedly make a difference.
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How to check your website’s speed?
There are various tools, WordPress plugins, and websites that will test your website’s speed. But the most straightforward way is through PageSpeed Insights by Google.
The platform will show you how fast a page loads content, its size, and what optimization opportunities you have.
PageSpeed Insights will tell you what unused JvaScripts bloat your website, if your images are too large, if you have unused CSS and render-blocking resources, and many more.
The big advantage of this tool is that it tells you exactly what Google wants from a website and what it considers to be a fast-loading page.
Of course, you can check the website speed in Google Analytics as well. Within the Site Speed reports, you can find average page load times for all of your pages and see how your website works on different browsers and in different countries.
And if you don’t really trust Google, you can even use an SEO tool to check your website’s speed. Most SEO tools offer site audits that give improvement suggestions as well.
But whatever you do, don’t decide your website is fast based on your own user experience.
Your device might have cookies, or your internet connection might simply allow your WordPress website to load fast for you. However, that might not be the case for the majority of your users.
Speed up your WordPress website
Once you find out how fast your website loads, you can move forward to taking action.
Fortunately, when you want to speed up your WordPress website the CMS allows you to fine-tune it without employing a web developer.
There are quite a few basic things you can try that give results almost immediately before you jump to coding.
Use a speed-oriented theme
Have you ever heard of the saying “less is more”? That’s the case with WordPress themes as well.
A theme full of animations and impressive-looking menus and sections may actually bloat your server because of the complex layouts and unnecessary features that will only slow down your pages.
And if the theme is poorly coded as well, your website will look pretty but take a million years to load.
Ideally, you should keep it simple.
As a publisher in the crypto world, you want to send out news fast and have your readers go through your website flawlessly.
Therefore, look for a WordPress theme that offers basic menus and doesn’t mesh in thousands of layouts just to look nice.
Also, find reviews and make sure other users didn’t have many problems with it.
Don’t worry that your theme is too simple. The website will start looking more colorful as you add articles and other forms of content to it.
And because your theme is already lightweight, your website won’t take much of a toll when you start showing ads on it.
Install a WordPress Caching Plugin
WordPress websites generate their pages every time they have to display them to users.
The process can be quite long as CMS makes a call to the server, which will analyze the MySQL database and PHP files in order to serve a graphic HTML version to the user.
All that process can be dreadful for your users; therefore, caching your pages can improve the experience significantly.
By caching a page, you save a preloaded copy of them, which will be delivered directly when a user goes on your website.
Without all the calls to the server, your pages can even load 5x times faster.
Use web-optimized image file formats
Images bring your website to life and make your articles easier to get through. But if you ignore the images’ size, your website will get slower and slower.
Besides technical problems, image size is one of the most common reasons a website loads slow. They increase the page file size, putting more pressure on loading resources.
If you don’t use any specialized paid tool, you can use PageSpeed Insights and it will show you what images should be reduced in size so you don’t have to audit your whole website manually.
However, you’ll have to check the website one page at a time.
When it comes to formats, there are lots of them. But you should focus on these four and be careful how you use them:
- JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group
- PNG – Portable Network Graphic
- GIF – Graphics Interchange Format
JPEG is the most used raster image file format. It’s suitable for image articles because of its lossy compression. But because it reduces the file size and quality, JPEG is not the most ideal for infographics, or anything with lots of text or small details.
PNG is more appropriate for infographics and images that must show some details. That’s because PNG is a raster image file format with lossless compression. It maintains details and contrast. However, it’s not appropriate for complex pictures as the file size will increase significantly.
GIF is perfect for animation but only offers 8 bits per pixel, with 256 colors.
WEBP gives the best compression while keeping the quality. Because it’s a format designed for the web specifically, WEBP manages to offer a file size 35% smaller than JPEG or PNG for identical quality. On the downside, this format is not supported by several browsers and image editors.
And the good thing about WebP is that many plugins automatically convert JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats. One of the most popular is WebP Converter for Media.
At the end of the day, whichever format you use, keep in mind that your page file size should be around 3 MB. Therefore, try not to make your article cover photos bigger than 150 KB and keep other images under 70 KB.
If possible, split your content and comments into pages
Having long articles can show that you have a lot of information to offer.
Having lots of comments shows that users interact with your page.
They both can be good things; however, the longer the page gets, the longer it takes to load. That translates into lower page load speed.
If that’s the case, the fastest fix is to break the comment section into several pages. You can do that by going into your WordPress CMS under settings, in discussion settings, and check the “Break comments into pages with xx top level comments per page and…“.
If you don’t have a comment section or it’s short, you can simply insert page breaks within your article to make the page shorter. After you insert the page breaks, you will see your article divided into two or more pages, depending on how many you used.
And of course, if you need some more customization or your theme doesn’t work well with page breaks, you can use a plugin to split articles into more pages.
Whichever way you do it, you will be able to lower your page’s file size, and additionally, you will get more pageviews for one article than you would get from keeping it on one single page.
Embed rich media formats instead of uploading them into WordPress
Integrating audio and video content within your article will improve the overall user experience and interaction with your pages. However, video and audio content are significantly larger.
Streaming the content directly from your server will use a lot of bandwidth. So, the best approach is to embed the content and have it hosted on a streaming platform.
You can upload your audio or video content to YouTube or Vimeo or something else, then embed it into your page to run smoothly.
Besides mainstream streaming platforms, you can check Theta as well, which can be more appropriate for the crypto world’s needs.
Find what plugins are slowing down your WordPress website
One other reason your WordPress website may be slow is because of bad plugins. They don’t have to be malicious; it’s enough for them to be resource-demanding to run.
Although your intention might have been to make the website more interactive with page builders, social sharing, statistics, sliders, portfolios, calendars, chats, etc., they may cause a poor user experience by making your pages load slower.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep only the plugins you absolutely need in order to run your business.
As a crypto publisher, you will never need WooCommerce; even a chatbot may be redundant.
More important, always research the plugins you’re about to install. Malicious plugins won’t just slow down your website but also create vulnerabilities for bad actors to exploit.
And instead of installing a plugin that slows down your web pages, you better look for an alternative.
Watch your WordPress site updates
Sometimes older versions of a theme and/or plugins can produce sudden drops in performance. This situation is often solved by simply updating them. The updates usually come with various fixes to improve performance and security.
Yet, WordPress is an open-source project, and it is your responsibility to maintain your website in “good health.”
And because we’re talking about code, it may happen that an update will actually break a plugin instead of making it better.
Pay attention to updates and be ready to revert to an older version if you find a plugin that starts malfunctioning and affects your website’s performance.
Try out an AMP Plugin
Accelerated Mobile Protocol is an open-source protocol, mainly developed by Google. The websites that implement the AMP methodology are preloaded on Google’s server, granting them almost instant loading speed.
It is quite restrictive to CSS, but for a publisher’s website, it can work wonders.
In WordPress, you can implement the Accelerated Mobile Protocol through the official AMP plugin for WordPress.
If your website’s theme speed-oriented and straightforward, there shouldn’t be much trouble with the implementation.
However, always check that the AMP plugin doesn’t conflict with other plugins and customization.
Check your hosting
One more way to improve website performance is with hosting.
Shared hosting is the cheapest way to keep your website online as you share space on the server with other customers. And it’s fine as long as you don’t expect your website to have tens of thousands of users. But the more it will grow, the more server resources it will need.
Furthermore, by using shared hosting, you can expect one of your “neighbors” to take up too many resources, impacting your website’s performance.
As your WordPress website grows and you see it getting slower, you should try moving on a dedicated server. With a dedicated server, you can host your website on a server without sharing space with anyone else.
If your current hosting provider offers dedicated hosting, he might be able to help you move your website.
As days pass, the internet becomes a part of our lives more and more. And with the growing interest in 2020 – 2021, we can see cryptocurrencies coming close to mainstream.
But just like any other internet industry, it is affected by the internet users’ lack of patience.
Websites that can not load fast enough are doomed to succumb as users will always be looking to find an easier-to-use alternative.
Therefore, paying attention to user experience and granting a decent loading speed is mandatory in this decade.