Have you taken the time to speed up your website?
Have you considered the impact the speed of your website has?
If your website is slow, you will have annoyed any new visitors before you even get going!
They won’t see your beautiful design, and they certainly won’t read your brilliant content because they would have left your site before it’s even on the screen.
By speeding up your website, you will not only retain new visitors for longer, but you will actually increase the rate in which you gain new traffic.
This is because search engines rank your website for the quality and relevancy of your content, AND for how quick it loads.
That means that the faster your pages load, the more Google will like you, and the higher up the rankings you will find yourself.
How to test your website speed?
The quickest way to test your websites speed is to use Pingdom.
Pingdom allows you to enter any web address and it will give the page a rating based on it’s download speed and general performance.
It goes on to tell you areas that could be improved, e.g. here on StuffedWeb, I could make better use of browser caching.
How to speed up your website
#1. Delete your spam comments
This one is fairly obvious but very easily over looked.
A few comments won’t really make a difference to your website, but if you let the spam comments build up to thousands, then things will have a different story.
To remove your spam, just click the ‘spam’ link from the dashboard, then click the ‘Empty spam’ button at the top.
#2. Delete your post revisions
This is a little less obvious, but every time you edit a post, WordPress will save the old version.
This means that each post is likely to have between 10 and 20 revisions each – especially if you edit within the WordPress admin!
Removing these will speed up your website considerably!
The easiest way to do this is to install the plugin ‘Better Delete Revision’ – This plugin hasn’t been updated for the past two years, but everything is in working order.
Once you have installed the plugin, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Better Delete Revision’, then click the button ‘Check Revision Posts’ and delete them.
#3. Clean up your plugins
Adding plugins to your website is one of the most detrimental things you can do.
However in almost all cases, this is unavoidable.
Instead, you need to keep the number of plugins you have installed on your website to a minimum.
Uninstall those that aren’t activated and consider removing any that don’t get used very often.
The fewer plugins you have, the better.
#4. Clean up your database
We have already made a start on this by removing spam comments and post revisions, however there is still more we can do to help the database.
The first thing you need to do is install WP-DBManager (I know… another plugin).
This will take care of pretty much all the cleaning for you.
Before we make any changes, you must take a backup of your database – this really is a must!
Go to Database > Backup DB in the left menu and click the ‘Backup’ button.
When your backup is complete, go into the ‘Optimize DB’ section, make sure everything has ‘Yes’ selected, then click ‘Optimize’ at the bottom.
Do the same for ‘Repair DB’.
Finally go to ‘Empty/Drop Tables’. In this section you all of your tables again. You need to go through each of those Table names and drop anything that relates to a plugin you have previously deactivated.
Unfortunately, deactivating a plugin doesn’t always mean it will clean up after itself, so go ahead and drop those extra tables from your database.
#5. Add caching to your website
Caching allows your website to save a static version of each of your pages onto your server, this file then get’s used when displaying your pages.
This means that the database won’t have to be accessed to display the content every time a new visitor arrives at your website; which in turn decreases the load time of your site dramatically.
To add caching to your website, you do need to install another plugin (last one – promise).
That plugin is called WP Super Cache.
Simply install the plugin, then go to Settings > WP Super Cache, make sure your on the ‘Easy’ tab then just turn caching on. Done.
If you are more technically minded, then give W3 Total Cache a try as that does have better advanced features, but for now, WP Super Cache will do the job just fine.
Now it’s your turn
Speeding up your web pages doesn’t have to be a daunting task, you just have to stay on top of things by deleting spam, old post revisions and plugins.
Once you have made those changes, take a look back at Pingdom and see how much you have improved.