10 Jan Mastering WordPress Optimization
Even in 2018, WordPress continues to grow in popularity and remains a pillar on which millions of websites stand. If you’re looking to grow your site, you’ll benefit from learning the best practices for WordPress optimization.
The internet’s landscape is rapidly changing. Between Google changing their SEO ranking algorithms to new technology coming out, websites need to be on top of their game. WordPress optimization has never been more important for small businesses looking to grow their online presence. This is where a skilled SEO expert can build upon the basics and expand your sites ranking by properly optimizing your site.
With the new year, the way users are consuming internet content is changing and with that, the best WordPress optimization practices change as well.
Back in 2016, mobile internet users officially overtook desktop users. Mobile WordPress optimization is more important now than ever. It’s rumored that in 2018, Google will switch to a mobile-first index, ranking websites based on their mobile versions first. Already we’ve seen best practices change across the board. Both back-end and front-end, from functionality to design developers and designers prioritize mobile first. In the new year, the mobile first mentality will only get stronger.
If you’re one of the few who haven’t brought mobile optimization to your site, this should be enough to prove that it’s necessary in today’s competitive landscape. It’s time to make the right moves and get on board with proper WordPress optimization.
Common mobile optimization techniques for WordPress include responsive themes and being mindful of what content you use and where. Your business site should deliver a great mobile experience. Consider stripping away unnecessary pages and condensing your content down for easy, fast viewing. Don’t hide your information. If you run a website for a restaurant, make your menu and contact info apparent.
Speed up your site to reduce load time
Some WordPress sites are notorious for slow load times. Especially if a pre-made theme is bought. WordPress is very feature rich and some of the themes out there are bloated in an attempt to accommodate everything a user could possibly want to do. A proper developer would be able to cut down this bloat significantly with minimizing and concatenating files. If you’re curious about your site’s load time, there’s many sites out there that will give you a time and score. Most of these sites also provide easy to understand break downs of what could be improved upon.
If you think your site has gone under proper WordPress optimization, you could be looking to switch hosts. While starting, many business owners go with the most inexpensive shared hosting plan they can find. While this decision is smart financially, it could hurt you in the long run. Users won’t wait for your site all day. The average user waits about 3 seconds before hitting the back button and moving onto a competitor. If you’re looking to improve your hosting package, we offer affordable hosting and maintenance services.
Making use of Plugins
There’s thousands of plugins for your WordPress site out there. If you’re running a blog site and looking to improve your SEO, chances are you’re already using a plugin like Yoast SEO. This plugin specifically offers page analysis, technical WordPress optimization to improve your SEO ranking and sitemap generation.
All In One SEO Pack is also a must have. It comes with powerful functions such as automatic meta-tag generation and title optimization.IT includes all of the expected SEO functionalities. If you’re looking for something for a specific goal, chances are you can find it in the plugins section of your WordPress site. There’s plenty of plugins that will check broken links or compile and submit Google Sitemaps.
Technical WordPress Optimization
Compressed code is faster code. WordPress comes with an option called “gzip Compression”. The gzip compression algorithm is a common way to make file sizes smaller. Smaller files means faster load times for your users. Some people have seen a 300% reduction in load times after enabling this option. The only reason it isn’t enabled by default is because, there used to be a browser compatibility issue back in the day. Now, with modern browsers, that compatibility issue has almost entirely gone away. The easiest way to enable gzip compression is via a plugin “Force gzip”.
Loading large images significantly increases your users load times. Some WordPress users take a picture and upload it directly to their site. WordPress has some built in cropping, resizing and compression but you should always try to get your file size down before uploading to the server. You should always convert your images to an appropriate file type ( .jpeg, png or .gif depending on the image ) before uploading it to your site. Alternatively, you can use a plugin made for proper WordPress optimization, WP Smush.it automates the image optimization process.
These are just a few things you could do to improve upon your WordPress site’s optimization. There’s plenty more out there and some are more technical than others. If you have a good designer or developer, they should be familiar with all of these practices as well as the more technical ones. Plugins are a great way for business owners to take the first steps into proper WordPress optimization themselves. WordPress is a great platform and will continue to be so. But, like anything WordPress can have it’s drawbacks if it isn’t properly thought out and cared for. While no ones certain what 2018 will bring for WordPress and website optimization in general, if you follow the guidelines provided here, you should have a good starting ground.