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Here they are:

1) Too Many Plugins

If you are using the WordPress CMS, plugins are needed to enrich the site functionality. However, too many plugins slow down a website because they consume a lot of server resources and add a lot of precious seconds to the website.

Before resorting to plugins, find whether the same functionality can be achieved through manual coding. If yes, prefer manual coding. Prefer a plugin if there is no other alternative.

Use the P3 Plugin to see how much resources each plugin is consuming. There is no fixed number of recommended plugins but it’s good to keep the count below 20.

Here are some recommended plugins for a website.

2) Better Web Host

Always make sure your website is on a self-hosted platform and not on any free platform like Blogger. Secondly, refrain from creating the website on free web hosting packages because ‘free’ doesn’t work well always.

Choose a paid web host that offers good shared hosting plans and excellent customer support.

3) Optimize Content Images

Images add visual appeal to website content but they can increase the website load time significantly. Tips to reduce website load time include optimization of images. Install the SmushItplugin which compresses all uploaded images without compromising on the quality.

Install the Lazy Load plugin too. What this plugin does is load the images conditionally, that is, as the reader continues to scroll down, the images load as and where they appear. In other words, the image loading is deliberately delayed to improve the complete page loading speed.

Lastly, prefer to use .PNG images rather than .JPG files.

4) Use a CDN

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a consolidated network of servers which is located and linked across countries with the purpose to deliver content effectively and efficiently.

For instance, if your website is UK based, you bought a web hosting package from a provider in Singapore and the servers are located in USA, can you imagine the time it will take to load your website content? In the last couple of years, experts have focused on the localization of servers, which means that a website and the server location should have the same country of origin.

However, I do understand that this is not always feasible. It is for this reason that a CDN is recommended. The CDN will capture and store the static files on a local server which greatly improves website load time.

If you want a free CDN solution, use CloudFlare but if you want an advanced CDN solution, the only recommendation in MaxCDN. It is the best CDN in terms of features and pricing. If you have a very heavy site with hundreds of pages or if yours is an ecommerce site, use Amazon Cloudfront but remember that it is going to drain your budget.

5) HTTP Request Minimization

What are HTTP requests? These are queries sent to the server when a visitor comes on a page and waits for all the components to load. These components are scripts, Flash, images, stylesheet and others. Higher will be the number of HTTP requests if the numbers of components on a page are high. Overall, it will take significantly more time to render a webpage, leading to increased website load time.

Always focus on building a leaner website through simplified design. Some tips to reduce website load time here will be:

  • combining multiple stylesheet into one
  • using CSS instead of images
  • reducing the number of page elements
  • reducing number of page scripts and placing them in the footer

You can use WP Total Cache plugin to minimize HTTP requests or hire a developer.

6) Use Page Compression

Heavy pages slow down website. Now, if you have been creating long form content and adding images, videos, Infographics and other content formats to a page, the page size will easily exceed 100 KB. The result will be a bulky page which is slow to render by servers.

The best way to improve the loading speed of heavy pages is to compress them with Gzip tool. Gzip compresses the page bandwidth and minimizes the number of HTTP requests sent to the server. Using this technology will easily reduce page loading time by 70%, according to Yahoo.

Read this to understand Gzip compression and make changes to the server to enable compression.

Since 90% of the world Internet traffic travels through Gzip supported browsers, using the technology is recommended to speed up a website.

Endnote

Do not take website loading time issue lightly. Use these tips to reduce website load time and improve the website presence today.

You can either hire a developer or make the changes yourself.

Remember that ‘speed’ is an integral part of Internet business. Customers are not interested or inclined to wait for a page to load. Use these tips to reduce website load time below 4 seconds for every web page.

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