Running a website that loads and runs too slowly is a sure-fire way to lose customers. Fortunately, there are tons of easy ways to speed up your site. Here are our top tips.
Think smart for video
One thing that can speed up a WordPress site is to be smart about choosing the physical format of video. Not every device, browser, or platform supports every format out there. While there’s software to create a website media player and you can convert, getting the format wrong can mean videos spend a long time buffering, or sometimes don’t even load at all.
Here are the top video formats of the moment.
An open-source video format, WebM works well in the current landscape of the Internet, as it was developed with web usage and streaming in mind. It adjusts the quality of the video, even as it plays, according to the connection speed and processing power of your device. Pretty cool, huh?
Designed for Flash video players, FLV is therefore very popular for video streaming platforms such as YouTube. It’s also easily downloadable due to small file sizes. However, if you need Mac compatibility, this isn’t the format for you. It’s not great for mobile devices, either.
Like WebM, WebVTT was invented to be the best possible option for the contemporary Internet. They did an excellent job of it, too. It’s the most compatible format currently out here and is supported across all browsers and platforms.
For a video format that manages to combine good quality with small file size, MP4 is the way to go. MP4 files can store video, audio, text, and still images, and it’s pretty much the most universal video format around. MP4 was also the first video format to support HTML5, all the way back in 2001.
Another easy way to speed up the load time of your WordPress site is to make sure you don’t have hundreds of unnecessary images sitting in the back end. If your library is hosting images that aren’t visible anywhere on the site itself, delete them. They’re just taking up space! You also need to make sure that images hosted on-page are an appropriate size for web usage, as huge images will increase your page load time and cause it to lag.
Use an appropriate theme
There are tons of WordPress themes out there, but don’t be distracted by the prettiest ones as they might not be suitable for your site. If you don’t need a fancy theme, don’t use one. They often run much slower than simpler, more lightweight versions. You should also make sure to always update your theme, as out of date themes can also cause problems and cause the site to slow down.
Plug it in
If you’re running plugins on your site, make sure you’re keeping them up to date and only installing or activating plugins you need. Any out of date or dead plugins are just taking up space, confusing the site and causing it to slow down. Delete or deactivate!