With businesses relying on their online presence more than ever, it couldn’t be a more important time to ensure your WordPress website is running as well as it should be. You may have an extremely great WordPress website packed full of awesome content, however do you really know how well it performs for those who have never visited your website before? Below we go through some of our top 2020 WordPress optimisation tips to ensure your website is up to scratch!
Backup your WordPress website
Before we dive into how to optimise your WordPress website in 2020, the first and most important thing to do first is back up your website files and databases. Some of you may have plugins to do this for you, but we generally recommend to do this manually for peace of mind. If you don’t know how to do this already, we suggest to contact your hosting provider who should be able to assist you.
How well your current WordPress website perform?
The next step is to see how well your website currently performs. To help you with this, we have listed two great tools below which will quickly evaluate your website and rank it based on a score. Once you have optimised your website, you can re-test it using these tools to see how much improvement you’ve made.
Remove unnecessary or unused WordPress plugins
The rule of thumb is to always try and use the least number of plugins possible. With that being said, having a large number of plugins (20+) doesn’t necessarily slow your website down despite what many “developers” say. It’s absolutely fine to have loads of ‘light’ and ‘well coded’ plugins installed, but be sure they have been developed by a trusted developer who regularly provides updates.
For example, if you have 20 plugins installed, but in reality only using 12 , then why keep the ones you aren’t using? We see this time and time again with clients installing plugins that they don’t actually need, which builds up over time and unnecessarily bloats out the website with functions that aren’t used.
Are you on the best hosting package for your WordPress website?
To put it simply, your hosting environment is a key part to any successful website, and you need to make sure you’re on the right hosting package for the type of website you have. For example, if you run a large WordPress WooCommerce store with a lot of products, you may want to consider using a hosting package designed specifically for WordPress. However, if you have a very small 5-10-page website with a low volume of visitors each month, a shared hosting package should be more than capable of running your website.
Keep in mind that not every hosting company is the same. If you are having a lot of performance issues and downtime, it may be worth considering moving to a more reliable hosting company. If you are unsure if this is the right move for you, then get in touch! We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a free website evaluation and help you determine if this is something you can greatly benefit from.
Consider using a WordPress caching plugin
A caching plugin is a great way to help reduce the size of your website and serve your pages to your users more quickly. There are plenty of great WordPress caching plugins out there, which will do everything you need. We do however recommend to thoroughly test your website after installing any plugins just to make sure there isn’t any conflicts with your current WordPress theme.
A few benefits of using a caching plugin:
- Cache all your website files to serve them quicker
- Compress/minify your websites code to reduce the file sizes (JS, CSS, HTML)
- Reduce the amount of times the website needs to “speak” to your server
Integrate a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
If your website uses a lot of imagery and/or videos it may be worth considering using a CDN (content delivery network). A CDN will help speed up your website by serving all of your websites assets (such as images, videos, your websites code etc.) from another local server. This will make your overall website faster, reduce bandwidth usage and in most cases provide DDoS mitigation, improvements to security, and other optimisations.
Optimise and compress images
As many websites depend on great imagery throughout their websites, it’s important to ensure all of your images are optimised for speed. This is something most WordPress users overlook when uploading to the WordPress Media Library, so you’re not alone!
Let’s say you upload an image that is 4 MB. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? However, if you consider that most web pages are no larger than a total 3 MB and if you have let’s say 5 images on a page, that’s going to be a pretty large page!
So, what’s the problem? In most cases users upload images that are way larger than they actually need to display on the website. Most images will also contain various amounts of meta data, which stores unnecessary information about the photo such as where it was taken, what device etc. This is where an image compression plugin will come in to help you optimise your images in the background without you even knowing it.
A few benefits of using a WordPress image compression plugin:
- Convert images to Next gen formats such as .webp (depending on which plugin you use)
- Remove unnecessary meta data
- Scale down and compress extremely large images automatically
- Introduce lazy load to make your images only load as they as seen on the screen (depending on which plugin you use)
Hopefully using all of the 2020 WordPress optimisation tips above you’ll be on your way to having a faster and more optimised WordPress website. It’s important to keep in mind that every website is created differently, so if the above hasn’t helped you, your next course of action is to hire an experienced web developer who can help you further. Also, don’t forget that you can also get in touch with our WordPress agency London to get a free website evaluation!
Do you have any other 2020 WordPress optimisation tips that are worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below!