Guide to Accelerating and Boosting the Performance of WordPress Sites

The Internet is a vast ocean of data; your WordPress site is just one of the fish in the sea. The challenge is standing out from the pack.

Maintaining an edge over your competitors requires constant tweaking and fine-tuning. For a website to be successful, it needs to be fast, interesting, engaging, efficient, and user-friendly. That’s a tall order for anyone, especially when you take into account the myriad competition across the World Wide Web.

While this may seem daunting (especially if you’re new to this field), there are a number of tools and responsive web development tricks you can use to improve the performance of your site.

  1. Slow Loading Speed

Slow websites and apps are frustrating, fussy, and, worst of all, bad for business. The New York Times cites that “even 400 milliseconds—literally the blink of an eye—is too long” of a delay for modern Internet users. It adds, “people will visit a website less often if it is slower than a close competitor by more than 250 milliseconds”. Every second your site fails to load, you lose a customer.

You can improve your site’s speed by compressing your website’s code and optimizing image files. Experts recommend adding CSS, Javascript, and other code in external files when possible. This allows you to decongest your code as it opens in a browser. Also, keep your image files compact by changing their format (JPEG and PNG preferred), cropping them to the correct size, and reducing color depth. WordPress gives you the option of selecting your preferred image format.

  1. No Mobile Website

Roughly 80-percent of Americans (and 2 billion people worldwide) are smartphone users. What is more, many of them access the Internet primarily through their phones. Websites looking to keep with this shifting paradigm are moving more and more towards mobile platforms and so should you.

Having a mobile site allows you more flexibility. Not only do you expand your reach, you can also engage with your users on the go. If it’s any motivation, Google recently announced that it will prioritize mobile-friendly sites over others.

  1. Too Many Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are like the annoying relatives you hate to see on the holidays—they intrude your personal space. Although websites allow you to engage with your customers and clients intimately and at a personal level, it should never feel intrusive. Switch out your pop-ups with less annoying CTA Banners. They’re basically the same thing but less in-your-face.

However, if you still want to use pop-ups, make sure you use them wisely (read: sparingly).

  1. Media That Autoplays

Like a pop-up, autoplaying media intrudes your personal space. To throw in another simile, think of it as an online catcall-it’s shocking and much more embarrassing in public. Ease your visitors in by allowing them to find the media on their own. If you really want to autoplay your media, keep it on mute until the user clicks it (like Facebook).

Testing a website’s efficiency can be a demanding task. It requires a lot of concentration, coding knowledge, and experience. Thankfully, you can test and improve your website’s performance across different browsers and mobile platforms using software like Selenium WebDriver. The key to a successful website is giving your visitors a pleasant experience. Provide them the right atmosphere and your website will surely stand out.