Speeding up Your WordPress Site

 

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In this video, we're going to take a look at some ways to speed up your website. One of the easiest ways is to make your images have smaller file sizes. We're looking at a gallery here and if we click this fish, it goes to the full size image. Now my browser is presenting it to me in such a way that I can see the whole thing. The image is actually much larger and, if I click again, it zooms like this. So this is a really, really big image. Here's that same image on my computer. If I right-click and go to get info, we can see right here that it is 5.4 megabytes. That's a really big image. Now we've seen in another video that WordPress actually makes multiple versions of images when you upload them so if I right-click on this one and view image in a new tab you'll see that it's actually much smaller and I saved that one and that one is only 33 K, which is really quite good. So what that tells me is that this page itself is really going to load pretty quickly but if people want to click and view this image it can be very tedious if they're not on a super fast connection. So how can we make our images smaller? This website is called Optimizilla and it is perfect for compressing your images, reducing the amount of data in the image while maintaining a good quality picture. Let's click upload files and I'll upload this large one. Now, simply by uploading it and accepting the default settings we compressed it by 74%. Here's the original and here's our compressed. You can't really tell the difference and you'll be able to tell even less of a difference when it's actually shrunk, on-screen. But we can do even better. There's a quality of 70 now. We've reduced it by 89%, we're down to 602k. If you zoom in, you still can't really tell the difference. So let's go some more. Now you can see some difference here but if we zoom back out you still can't really tell. We're down to 369 K, down 93%. So now I'm going to click download. We have fish-min. So here's fish and here's fish-min, can't really tell the difference. Now the one that WordPress compressed got down to 33 K but imagine if we started with something that was already so much smaller and file size that would get our smaller sizes down even more. Large images are the number one thing that's slowed down your website. If you can compress those and make them load faster, your site will go a lot faster. The next thing we can do is called caching. WordPress has a plug-in called WP super cache. When you load your WordPress website, it actually talks to a database a whole bunch of times and it builds the page every time. With a caching plug-in, rather than build it every time, it saves it so that the next person gets the one built by the last person. It's much, much faster. Incredibly faster. If you expect any kind of traffic at all on your website, I strongly recommend you get a caching plug-in. There's an entire series at ostraining.com about cashing your website and making it go faster. Now there's a caveat to using a caching plugin that's very, very important. This site is hosted on GoDaddy and GoDaddy has a built-in caching system. You can tell because when you go under the GoDaddy icon here, there's a flush cache. Now many WordPress specific hosts offer built-in caching. If they do that, you don't need a plug-in and, in fact, your plugin may cause trouble. I also recommend that you use it rather than using a plugin. Don't try to turn it off and use your own plugin. The one built by the host for their servers is almost certainly going to run much more smoothly than any plugin you could get because it was custom built for their servers. So if you're already on GoDaddy, be sure to use their caching system rather than another caching system. So, to summarise, the two things that you can do to speed up your site the most are having much smaller image file sizes and using caching. Now I say these two as opposed to these seven or these 10 or whatever because these two are by far the most significant advantages. There are many more other things you can do to speed up your site but the speed ups get much smaller the farther you get from here. Smaller images and caching provide very dramatic differences and the great thing is you can go back and do it now even if you already have a site. You can go back and take your images, optimise them and re-upload them. You can add caching at any time. So if you already have a site or you're building from scratch, be sure to have compressed images and a good solid caching system.

Tags: WordPress