What have we covered?
In the previous article, I explained some of the major factors affecting the website performance. These factors not only drive the crowd away from your website but also advice search engines to neglect your site. If you plan to rank at the top of search engines, there are two main factors:
- Website content
- Website performance
Although they are two different things, they are tightly coupled. In this article, we will solve various factors which might be degrading the performance of your website. Let me mention that this is going to be a lengthy process
How to analyse the flaws in the website?
In the previous article, I listed 2 major sites which can be used to analyse what is possibly wrong with your website. In this section, we’ll discuss each possible factor in brief and continue resolving each of them as we go forward.
The screenshot below shows a not-so-good website’s report taken from Pingdom. Let’s discuss the listed issues below & understand how each one could be solved.
Note: You will require the WP File Manager plugin to perform some of these steps like replacing resources on WordPress. It involves editing of internal files. Hence, it is recommended to take backup of your work
Reducing Request during Page Load
As the word says, parallelIze your script download to utilize the response delay for one script. This means you need to try to load the scripts more asynchronously rather than blocking the loading for a script to arrive. Paralleling is also a way to improve script load time
Removing query strings from resources
This is a common problem in wordpress where the scripts are managed version wise. This creates unnecessary searches for the respective versions of script each time. Hence, unless important, remove the query strings. This task is extremely simple in WordPress. All you need to do is download this plugin.This plugin is quite straightforward. Just install, activate and it does the work. Remember, this plugin does the work on scripts that are called using wp_enqueue_script() API. Hence, if you have plugins or code calling the script in a different way, those strings won’t be affected
Minimize DNS lookups
As explained in point 1 & 2, DNS lookups add to the time taken for website to load. When you use plugins that render content on the fly using external resources like the Chat plugin or notification plugins used on this website, they cause additional DNS requests.Hence, it is always advisable to host maximum things locally.
Reducing Page content size
The image below is taken from GTMetrix. It gives a better picture of what other problems could possibly come your way while improving your website performance.
I’ll skip few points from the above image and come to a really important point. Caching helps you in a significant reduction of load time. Caching is a process of keeping the content ready to serve when user asks for it. There are 2 levels of caching in WordPress:
- Server Level Caching: In this type of caching, compiled files are stored on the server and served as and when needed.
When it comes to replacing these files you might wonder how to do it in WordPress. We discussed in the previous article that you will require the WP File Manager plugin to perform some of these steps like replacing resources on WordPress. The use of the plugin is straightforward. In case you face any troubles, feel free to comment below
Compress or Lazyload Images
This is the most important factor that affects your page size. Nowadays, the quality of images are getting better. You would normally be using bunch of images on your front page to display your work more professional. However, in order to improve the website ranking, we might need to compress the sizes of images. Compressing the image would usually mean reduction of quality. Basically, it involves averaging of few pixels and reducing overall pixels per inch for the image.
To reduce the image sizes in WordPress is again a really easy task. There is a plugin called Smush Image Compression and Optimisation.This plugin compress all your media on click of a button. In limited version of the plugin, you can compress upto 100 images on one click of button.
As already mentioned above, another way of dealing with images is to Lazy load them. Although there are straightforward plugins for lazy loading images, I found one plugin in particular which works perfect – The BJ Lazy Load to be the best. Except an issue it causes with the recaptcha, rest of the features work perfectly. The website loads up quite fast.
This would be the final step I would advice to get the best out of your website. GZIP compression is a method of compressing the HTML and other resources of the webpage at server level. This helps in reducing the data that client needs to download before they can view our page.
For WordPress, it can be easily implemented by marking the checkbox in WP Fastest Cache options as shown below.Since this is a generic article, here are some links for enabling Apache Tomcat server for compression.
Enable GZIP Compresion in Java – 1
Enable GZIP Compresion in Java – 2
With all these factors explained, I hope you get a considerable improvement in your website performance and you move towards a better page rank. For any doubts, feel free to get in touch.