One of the reasons why so many bloggers and webmasters choose WordPress for their content management system (CMS) is its ease of use. Whether you are experienced in web design or not, you should have no problem launching a WordPress site. Using the platform’s signature 5-minute installation, you can have a site up and running in minutes.
But if you really want to take advantage of WordPress and everything it has to offer, you should optimize your site using the following techniques.
Limit Your Plugins
There’s nothing wrong with using plugins on a WordPress blog or website. In fact, doing so is a great way to add new features and functionality, without having to mess with complicated code. However, you should be warned that using an excessive amount of plugins may slow down your website to a crawl. After downloading and installing a new plugin, run a speed test to see how much latency it adds. If it’s more than one second, you may want to delete the plugin.
Use the Right Theme
Don’t underestimate the importance of using a good theme for your WordPress site. WordPress has tens of thousands of themes, some of which are free while others are paid. When choosing a theme, consider its overall design, ease of customization, widget support, and cleanliness of code. Every successful WordPress site is powered by a good theme.
Beware of Duplicate Content
The default WordPress settings may create some conflicting problems in regards to duplicate content. Each time you publish a new post, for instance, the content may be published in several different locations, such as the original post URL, author page, tag, category page, and archives. You can tell Google which URL to index and which ones to avoid by modifying your robots.txt file. Alternatively, you download and use the Yoast SEO Plugin for this purpose.
Shrink Your Images First
Try to get into the habit of resizing your images before you upload them to WordPress. Like many CMS platforms, WordPress has a convenient image resizer/cropping tool built in. The problem with this tool, however, is that it still forces the visitor to load the original image, which in turn can slow down your site’s load times. Before uploading an image into a post or page, resize it in a program like Adobe Photoshop or Fireworks first. You can even go one step further by optimizing your images with a lossless tool like https://tinypng.com/.
Another simple way to optimize WordPress websites is to adjust the RSS feed to only display excerpts of posts. By default, WordPress will display the full content of a post in the RSS feed, which may cause some issues in regards to duplicate content. To prevent this from occurring, log into your site and access Settings > Reading and tick the box “Summary” next to “For each article in a feed, show.”
Have any other WordPress optimization tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/titanas