Making a WordPress website load quickly begins with ensuring your website is developed using best-practices and is not bogged down by unnecessary plugins and 3rd party software. We audit all sites before attempting to optimize them for speed and provide our clients with a list of requirements should they want to get serious about their WordPress speed and minimizing load time.
A fast WordPress website should be using a Content Delivery Network or CDN. This is a service that allows a website to be cached on multiple servers around the world. The benefit of a CDN is that the WordPress website can then be served from the neatest cache as opposed to the main web server. This allows WordPress websites to load faster for users in all geographic areas that a business serves. It also helps to reduce the amount of resources the main web server needs to spend processing, loading and sending data. Less resources means lower hosting costs and/or a faster website.
Caching is sometime required at the web server level as well to ensure as much information as possible is saved in the users’ browsers. This means that elements like images are downloaded once and then reloaded from the users’ local cache on their computer instead of repeatedly being downloaded from the web server. When that same user returns to the site hours or even days later those files are already in their own cache and don’t need to be downloaded again. This, again, helps to reduce the amount of resources required which further speeds up the site.
Nonetheless, website assets do need to be transmitted for users to see the site. We use compression to reduce the size of those assets before they are transmitted. This helps to reduce the amount of actual data that needs to be transmitted through the internet. Less data means faster load times.
The most common asset that we have to deal with (aside from code and CSS files) are images. We work with our clients to find a balance between resolution and file size for the images used in their WordPress website. We have best practices and standards that we help clients implement to ensure large high-resolution images are not affecting the load time of their WordPress websites.
For our top-tier clients, we use 3rd party services to regularly test how long it takes a WordPress website to load from various locations around the world. If a site is slower than average, we take action and ensure there are no resource issues or cyber threats affecting the speed of the website.