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How To Optimize WordPress Themes And Improve Performance

WordPress website

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that simplifies website creation and management. It specializes in customizing websites and blog themes. Before, updating websites used to be a difficult and time-consuming process, but with WordPress, one can make changes quickly. However, the question of loading speed remained a thorn. It also led to various innovations to improve WordPress’ speed and reputation. 

After all, in this modern age, where more and more transactions and exchanges of information are being done on the digital platform, your website’s performance matters. The quicker your website loads, the higher your chance of retaining your visitor’s attention and keeping them engaged. And if your website takes too long to load and run, visitors will likely leave and may even avoid visiting your page in the future again.

As much as possible, you’d want your website to function efficiently to serve your visitors better, allowing you to enhance their experience. For that reason, how you build and design your page is crucial. Your WordPress theme, for instance. Its capacity to load quickly is an essential component to consider.

Understanding WordPress Themes

Your website’s performance generally depends on the theme you choose. After all, not all themes are equal. Some WordPress themes are too complex and overloaded with various elements and features, which can slow down your site’s loading time.

And for that reason, it’s essential that you choose a theme that includes what you only need for your site. The ideal theme should offer your page a polished and cohesive look yet be responsive across devices and must be able to load quickly.

However, modifying them generally takes time. So, if you aren’t that knowledgeable about the technicalities of creating a website, you may need additional time to learn. And as such, you can check out web design agencies London if you decide to outsource your website needs.

But to help you get started, here are some WordPress theme optimization tips to help better your website’s performance.

Monitor The Plugins Installed

Plugins are considered WordPress’s ultimate strength. These plugins can make your page versatile and function better. However, note that not all plugins could be compatible with your chosen theme. If your current theme does not support the plugins, it can impact the loading time of your page. And so, if unsure, consult the theme developer.

In addition, it’s also worth noting that the more plugins you install, the more likely your page will load and run slower. While they can be beneficial, they can also slow down your loading time. That said, it’s essential that you only pick and install plugins you actually need. Regularly check and monitor the plugins installed, and assess whether they’re essential to the functionality of your site.

Get Rid Of Unused Assets

Select a Reliable WordPress Host

Unused Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript (JS) are also known to slow down your website. Before displaying a website’s content to a visitor, the browser generally downloads, parses, and processes all external stylesheets. And so, the more CSS files are present, including unused and unimportant ones, the longer your page will take to load. 

Contact form plugins are one good example of this. These plugins load CSS throughout the website, even though they’re largely utilized on the Contact page. What happens is that even on the homepage, its CSS gets processed. To put it simply, too much unnecessary CSS can delay a browser’s ability to read and display a page.

To help you avoid this problem and optimize your WordPress theme, there are various tools today that you can use to check and detect unused CSS in your system. Furthermore, consider decluttering. For instance, ask yourself if there’s a need for several fonts. Or perhaps, are all those widgets necessary? Is it required to display advertisements from forty advertising networks? 

Select a Reliable WordPress Host

Your hosting service also plays a crucial part in the performance and efficiency of your website. A reputable hosting service provider should help you take further steps to optimize your website’s speed and efficiency. Some hosting service providers can also offer automatic backups, upgrades, and enhanced security setups.

Considering how a powerful and efficient host server is beneficial to your website’s overall function, it’s essential that you choose wisely. As such, you may want to consider avoiding selecting a shared server. With shared hosting, essentially, you share server resources with multiple users. If a neighboring site gets a lot of traffic, it can affect your website, too, as it can slow down your server and loading speed.

Update Hypertext PreProcessor (PHP)

The primary programming language used by WordPress is PHP. This language generally runs on your hosting server. However, at some point, a version of PHP eventually reaches its endpoint, meaning a new update comes in.

The current version of PHP is generally twice as fast as previous versions, which can help increase your website’s performance. Updating it regularly can also help with improving the security of your page. With that in mind, it is strongly suggested that you upgrade to the most recent version of PHP if your website’s software is capable of doing so without trouble.

Utilize Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Using a content delivery network (CDN) is another good approach to speed up the loading time of your website.

A CDN is essentially a worldwide network of servers that stores your site’s static elements such as images, vector graphics, videos, documents, CSS, JS, and more. Visitors can basically receive these elements from a server near them.

For example, if your website is hosted in the US, visitors from other countries will usually have to wait a long time for the content of your website to load. With a CDN, the loading time can be reduced because the static content can be provided by a local server closer to them.

Wrapping Up

Having a WordPress site that performs well is something you need in this digital age. Aside from boosting your visitor’s experience and helping reduce bounce rates, an efficient and well-performing website also allows you to have good SEO signals.

And hopefully, the insights presented in this article can offer you a good starting point for optimizing your existing website and improving its overall performance.

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