Have you ever sat waiting for a website to load on your phone or computer? Don’t let that annoying blank white screen chase your audience away. Even a great looking, high traffic blog can suffer without the proper website optimization.
Just recently, I have completed website optimization for my clients at Food Storage Moms, Little Sprouts Learning, Imperfectly Happy, Original Homesteading, and more. Send me a message if you’d like me to help you with your blog optimization, or read on below to learn how to optimize your blog yourself!
Why Do You Need Website Optimization?
Besides a pesky white screen, a website without optimization also hurts your SEO score. Google checks and ranks based upon website page loading times. I also have personally witnessed my clients RPMs drastically increasing after a simple site optimization, and I am curious to do more testing regarding this.
This guide aims to teach you how to optimize your WordPress blog through a couple easy to use and free plugins.
The best place to start is, of course, a Google tool. Google Page Insights lets you put in your website’s URL or specific page, and reports back with a very detailed scan of the page. It will give you automatic tips on things you can do to improve your website’s optimization. It also can show a list of the biggest resources slowing that specific page, so you can pinpoint the problem needing fixed.
Optimize Your Blog With Ewww Image Optimizer
Ewww Image Optimizer is the absolute best image compression plugin for WordPress. I have tried many. I keep seeing everybody use Smush (free version), a very limited, and manual image compression plugin. Ewww is fully automatic, and free! Image compression largely reduces the size of your images without affecting visual quality. WordPress actually makes many copies of different sizes each time you upload an image, and Ewww does them all. Smaller images mean a faster, more optimized website!
- To install this plugin, navigate to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and click Plugins > Add New. Type “Ewww” in the search bar, click “Install”, and then “Activate”.
All images will be automatically compressed from this point forward. To compress your current images, again in your Dashboard click Media > Bulk Optimize. Leave default settings as is, and click the button. In just a few seconds, the scan will be complete. Click the button again, and watch your website images optimize on the spot!
Besides optimizing your images for your website, it’s also very helpful to lazy load. Lazy loading is a term for a website waiting to load images until they are visible on the screen. While this causes a minimal delay for your users, it greatly improves page loading time. There are many automated plugins for this as well.
Optimize Your Website with WP Super Cache
Website caching sounds like a complicated techy term but really all it means is a “copy” of your website and it’s pages are stored on the website server, which greatly increases loading time and reduces the load on the webserver. This used to be a very complicated process involving a lot of code, but with WordPress blogs, everything is a breeze.
- To install this plugin, navigate to your WordPress Admin Dashboard and click Plugins > Add New. Type “WP Super Cache” in the search bar, click “Install”, and then “Activate”.
This plugin requires a little more configuration to help optimize your blog, so in your Dashboard click Settings > WP Super Cache, and simply change “Caching” from “Off” to “On“! This is the most simple method of implementing website caching to optimize your blog. Higher traffic websites definitely require website optimization from an expert web developer due to the more complex settings.