I’ve been focusing a lot of time lately on page performance, learning about the best ways to optimise websites to load quicker. A significant part of the overall user experience is the delivery time. So here are three things you can do right now to add instant speed to your WordPress website.
1. Install WP Super Cache
Recently acquired by Automattic (The company that develops WordPress), WP Super Cache is the quickest solution for increasing your page speed. I’ve used all the major caching plugins in the past, and nothing comes as close in terms of reliability, performance, and ease of use. Just install, activate and switch it on and it does all the work for you.
2. Use Cloudflare
Why are you not using Cloudflare yet? It has so many amazing benefits, even on the free version. One of the best features is the instant DNS switching speed. For example if you’re moving a recently completed website from your staging server over to the live server, you used to have to wait between 20 minutes to 24 hours for DNS propagation – Cloudflare allows you to create, delete and edit your records pretty much instantly, meaning your client can see the live site instantly.
As well as this, Cloudflare has it’s own page caching feature, which stores copies of your website on it’s lightning fast cloud servers, allowing your website to be delivered faster to countries across the world that are not near your server location. They are also currently developing speed optimisation tools such as Google AMP integration and auto minifying of CSS, JS and HTML files, further improving your page load times.
3. Move to a better web host
The blunt, honest truth is that your web host is probably not very good. If you have a shared hosting package, you are sharing hosting resources with tens or even over 100 other websites. Can you imagine sharing your computer with 10 other people at once? If one website on the same server cluster as you gets a heavy amount of traffic one day, your website and all others on the server will be affected, causing extremely slow loading times or even crashing the server.
Moreover, larger hosting companies tend to use traditional hard drive and not solid state drives, meaning your data will be processed slower which, and you guessed it – slows down your page load time.
The best solution is a scalable cloud hosting service such as Vultr. Vultr is designed for deploying different server environments to develop web based applications, but it also offers very accessible one click installs for WordPress, cPanel and many more applications.
Vultr the perfect scalable solution for me – I can spin up a staging server and have it ready within minutes. The great thing about this company is that you only pay for what you use. For example if you take up a $5 a month hosting plan and you only use $2.50 worth of resources, you only pay $2.50. So that’s roughly £2 a month for your web hosting. Not bad! If the server limit exceeds, you get a notification to upgrade your plan but your website will remain online.
Vultr doesn’t come with cPanel as standard, but it does offer a 1 click WordPress install on a $5 a month plan and above.