WordPress Tips for Speed and Optimization

February 06, 2014    Reading Time: 2 Minutes

With WordPress, there are literally thousands of plugins and countless strategies that you can use to better optimize and speed up the function of your website. Over the years we’ve honed in on our own strategies and plugins, and we’d like to share a few of those with you.

Permalinks

The first, is how to change the permalinks on your website. A permalink is a permanent hyperlink to a page on your website. For instance www.graticle.com/contact  is the permalink for our website.

Out of the box, WordPress is set to the Default permalink structure which will instead make your permalinks look like www.yourdomain.com/p=123 instead of www.yourdomain.com/contact. Not very reader or search engine friendly.

To change your permalink structure to a more reader friendly format, you can log into your WordPress back-end and click Settings, and then Permalinks. You can then select the Post Name option, click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. Good to go.

Changing Permalinks in WordPress

Images

Often, the alt and title tags for images are neglected. These tags are easy to access with images that you upload, you just need to add them. There are two reasons for adding these tags. First, for disabled users that are using screen readers. Second, for the search engines.

The alt tag is what the screen reader will read in place of the image, while the title tag is what the user will see when they hover over your image. Now that you know, start utilizing them.

Using the Alt and Title tags in WordPress

Search Engine Optimization

WordPress is a fairly search engine friendly CMS, but it still needs attention. There are a lot of “SEO” plugins in the WordPress Plugin depository, but only one that we (and countless other developers) recommend, and that’s Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin. Just install, follow the instructions, and you’re set.
Download Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin here.

Caching for Speed

When someone lands on your website for the first time the browser downloads all of the information it needs (images, javascript, etc.) to display the website to the user. When the user goes to another page on your website, the browser will cache some of this content so it doesn’t have to download everything again.

On your WordPress website, there are many scripts and database calls that are being made when the user loads up your website. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the way it is. The problem is that this can load up the website and cause the user to wait for the server to process everything. Instead of doing this each and every time a user loads up your website, it would be more ideal to have the server process everything once, and then cache it to the user from that point on. This speeds up your website and also takes a load off your server.

Again, there are many methods and plugins for doing this with WordPress, but there is one plugin that we recommend: WP Super Cache. Download, install, and watch your website’s speed increase.

Dear, Do It Yourself’er:

These are just a few tips that we hope will get your WordPress website back into shape.

If you run into any snags, or find you don’t have time to be a moonlight web designer, give us a call. We’ll implement these strategies and a plethora of other techniques we’ve learned over the years.

Give us a call: (360) 450-3711 or fill out our Request a Quote Form.

Last updated on August 31, 2016. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc.

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Shawn was exceptionally professional, responsive and detail-oriented. He worked to provide creative solutions to our projects and managed multiple (and often shifting) timelines with grace and efficiency. It is a true pleasure to work with Shawn and I would recommend Graticle Design to anyone needing his services.

Melissa T

Director of Marketing

Worldwide Laser Manufacturer

Washington State

Hi Shawn,

I would like to thank you for the superior service you have provided for us recently. Even though we just started working together, I am impressed with your service, knowledge and timely response to our needs. As with all technology, there is always some little things that seem to go wrong and we did not experience this on our project.

Even if you didn’t know the answers at first, you took the time to get the answers and provide us with solutions that got us up and running.

I would highly recommend Graticle to anyone looking for a capable and reputable organization to develop WordPress websites and Graphic Design. We have several other client projects on the horizon and I look forward to continue working with you in the future.

Thanks again,

Vince Kostelnik

Senior Marketing Advisor

Warren Strategies

WarrenStrategies.com

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania