WordPress Tips for Speed and Optimization

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. You can follow him at Google+

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We hired Graticle recently to make several updates to our current website. We are not only very happy with the outcome of the updates, but also impressed with how quickly it was completed. We received great customer service from Shawn who was always very quick to answer any questions we had during the process. Because of this, we would recommend Graticle to anyone needing help with projects involving website development or graphic design.

April Janota

Account Manager

Laliche Resources

www.LalichResources.com

Grant Park, Illinois

What else is there to say besides “Have you called Shawn with Graticle yet?” After having seen his work portfolio and again having seen his submissions for another project with which I’m involved, I knew his abilities. In the fall of 2016, I engaged Graticle to re-design & re-brand a logo for a local Little League charter with which I’m affiliated. I have him some design elements and he came back with the product we now use to identify our league and our brand! Could not be happier!

He’s prompt, professional, and knocks it out of the park with quality. Do yourself a favor: pick up the phone or start up your computer, then contact Graticle to get your brand moving in an energetic, highly-functional, and professional direction. You won’t regret it!

Josh Bryant

Taft Westside LIttle League

tshq.bluesombrero.com/taftwestsidelittleleague

Taft, California