Many people seem to think performance optimization is something you do after your website is already built.
If your goal is to have the least effective optimization possible, then I completely agree!
However, if your goal is to have a blazing fast website, you need to make performance a priority every time you do anything with your site.
Today, I’ll show you 4 things you can do to turn performance into a lifestyle and speed up your WordPress website.
Tips 1 and 2: One-time Optimization Tweaks
These first two tips are great because you only need to set them once, and they’ll reap dividends for everyone who visits your site from now until the lights go out.
Both of these optimizations are somewhat advanced because they require you to edit your
.htaccess file, but anyone willing to follow the instructions linked below can make ’em happen:
Tip 3: The Image Optimization Process
Image optimization isn’t a one-time tweak—it’s a procedure you must follow every time you upload an image to your website.
Don’t like the sound of that?
Maybe this whole website thing isn’t for you.
“B-b-but I can just use an image optimization Plugin!”
That approach won’t ensure your images are all sized appropriately, and on top of that, image optimization Plugins aren’t all equally effective.
I’m not interested in “semi-effective” optimization. I’m interested in the best damn optimization I can possibly achieve.
That’s why I’ve outlined a 2-step approach to image optimization that will ensure your images are as compact and fast as possible.
Tip 4: Optimize Plugin CSS + JS Delivery
This is mostly a set-it-once-and-forget-it optimization, but anytime you add a Plugin to your site (gag), you’ll need to make sure its CSS and JS assets are handled properly to preserve performance.
The basic issue is this:
WordPress does not provide a way for Plugins to serve CSS + JS assets conditionally—that is, Plugin CSS + JS get loaded on every page of your site, regardless of whether those assets are actually needed on each page.
In many cases, Plugins are such profligate performance offenders that each page may literally be 1-2 seconds slower—or worse!—simply because those Plugins are delivering assets where they don’t belong.
The only way to deal with this problem is to ensure Plugin assets are delivered precisely when they are needed—and never any other time.
If you’re serious about website performance, you’ve got to take an active role in the optimization process.
No amount of caching will cover up for the performance sins your Plugins are likely to commit, and it’s your job to consider performance every time you do anything with your website.
It’s time to accept the truth—peak performance is a lifestyle.