How would you judge an organization? One way would be to look at their website: How old is the content? How old is the design? How long does it take to load? Exceptions apart, website responsiveness can be an indicator of an organization’s ability (or inability) to keep the user (or client) in mind. Responsiveness is even more important on the web because it is a virtual world and you can’t be there to explain. It is a sure way to lose prospects and makes a horrible first impression.
To improve your first impression, here are some tips to ensure your WordPress based website is lightening fast:
- WordPress is great because there are millions of free plugins available, but did you know installing more plugins can considerably slow down your website? You may not be paying for the plugins but you may end up paying in terms of performance.
- If your website is keeping up with the advancements of the day, you are using a large number of images. Images take a long time to load and can slow down your website. Reducing the size may distort the images if your designers and developers are not trained to properly manage it. (HOT TIP: Yahoo provides a plugin called WP Smush-it that compresses an image automatically without affecting the quality.)
- If your website is heavily based on videos, make sure your videos are not hosted on your shared hosting. It is best to securely host your videos on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or a Social Media network. Beware, there may be security issues hosting them on a Social Media network.
- On a more technical side, you need to make sure your web development partners use code-minifying techniques to make sure junk and unnecessary code is removed from your site. This alone can speed up your website considerably.
- For more complex websites, the performance also depends on database design and the number of times your website hits the database in order to perform an action.
- If you have tried everything but your website is still slow, there are some advanced techniques like page, database, and browser caching that can help. Especially, if your site is heavy on content, images and provides complex functionality, you can’t ensure performance without using caching.
The above techniques can make your website load faster and your organization create a great impression. Now it is your turn to make sure your organization keeps up with the speed of your website!
Ashish Malik is Partner, Client Services at 108 ideaspace inc., a consulting firm that extends business strategies by innovating in Strategy, Technology and Design. With the strength to convert creative ideas into practical applications, Ashish Malik helps his clients innovate and make a great impression. For more on Ashish Malik or 108 ideaspace, visit ideas108.wpengine.com.