In the spirit of an article about how to improve your site’s speed, let’s just cut to the chase…
Make Sure Your Site is Running the Latest Stable PHP Version
Often times a new version of PHP will roll out with many improvements that greatly increase speed, but your host won’t upgrade your website for you. If you aren’t sure what version of PHP you’re running you can ask your hosting provider or, if you’re running WordPress, install the WordPress Version plugin which will display your PHP version in your WP admin footer.
If you find that you are not running the latest version of PHP and need to upgrade you can ask your hosting provider to upgrade it for you. Some hosts may provide an option for you to do this yourself. In SiteGround‘s cPanel, for example, this can be done with the PHP Version Manager tool.
Optimize Images for Smaller File Size
There are many WordPress plugins that can do this automatically for you, such as EWWW Image Optimizer and Smush, but you can also optimize images yourself before you even upload them. If you’re using Photoshop to create and edit images already, don’t simply “save as” JPG or PNG. Instead, use the Photoshop export tool, which allows you to adjust the quality and file size of the output image. Simply choose File > Export > Export as and use the available options to adjust file size and image size.
Use Caching, Browser Caching & Compression
Caching essentially takes “snapshots” of your site’s pages and loads those for users, instead of loading each page fresh on every visit. This means, that instead of having to load every single element it loads a relatively static “snapshot” of the page. Likewise, browser caching tells your visitor’s browser what to cache locally, so the next time that user visits your site, they already have some of the site’s resources ready to go. Compression further increases site speed by serving a smaller version of the cached page. If you’re using WordPress it’s very easy to implement these things. Simply install one of the many popular caching plugins. Two of the most popular and trusted are WP Super Cache and WP Fastest Cache (which is what we use on the ETO site).
Sean works with Redwood Creative as lead WordPress developer. He’s been customizing, coding, and optimizing WordPress professionally for over 5 years.