Are you looking to improve your WordPress business website? You are in the right place. In this article, we will list down the best ways you can improve your business website. An optimized and fast loading website can help increase your traffic, engagement, improve your user experience, and your revenue.
We’re going to assume that you’ve already set up your business website, in case you haven’t, you can check this simple guide to make a business website on WordPress.
Now, follow the optimization tips listed in this guide to improve your WordPress website’s speed and overall performance.
Benefits of Using WordPress
You probably know all the benefits of using WordPress for business (since you chose it in the first place) but just to jog your memory we will be listing some of the benefits below.
We are going to start with the most obvious one. WordPress is popular, it powers more than 35% of the internet. According to WPBeginner, big brands like BBC, Bloomberg, MTV, Techcrunch, and much more use WordPress.
You can create and customize your website with the help of thousands of WordPress business themes and plugins. This is why entrepreneurs all over the world choose WordPress over other content management systems (CMS).
WordPress’s popularity depends on a lot of factors. The most attractive one is that it only takes a mere 5 mins to set up and install WordPress. You don’t need to be a professional HTML developer or a coder to create your website. All you need is a good internet connection and a browser to get started.
If you want to test the waters before you take a complete dive in, you can take advantage of its free hosting. Once you are ready, you can migrate to your hosting account.
WordPress gives you access to thousands of themes with which you can design your WordPress business website. WordPress themes are all professionally designed for all niches and you can set up a basic business website without the help of any graphic designer.
Not all themes on WordPress are paid, you can also check out various free themes available in the WordPress library.
Need an additional feature for your business website? Too broke to hire a coder? Don’t worry, there is a plugin for that! We are not kidding, if you are thinking about adding a feature on your site then look for a plugin in the WordPress library. You will find what you are looking for and more that matches your business needs.
We saved the best one for last. Imagine opening a store in the middle of nowhere, chances of getting any customers are slim to none. Similarly, you won’t get any visits if your website platform isn’t SEO friendly. You might as well pack it all up and move on.
Luckily, WordPress is SEO friendly, it lets you optimize your pages, structure your website, optimize your website on all devices, and it’s open-source. But don’t take my word for it, take a look at what Matt Cutts (ex-Google Algorithm engineer) has to say about WordPress.
“WordPress solves tons of SEO issues automatically”.
Whether you have a professional website or are planning to launch one soon. Always choose WordPress for your business unless you have to move to another platform for some reason.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the part where we talk about how to improve your WordPress business website.
How to Improve Your WordPress Business Website Performance
Various studies show that the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds from 2000 to 2016.
What does this mean for you and your business?
This means that you don’t have a lot of time to convince your visitor to stay on your website.
Imagine your visitor lands on your site that takes upto 7 seconds to load! They will leave your website before it even loads.
Before you know it, they’ll opt for the next alternative – your competitor! We wouldn’t want that to happen, now would we?
If that still doesn’t convince you about the importance of fast site speeds then you should know that Google has also decided to punish websites that take longer to load by pushing them down the search results – Yikes!
As a business owner, it should be your top priority to make your WordPress business website as fast as possible.
Here are some ways you can improve your WordPress business website performance:
- Choose a good hosting
- Install a caching plugin
- Optimize your images before uploading
- Keep your WordPress updated
- Split comments into pages
- Use CDN (Content delivery network)
- Upload audio/video files elsewhere
- Use lazy load plugins
- Install an optimized WordPress theme
The hosting service you choose plays a vital part in your WordPress website’s performance.
If you have shared hosting, then that might affect your site’s performance because you are sharing the resources of your server with other customers of the hosting service you have chosen.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that shared hosting is a bad option. Hosting services like siteground and Bluehost take extra measures to optimize their servers for best performance and they are also easy on the pockets.
However, if you are not that sharing type then you can always go for a managed hosting service. Through this method, you will get more optimized servers that will double your site’s speed and performance. Managed hosting services also provide you with automatic backups, advanced security configurations, and installs WordPress updates automatically. But they are much more expensive than shared hosting plans.
WordPress creates pages for every visitor that visits your website. They are dynamic, they take a lot of time to find, process and display the correct information to the user. This whole process is very long and it can slow your website down especially when more than one user is visiting your page.
This is why almost every WordPress savant will recommend using a caching plugin. A useful caching plugin can help you speed up your websites 5 times faster.
A caching plugin saves the page after the first time it loads, then it presents the cached version to every subsequent visit. This prevents the page generation process every time a user visits your website, this helps you save time and money.
You can find many caching plugins in the WordPress plugins library. Still, we prefer WPRocket, if you can pay an extra buck or WP Super Cache if you are looking for a free option.
Making your site visually attractive by adding images can increase the likelihood of someone reading your blog by 80%.
But at the same time if you don’t optimize your images then they can do more harm than good. Unoptimized images are one of the reasons for slow site speeds and poor performance.
Whenever you upload an image to WordPress just make sure that you have optimized it with the help of photo editing softwares like Photoshop.
Original images take up a lot of space but by editing them in a software like Photoshop to decrease your image size by 5 times. This depends on the image format and the compression you choose. Experts recommend using JPEG or PNG file format for best performance.
If you don’t know how to use Photoshop then you can try out a free online image compression tool called “tinypng” for your WordPress business website.
This one is a no brainer. Always keep your WordPress updated because they tend to release new features and security patches that are essential to keep your business website secure.
As a business owner, you need to see to it that your WordPress business site, themes, plugins, and other security tools are updated. If you fail to do so then you will make your site vulnerable to performance issues and security threats. We understand that handling businesses is a task itself, reason why managed hosting and maintenance service providers help you out by handling all the technicalities and taking responsibility of managing your website while you take care of what matters the most: your business.
Your visitors commenting on your website is an excellent sign that your audience is engaged. However, as these comments pile up they start to increase the overall size of the page. This directly impacts your load time making it much slower to load.
Luckily with WordPress, you can quickly fix this by using the break comments into page option. All you have to do is go to settings >> discussions and then select the box that says “break comments into pages with” and voila! You are good to go.
Before we get to the part how a CDN works? First, let’s talk about why you need a CDN?
The load time of your business website depends on the geographic location of your visitors.
For example, you have hosted your WordPress business site on a service that has web hosting servers in Canada. The user who is located in Canada will experience a faster load time when compared to the visitor who is located in China. The distance of the visitor and the webserver has a significant impact on the website speed.
You can always select a hosting provider that is transparent about their servers and where they exist.
This is where CDNs come in. It can help speed up your site’s load time for every user. A CDN basically speeds up the loading process by storing static files on each of their servers located all around the world.
Each time a visitor lands on your website they will be served these static files from the server that is the closest to them. This removes the negative impact the distance of the webserver and the user may have on your website.
The best caching plugins, in our opinion, are MaxCDN and StackPath CDN. They are compatible with WordPress and with many caching plugins.
WordPress has an impressive feature that lets you upload the audio-video files on your website but we strongly advise against it!
There are several reasons why this is a bad idea and we will list them down for you.
- It will take up more of your bandwidth
- It will increase your backup size making it very difficult to restore from backup.
- You may get charged extra by your hosting provider for exceeding the bandwidth limit
- Your business site might be taken down by your hosting provider for violating their terms of services
- It increases the load time of your website
Now you know why you shouldn’t upload audio/video files on WordPress. You can use other services like Youtube and DailyMotion for video uploads and for audio uploads you can use Soundcloud, and others. They let you embed the code on your website which enables you to display the content you desire while saving up your bandwidth.
To embed the file in your page or post all you have to do is copy-paste the URL and it will automatically embed the file.
If you are like us and add a lot of images, video embeds, and infographics to make your website more attractive, then you need to start using a lazy load.
Lazy loads help in improving your user experience by loading only the images that are visible on the user’s screen. It replaces all the other images and embeds with a placeholder image.
The other images only load if the user scrolls down the website. You can lazy load images, WordPress comments, videos, and Gravatars.
We recommend using Lazy Load by WP Rocket plugin.
When choosing a theme make sure that it is well optimized and that it doesn’t slow your website down after you install it.
You may find a theme that is beautifully designed but might be poorly coded. These themes can significantly reduce the speed of your website and throw the user experience out the window.
Always remember when choosing a theme always go for a minimalistic and straightforward approach. Themes that are stuffed with confusing layouts and flashy animations usually compromise on speed and performance. If you want to add additional features then you can always install a quality WordPress plugin.
You can get quality themes from Themeforest, StudioPress, CSSIgniter, and Themify.
That’s it, you are done. We hope this article has helped you in improving your WordPress business website.
We’d love to hear your feedback after you try out and implement these techniques on your website. You will be surprised how these tips can boost your WordPress performance. Feel free to share your before and after speed scores in the comments below and let us know if we have missed out on anything.