Learn how to optimize your WordPress – WAU
Optimizing WordPress is an essential part of building and maintaining a web page. This tool allows you to develop an extremely personalized website or blog. However, you need to balance customization and performance, in addition to choosing your plugins correctly.
WordPress revolutionized the way of creating websites, blogs and pages on the internet. Whether for corporate purposes or for personal matters, the tool turns the management of a digital platform into something accessible, easier and faster.
However, it is essential to be aware of certain practices that help to optimize WordPress so that your page works the way you expect. The fact is that variety of features and plugins can generate certain doubts when creating the layout and adding the content.
After all, is WordPress really worth using? What are its advantages? What should we take into account when developing a page? What are the best ranking practices and the best plugins?
We created this complete article to answer your questions and help you extract the best performance from your page or blog. So, let’s go!
What are the advantages of WordPress?
WordPress is a free platform for creating and managing content on the Web. Its great differential is to allow people without great knowledge of programming to create their own page.
For that, it has an interface that makes the mediation between functional issues and the language responsible for running the platform. In short, it is a simulation of the page we are building.
Instead of dealing directly with the programming language (PHP, for example), we can simply click on the options, select colors, choose layout templates, activate plugins etc. In other words, it automates programming, allowing the user to focus only on the choices.
The point is that WordPress is not the only tool that does this, but it still stands out. The reason is quite simple: in addition to offering this extremely friendly and easy to use interface, it has other differentials that make it even more attractive.
Responsive design is an essential feature of WordPress. The concept makes reference to the capacity of the adapt your view to the different formats of screens and devices. This is a feature that eliminates the need to perform this adjustment manually, through adaptations in the page code.
An open source solution, or open source, is nothing more than a software whose code can be accessed and adapted by anyone.
This means that WordPress can not only be used for free, but also allows users with some programming knowledge to make changes to the program for their own use or sharing.
Plugins and themes
A plugin is a program that can be installed on the browser to perform a specific function, which often goes beyond the possibilities of the adopted language.
In the context of WordPress, the options are so varied that it is possible to build a page with a high level of customization. This brings, of course, some pros and cons, as we will discuss later.
There are a multitude of plugins and themes available on WordPress, which represents one of the platform’s great attractions.
Some people choose, for example, to take a course in WordPress. Below, we will explain some questions that you should keep in mind when developing and maintaining your page.
Personalization x performance: which factors have the greatest impact?
As we pointed out, one of the great benefits of WordPress is the ease of customization of this CMS platform. There are several tools, such as plugins and themes, that allow to give a totally unique face to a blog or web page. However, this relationship brings with it a problematic bias: the performance of the page.
Not everyone takes into account, especially in their first creations, that excessive use of plugins can slow down the page.
This is because they are tools with a higher processing cost, which can compromise the speed of access to the site. Therefore, it is important to know how to evaluate the right moment to uninstall WordPress plugins.
The same applies to the use of non-optimized themes. They are layouts that may seem more flashy and complex, but they can act against the main objective of the page: having many accesses. So it is essential find a balance between the use of these tools and the impact they have on performance.
To help you with this task, we highlight below some essential points to be aware of.
What are the main factors of optimization and good ranking?
Technical quality and page speed
If your goal is to optimize WordPress, one of the first things you should consider is the technical quality of the page. To start, you can check the access speed page, through some website or tool, such as the Pingdom. Then, it is interesting to make some manual adjustments to prevent the code from working poorly.
A cache plugin, for example, allows you to reduce the frequency of website access to the database.
This is one of the factors that most slow down, as it queues a series of tasks for the page. O WP Fastest Cache is an example of a plugin that fulfills this type of function.
Other factors to be checked manually, and avoided, are:
The ideal is to keep the page clean, so that it does more with less. These measures bring the site closer to the top of Google searches, something crucial to increase your accesses.
Google also considers the structure of the text used as an evaluation criterion for ranking. In other words, poorly organized content ranks worse on search engines. Therefore, it is important to invest time in creating and adapting what you insert on your page.
SEO techniques, or search engine optimization, are the best friends of any successful website. With that in mind, let’s move on to some practical actions that can further optimize your page.
How to optimize my WordPress?
The images occupy a good part of the volume of information for upload. If you use other multimedia resources, like videos, can cost even more. So remember to make smart use of these tools, especially when it comes to the layout.
A widely used technique for optimizing images in WordPress basically involves the use of Photoshop. In short, just import the image into the software and follow the commands: File> Export> Save to Web. The shortcut to the function is Alt + Shift + Ctrl + S.
That done, the image is ready (and compressed) to be used on the page. It is worth noting that the quality for viewing by the human eye is not compromised. In addition, for image formats, give preference to JPEGs over PNG, which are heavier.
An avatar is an image that accompanies the user identification from site to site. To do this, the page needs to send a request to an external server at each access, increasing its loading time. Therefore, disabling the function allows for lighter navigation within your site.
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Pay attention to the cache
In addition to WP Fastest Cache, other very useful plugins to efficiently manage the cache are:
- W3 Total Cache;
- WP Super Cache;
- DB Cache Reload;
- Hyper Cache.
The main purpose of these plugins is to prevent all access from requiring the same information. The result is faster access to the page as a whole.
Fix common WordPress errors
As good as it may be, WordPress is not perfect. Therefore, it is important to understand it in depth to know where it can be most useful and in what aspects it can cause difficulties.
An important point in this regard is to know the common WordPress errors and resolve them before putting the page to work.
To begin, follow this WordPress installation checklist. Then develop the habit of periodically check these points to avoid the site crashing or instability.
Use optimization plugins
Save on plugins if you want to have a site with good performance and, consequently, be well ranked on Google.
However, it is essential to know some of these mechanisms, as they are aimed at the very page optimization. Next, we’ll talk about the most relevant ones you should know about.
What are the essential plugins for my WordPress?
1. LazyLoad plugins
In addition to the cache plugins, the so-called LazyLoad are at the top of the most beneficial plugins for page traffic. Roughly speaking, they are tools that modify the page loading strategy to combat slowness.
Lazy Loading, in practice, means loading the visible content of the website, leaving the rendering of what does not appear on the screen to the background. Some examples of such a plugin are:
- Smush Image Optimization;
- a3 Lazy Load;
- BJ Lazy Load;
- Crazy Lazy;
- Lazy Load for Videos.
2. SEO plugins
Developing WordPress SEO, as we explained, comprises a series of practices aimed exclusively at improving your ranking on search pages, especially on Google. What few people know is that not everything depends on manual actions, as there are plugins developed specifically for this purpose.
O Yoast SEOis one of them. In practice, it helps you to improve your page point by point, by indicating problems, suggesting improvements and informing the optimization criteria to be followed.
3. Plugins for organizations
The number of companies without a team dedicated to the development of their online platforms is huge. It is not for nothing that WordPress is so successful also in the corporate world.
So plugins like WP Optimize stand out, since they are tools aimed at use in organizations. Some of its features are:
- enable and disable comments with agility;
- generate database reports;
- centralization of control in administrators.
Another interesting example is the Organizer Plugin, which offers a management interface for all installed plugins.
O WP Smush.it, in turn, optimizes the adequacy of the images to the size and dimensions you want, without compromising the quality of the visualization.
They are extremely useful tools, as you can see, and easy to use. Because it is an open source platform, WordPress allows companies to develop their own plugins and integrate them into the system. In practice, it is a major step forward in the easy development of web pages.
Now that you know how to optimize WordPress and raise the quality of your page, it’s time to put these tips into practice. Build your website carefully and invest time in maintaining these factors to ensure a good balance between performance and customization. The results can be exceptional!
If you want to go deeper into the theme, see also our post on how to optimize images on WordPress!