Site speed is extremely important for every single webmaster out there. When websites aren’t fast enough, potential visitors do not hesitate to find another place to get the information they’re seeking. Factors that come into play when WordPress blogs load are plugins and theme files. Here are a couple ways to keep an eye on how your WordPress site is performing for your visitors.
Keeping an Eye on Your Plugins
Plugins are what make WordPress. Through our plugins we make WordPress do virtually anything and everything we want. Even though they pretty much make some WordPress sites what they are, they can have a huge impact on site speed. For example, the Jetpack plugin on my blog made up for than 50% of the total plugin load time. Quick hint, if you’re worried about this then you can use Slim Jetpack.
I knew Jetpack was making my site slower only through a plugin called Plugin Performance Profiler. This plugin helps you get perspective on what plugins are affecting your site negatively. This is a good way to slim down on plugins to make your website that much faster.
Another thing to keep in mind when considering plugins in site performance, poorly coded plugins are security vulnerabilities and causes for slow WordPress sites. So when you’re looking for a good plugin to use, always use one that is widely accredited.
Theme Load Time
Your theme is a huge factor that makes or breaks how fast your site loads. Your theme could make your WordPress blog absolutely gorgeous with some cool effects, but a million JS/CSS requests and poor code will do nothing to retain visitors. To make sure your WordPress theme isn’t taking too long to load, you can use SEO Unity and Pingdom to see how your theme does in speed tests. They also give you actionable tips on what exactly to fix if your theme is performing poorly.
If you’ve been looking around for properly optimizing and generally fast themes but with nothing to show for it, I recommend browsing the official WordPress Theme Directory. The themes you can find there have been thoroughly reviewed by expert developers for both performance and security.
If you’re interested in auditing themes for performance on your own, you can use a plugin called Theme Check to make sure your theme is up to date with the latest WordPress theme standards. These standards ensure both security and performance.
Here is a quick rundown of plugins you can use to optimize your WordPress blog for performance: