Web hosting companies are required to maintain their web servers and keep them up to date with the latest software patches, but website performance is a combined effort of customers and the hosting company together. Businesses using shared hosting (or their web developer) must ensure that websites are optimised to get the best performance from their website and web hosting.
Taking a few simple steps to optimise your website will make sure that your site runs well and that you are a good shared hosting neighbour on your web server.
Remove unnecessary plugins
If you’re using a content management system like WordPress, there is a desire to explore the new functionality that plugins can bring. Some plugins work well, while others aren’t so good.
Installing many plugins (or ones which aren’t coded well) drain resources from shared servers, meaning that the server requires disproportionately more resources to serve your website.
If you’ve explored plugins without removing them properly, take the time to do a ‘spring clean’ and get rid of the unnecessary ones. Your website will run better if it’s not loading plugins you don’t use.
Understand your site traffic
Monitoring your web traffic helps you understand how and when people are using your site. Ensure that your site doesn’t have massive, sudden shifts in traffic. These spikes can drain the server resources like CPU, memory and storage page and can impact your hosting environment.
You can do this easily with free online services like Google Analytics.
Themes are as much about performance as how good it looks. Some themes, when not coded well, can drain your website resources. Consider things like file size, the number of features and how many of those features you need, when choosing a theme.
Check the theme’s update history and details before clicking the install button. Themes that are regularly maintained and up-to-date can offer better performance.
Images take more time to load than text and use up space on your website. It’s possible to optimise images and reduce the size, keeping the same quality – so it doesn’t look bad. JPEG images are standard and are a proper format of choice. WP Smush Pro from WPMUDEV compresses your image files while maintaining quality to dramatically improve your website’s page speed.
Website caching ensures that your server’s content database is not working overtime loading content that isn’t required. Caching generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. The most common WordPress caching plugin is WP Super Cache and it’s available for free in the WordPress repository.
By following these tips for boosting website performance, you can dramatically improve the speed and load times without needing to hire an expert, just by following best practice.