In a previous article I described why performance matters to your business. Here I will try and give some very basic pointers on how to get the best performance out of your website.
This is not a comprehensive list but is based on our experience of actions that tend to have the highest impact for WordPress users.
Firstly I will talk about optimizing assets and in the second part of this article I discuss more code based and server side recommendations.
1. Do not use video if it can be avoided
The use of video has become increasingly popular on websites to tell a story, accentuate design and build a brand presence. In this article my aim is not to discuss the effectiveness of video so I may get some negative feedback for mentioning this. However on purely performance grounds video is a killer. Think carefully therefore before pushing ahead with embedding video on your website and is what it is giving your site worth the hit in performance.
2. Image optimisation
We’ve all done it: Uploaded images to your website without optimizing for the web and without thinking about the size of the asset. This often results in images over 1MB in size being loaded into your website. While WordPress is pretty good at compression it is no panacea. You should try a number of different plugins to get the optimisation that makes sense for your performance like Smush or Imagify. On top of that you should also double check that the images you upload are
the right format and optimised in terms of size and weight for the web. Our principle is to try and keep images below 200kb. For optimisation of images before you use them on your website check out tiny panda: https://tinypng.com/
3. Image format
Images should be of the correct format for the web and for what you are trying to achieve. As a general principle use svg for logos, icons etc, jpegs for photos and general imagery, png’s for images where you require transparency. There are newer and more modern formats emerging that promise greater compression and hence performance like WEBP by Google but these formats are not universally supported cross browser so should be used carefully. If you want to add some life to your site using animations then we recommend lottie, created by airbnb. This combines svg’s with a JSON file to describe the animation and is much friendlier in terms of performance than say animated gifs. Take a look here: https://airbnb.design/lottie/
4. Other assets
if you are uploading things like documents, presentations etc then make sure that they are uploaded in the most consumable format. Our simple recommendation is that you convert everything to pdf and make sure that you have optimised the pdf using a tool like: https://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf
If you like what you are reading look out for the 2nd part of our tips for improving your website performance.
With these pointers I think you can start to build a high performing website and reduce the load speed. From this you will begin to see measurable benefits. If you need help simply
come and talk to us at WPPageSpeedly here or start by doing a free scan of your website below. Please note our services are for WordPress websites only.