Optimizing WordPress Website: Complete Guide

Published by Aditya Agarwal on

Here’s Your Ultimate guide to WordPress Optimization. These include various aspects SEO, speed, memory etc. We know that you can iterate a website but the best results come from a great hosting service that provides great speed and leaves really less to do for you.

But for any hosting their can be many additions of functionality and better experience with a fast and feature-some site. Also their are some great plugins and recommendations that you should definitely implement to improve work flow, ensure less down-times and many more things

We have divided in parts, for easier reading, so let’s jump in:

Services

Services are what 3rd party companies provide to improve your website and have huge impact in performance, functionality, usability etc. These services are what each WordPress Website should have regardless of whatever hosting they use

CDN

CDN or Content Delivery Network is something what small or big every website should use. CDN is a network of servers spread across the globe that help you deliver your content from their servers and are huge boost to speed. Here is CDN’s Total Explanation

We use Cloudflare and would recommend using it for the fact that it is free and can be upgraded in future. Though if you have budget try MaxCDN

SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a important aspect if you want your website to rank higher on Google. Google prefers secure website rather than insecure.

Cloudflare allows you to get SSL for free. You can go to security and turn it on for your website. Though it would brick your website temporarily for all website code would be existing in http rather than https. The simple solution is page rules add a rule in page rule write your website url and select rule as always use HTTPS, and your website will be running.

If it some time your some content is still missing use plugin Really Simple SSL, and it should fix all issues regarding.

CDNs provide services like minification and brotli compression can improve performance even further.

Email Notifications

SendInBlue is a website that provides free emails, you can set up SMTP with it and can do variety of tasks with same. Including ability to notify users of their new posts. Though their are many other services like SendGrid, but it has least rates and provides 90,000 mails a month for free. To use SendInBlue first you need to register, initial steps would automatically be told by SendInBlue. After registering you can go to API Copy SMTP API v2.0 and paste in SendInBlue plugin.

Now you can start sending Emails from Plugins like Better Notifications For WordPress which we discuss later.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service that is similar to WordPress own analytics service called Jetpack. But we prefer Google Analytics as it has wider range of analytics. It can tell which area your site lags, it can segregate views on bases of gender or age also, which can help you make content better.

For getting Analytics after signing up for Analytics you simply have to add the JS tracking code to your footer. If you want to learn how can we do that you need to go Insert Header And Footer Plugin, which we have explained later also in the plugins section. For in detail explanation of Analytics check this out

Website Planet

Website Planet is great tool for development of site. It has great tools, we would we discussing there 4 tools here. A tool called robots.txt checker is also included.  Robots.txt is a file that exists in your root directory encasing your sitemaps. The presence of this file is really important for visibility of your links on Google.

There is also a sitemap examiner. It checks and validates, if your sitemaps have any errors, sitemaps are xml files that contain link to each and every page of your site. They can be created by plugin also. we have discussed about it later in plugin section.

GZip Compression: This tool checks whether gzip compression is enabled on the web server hosting your website. After connecting to your web server, the tool’s result page will display whether gzip is enabled and also provides additional details regarding the effectiveness of the compression and the actual savings in bandwidth for the specified page.

Website Down Checker: No one likes seeing an error message when visiting a website or checking on their own website. But before hitting the panic button, you need to determine if it is just down for you, due to, for example, configuration issues, or if it is down for everyone. Reasons it could be down for everyone include issues with the hosting provider, database and/or software issues, DNS issues, or DDoS or other hacker-based attacks.

IFTTT

IFTTT or ‘If This Then That’ is a conditions based service used to integrate services. It can be used for many things other than WordPress also, like muting the phone during office hours. But can be used for many things like social media. Milyin uses it to tweet details of post as soon as it gets published

First You need to connect the available services, like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail And of course WordPress.

Once Connected the idea is as simple as, ‘IF This Than That’, here ‘This’ is the trigger, in this case new post being published. To select it first select the service from search, then it would ask for trigger. After selecting trigger, it would ask you ‘That’ which is the result, it can be posting it on Twitter or whatever you want. It can do variety of other tasks, and they are technically infinite, for you are the good, and you have to design it.

Adsense

Adsense is what can make your passion or your time pass website to your source of income, it will display ads over your website and would pay you per click. Though their are many organizations that pay better than AdSense, but for the fact it is owned by Google and almost everyone uses Google for searches, it knows what ad the visitor would like to see, also it has the widest advertiser base in industry. Learn More about AdSense and How to Apply

You need to fill form and some details about your website and send it to Google, if Google accepts your proposal then you would be what Google calls monetized and allows to display ads on your website. To understand how to display ads, it has been displayed below in Ad Inserter Plugin section.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a less sophisticated version of Google Analytics.  Though it is equally important. You use Search Console to add Sitemaps Or robots.txt files to Google. It also has ability to detect crawl errors and other stuff.

You can after getting into Search Console mark it as Google Analytics property and this will allow you to enjoy stats from Google Analytics, and Search Stuff from Search Console

FTP

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a method of setting up and editing files of your website via your PC. WordPress has it’s own editor built in but it cannot edit hidden files like .htaccess files, also if sometimes site goes down due to bad code and you are unable to reach wp-admin, you can use it to delete faulty plugin or edit code.

Simply login to your hosting provider and get details about FTP, now install a FTP software on your desktop and use those details to login to your FTP account and start using it, if your hosting provider gives you no. of FTP ports then select port 22 which is secure, if hosting service does not give a port use port 21

We use WinSCP for the purpose of FTP, though FileZilla is the most popular one.

Themes

Theme is the major portion of consumer interactions and is of really imense importance. Theme that most of the websites use in 2017, but we believe it to be to simple. If you have to select great theme, then here is our favorite ones

Hestia

one of the best themes include Hestia from Themeisle. It uses Material Design Language which is the best design style and is developed by Google.

It may not be compatible with all plugins but it has various features to make it a compelling theme to use it is free and can give additional functionality if paid for. You can set custom size for headings add button for scroll to top add frontpage sections etc.

Believe it or not the whole home page was of made up of simply some toggles at Hestia their zero coding, zero plugins or zero page builder stuff used in developing the home page, and is pretty dope on any other theme it took us lines and lines of code to do the same but Hestia is seriously awesome

Parallax

It is a great theme and is focused on images, it has as the name suggests Parallax scrolling effects, bunch of customization and lot’s of stuff, it is really responsive and has lots of animations and transitions, one of our favorite feature being fly-in objects, that make your content standout from audience.

Tesseract

Tesseract is a awesome fremium theme which is good if you want to open a store or some e-commerce related stuff, also it has the widest range of customization options among the themes we have tested for this very purpose.

Plugins

Plugins are what enhance your website, make it yours and add to your functionality, they can help you analyse your website, add customizations, make easy work flow, increase views etc. with real ease. We recommend the following plugins for the same. If you don’t know how to install them go here

Autoptimize

Autoptimize is a useful plugin for simple websites but in many cases it !ay brick the website also. This plugin optimizes HTML, CSS and JavaScript in your website and if your website can digest it you can shave off a lot of time in loading also it shifts render blocking stuff to footer. Re der blocking stuff are stuff that take time to load and shifting it to end cam insure everything relevant loads at first.

Yoast SEO

You can make great content but it is really bad if it cannot reach it’s audience solution lies in Yoast SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This means improving your website to appear higher in rankings at Google, it can generate Sitemaps that is the Google Map for Search Engine, add keywords, change meta description etc. Though we personally believe Google XML sitemaps to be better.

Better Notifications For WordPress

If you want to send Notifications from WordPress via emails on various triggers like new post new comment etc. Then Better Notifcations For WordPress can be useful. First we need to have SMTP set up, we discussed about it earlier in SendInBlue section above.

After settings up SMTP you can go to add notification and design it according to you flavour.

You would get to select the trigger, select subject, and content, you can use variety of shortcodes, like [email_user_display_name] will show the name of person to whom email was sent, find shortcodes for more stuff

Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps as the name suggest generates sitemaps for Search Engines. Though as we discussed earlier Yoast SEO also does it, but this has added options to control which pages are to be invested for example you may not want your tags to be indexed. This can be done with help of this plugin. Also you can manually add the Sitemaps to Google Search Console.

HashTagger

Hashtagger is a awesome plugin and focuses on better User Experience. It adds twitter like hashtags in posts. It can also tags Users if you have a multi user website. Which is fun for you can do collabs and other stuff including CashTags.

These help in highlighting keywords and making things more attractive

Insert Header And Footers

Insert Headers and Footers can be used as discussed earlier to add Google Analytics code and get better analytics for your website also if you want to display Ads in header, it can be used for same also. If you use it for Adsense then though Google says to add it in Header you can add it to Footer also. Footer won’t help in functionality but as this is the content that user won’t see and a view is a view only if it loads latter it is better for performance only, adding it in Footer can help in loading it late.

Though if you want ads then it is simp!y your taste and how you want it to look that matters.

Jetpack

Most websites show it on top and is valued plugin, but we do not believe so. Jetpack has various features, and stats features, though we call it jack of all trades master of none. It has CDN for images but it is not as good as Cloudflare or MaxCDN, it has sharing it cannot match IFTTT. It has stats but it cannot match Google Analytics. The only feature why we keep it in list is it is simple and helps those people who do not have much knowledge about stuff, also it helps in integration with WordPress, so that you can publish posts from Phone.

Elementor

Elementor is a handy plugin to build a page or as they term it a page builder which can be used to add rows write text and do lots of stuff including images, css etc.

WordPress by default has its own page builder to do stuff and is called Beaver builder. The builder is pretty decent but Elementor had much more options for example you can add border roundness and hover animation to your element which can make your website stand out.

Their are many other features that Elementor has and therefore we recommend using it for your website.

Smush

Take any website and the major portion of the size of page is images and usually lot of images can cause slow loading of the page. Too improve this the plugin you need is Smush this plugin will computer your images so that you can have them load faster, ya they might look slightly less sharp but it is negligible and most people would never ever notice this, while slow page is noticed by each and every one in their websites.

once installed it would automatically compress or as they say Smush the photos though you can Smush existing photos by going into Smush settings and selecting bulk Smush to Smush images that exist from time before the plugin was activated. Though the bulk Smush will only Smush 50 images at a time and you would have to press it after every 50 images till all of the images are over.

Menu is from where most of the people will navigate through your website, though reading through words can be difficult but looking at intiutive icons can be great. More over it looks far better than simple text

For the same we use Menu Icons By ThemeIsle they have wide range of icons including WordPress stock Dashicons which are awesome you can go to menu and add icon for any menu on any theme and insure a better experience on the frontend

Updraft Plus

Your website can be good with these plugins but what if it somehow goes down due to some plugin conflict or wrong code. What can you do in such case, answer is backup.

With Updraft Plus you can backup your content automatically to any platform for eg. Google Drive. You can set a time period and it would backup your whole website including plugins and themes to your Google Drive after a set interval of time so that you can be safe from unknown problems, because you never know.

Important Websites

Okay your website is the most important thing for you but their are websites that can help you make your website better.

WpBegginer

WordPress Begginer or WPBegginer is a awesome website for guides tips and tutorials to manage your website effeciently and properly.

Their CEO Syed Balkhi is devoted to helping others improve ones website. They have constantly updated their content, and also they can help you solve your individual problems also, just sen them up a mail and they would give link to some solution for problem, or will help you code it also.

Themeisle

Themeisle is a website that develops themes and plugins and they have awesome themes without any doubt but they also write helpful guides and help posts which contain portant tips and tricks for the same.

They are pretty great at recommending great plugins they recommend handy plugins to make really pathetic issues simple ones. For eg. We wanted to write custom code in form of site specific plugin but we did not want everyone to have FTP information, they recommended us a plugin called Pluginception that allows you to create site specific plugin in your website.

They mainly build plugins and themes, and the theme Milyin uses called ‘Hestia’ is also developed by Themeisle only, though if you think we are sponsored, it is for sure not, it’s their work that made them deserve these many positive responses from our side

Pingdom

Pingdom as the name suggests tests the speed of website, but the link you want to test and it tells loading time, no of requests, it bifercates each request on base of size and tells various aspect as each request like wait time DNS.

It tests your website on various aspects and gives it a overall and individual score for each aspect and can point out bottlenecks of your website.

Signing up to pingdom will also insure you receieve notifications each time your website goes down and comes back running also.

Google Developer

Google Developer is a great website if you are wiling to develop and code stuff, and is as the name suggests owned by Google itself, the website is simply not just for website, but applications and many other things besides website, Google is a great software company and have great coders working day and night, with Google Developers they want to make this customer experience even better.

They have their own training session, courses and great guides over things like moving to HTTPS

Google Page Insights

Google Page Insights in some manner is simple to Pingdom in the fact that it is only and only for testing page speeds, but for the fact that it is being managed by Google, it has great analysis and can tell you exactly which mages need to be compressed or may be which Javascript is render blocking causing slower and slower load speeds.

It rates websites on the scale of a hundred, and has separate scores for Mobile and Desktops, a website that ranges above 80 is a great website and it has recommendations as great, that the time we first used it our score was 45, and within a week implementing recommendations it became around 90, which is enermous.

Google tests it on SEO also, Google just recently updated it’s algorithms, to include mobile load time, as one of the key parameters when ranking any WordPress Website.

So this is it, we have covered all important things you need to do to make your website, great in functionality, speed and page size all summed up together



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Categories: Creations

Aditya Agarwal

Aditya Agarwal

Indefinite Thinker Infinite Player 5th October, 2019

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