Lightweight WordPress themes – speed is now a Google ranking factor
Since 2012 Google has been using site speed as a ranking factor. They did this because their own research led them to believe that users fail to engage with slow sites. One of the key problems that many WordPress based websites suffer from is bloat, this article will tell you how to keep things super fast and minimal.
A key benefit of WordPress is the ease with which end users can add plugins and new themes – both of which can tranform the appearance and functionality. Unfortunately, adding new plugins can often add weighty extra files to your site that have to be loaded by all users. You might think your site is pretty speedy, but what about people using restricted mobile connections, or people who have less capable devices?
The steps to ensuring your WordPress site is as snappy as possible are:
1) Evaluate theme HTML/JS/CSS output before buying
It’s common these days to include a webfont or two, but if you see more than two webfonts being included you need to start thinking about the additional time your pages are going to take to load.
2) Keep user facing plugins to a minimum
Before installing a new plugin think carefully about the functionality it offers and if there is going to be real benefit to your users. Do you really need that snazzy social sharing plugin? Will it add real user benefits?
3) Check your HTML source code
Not all plugins introduce user facing scripts or styling, so after you’ve installed a plugin, log out (or open your site in an incognito/private window) and check to see what has been added. You will be very surprised to see just how much extra stuff many plugins add to every page, even if you aren’t using that plugin on that particular page.