One of the great reasons to use WordPress is that there are so many themes…
How to Optimise Your WordPress Theme for Better Performance
WordPress themes can be used to enhance and customise your website. Unfortunately, poorly-configured themes can wreak havoc on your website and significantly impact your business’ bottom line. You need a WordPress theme that is properly configured for better site performance, security, and SEO.
Almost anyone can install a WordPress theme, but many don’t know how to correctly set one up. A typical WordPress installation may have vulnerabilities which expose your website to several issues.
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the different ways you can optimise your WordPress theme for better performance. Let’s get started.
Image optimisation is a necessary task for anyone hosting images online in their website or blog. In the most basic terms, image file size affects the speed of a website. The more images you have on a page, the slower it loads (especially with mobile).
The implications of not optimising your images can be significant. Failing to do so can lead to prominent load times for your readers, increased bandwidth costs, or worse, a poorer user experience.
If you’re unsure how to do this on your own, you can install an image optimisation plugin like Smush. The plugin automatically resizes images without visibly affecting quality. It also optimises up to 50 images with one click, saving you from having to go through every image on your website.
Minify your WordPress theme files.
On average, web pages now require more bytes to send than they did years ago. This is simply because there are more and more rich media elements in the content of your page. The fundamental job of a WordPress theme is to manage all this rich media content, and that takes a lot of data.
When you’re working on a website or designing a WordPress theme, it’s important that you take time to minify your files. You will be making the lives of mobile users who have limited bandwidth much easier, and make your overall website load speed faster.
Not only that, a faster website can also have a positive impact on your rankings in search engine results pages. The faster your website is compared to your competitors, the better your rankings will be.
Audit your plugins.
Analysing your WordPress site for plugin usage is a great way of seeing which plugins are impacting your site. Some of these plugins might not even work properly with your theme.
A good plugin should improve your user experience in some way. However, sometimes, we install plugins and forget about them. Let’s say User A installed a social sharing plugin a while ago as part of a project. After the project ended, they forgot about the plugin while it continued to run, take up bandwidth, and collect unnecessary data.
This might make you wonder. How many unused WordPress plugins are currently installed in the wild? Maybe worse still, how many inactive WordPress plugins are being used to collect data about users?
Don’t forget about the impact installing several plugins may have on your site’s performance. Too many plugins could slow your website to a crawl which could affect your WordPress theme and result in a negative user experience.
Remove unnecessary elements.
Some of WordPress’s default themes include a bunch of unnecessary elements like widget areas, call-to-action buttons, and contact forms.
Having unnecessary elements on your website could slow down your website, negatively affecting your search engine rankings and whether users have a positive experience on your website or not.
They could also affect your conversion rate. For example, if your homepage alone has several calls-to-action, this may confuse users. Instead of turning them into paying customers, you might drive them away from your website instead.
In a nutshell, removing unnecessary elements could have three major benefits. You’ll have a faster website. Users will have a more positive experience on your site. Lastly, you’ll avoid overwhelming first-time visitors with various call-to-action buttons and forms.
It’s generally a good idea to optimise your website from the get-go, but if you’re already up and running, you can still benefit from a few well placed tweaks. The tips we discussed aren’t overly difficult to implement on your WordPress, but they can have quite an impact on your overall site performance.
Cornerstone Digital is a WordPress development company in Sydney. We’d be glad to talk to you about optimising your WordPress theme. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at email@example.com.
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.