Want to get the most out of your WordPress website and move it higher up in search results?
By optimizing your WordPress site, major search engines will view your site more favorably and are more likely to rank it higher. More importantly, optimizing your WordPress site will improve your overall customer experience and make it easier for users to navigate your website.
Higher search rankings and happy customers? Say no more. Along with practicing good SEO techniques, follow these five steps to optimize WordPress for search engines.
1. Enable Caching
By enabling caching, you decrease load time on your server and this allows user’s devices to cache records, which means they store your website’s data in their device’s memory. This will improve their page load time and performance each time they make a visit to your website.
Listed below are some popular plugins that will help you enable caching and allow you to tweak caching settings:
2. Compress Images
By compressing your images, you will reduce the total file size and increase download speeds for your users. Check out these popular plugins to help you enable image compression:
3. Use Proper Image Files
Using proper image files plays a significant role in ensuring files load smoothly and are presented correctly to your end users. The list below provides a quick overview on preferred file types and the benefits they provide.
- PNG: This file type is supported by most well-known browsers and it is ideally used for graphics such as logos.
- JPG: For sharper images that require detail, such as high-resolution photos, you should use the .jpg extension.
- GIF: This file format is often used for animated graphics and is best for simple graphics and text.
You can optimize images before you upload them to WordPress by following proper export techniques.
A frequently overlooked optimization technique is making sure that you reduce the white space contained in your website’s code so that it can be compiled quicker. If you aren’t a coder, you can use one of the following plugins to “minify” your site.
5. Perform Updates
Arguably the most important thing you can do to optimize WordPress is perform regular updates of your blog and its plugins. Updating your version of WordPress and plugins will improve performance and increase the security and effectiveness of your site. In other words, if you don’t update your site, you increase your chances of having your site hacked with malicious code.
Bonus: Choose the Right Hosting Plan
The very first step before optimizing your WordPress website should be choosing the right hosting plan for your needs. Even if you follow all of the steps above, if your server takes ages to load, you’re fighting a losing battle.
You can test the response time of your server using tools like Pingdom.
It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes your web hosting company is not to blame for the speed or efficiency of your site. If you have a high-traffic site but you’re on a shared hosting plan, you’re sharing a single server with hundreds of other customers. Don’t skimp out on your hosting plan; go for a plan that can handle your storage and bandwidth needs.
Following these 5 simple steps can create a more efficient WordPress site by significantly improving your customers’ overall experience while improving your own ranking on search engines.
Do you follow all of the steps above to improve the visibility of your site and optimize WordPress?