Here’s a basic outline of how I achieve a gtmetrix.com website assessment of 99% on the WordPress websites I build.
1.Write your own WordPress theme and keep it slim
Only include features you need – this usually involves the latest version of bootstrap and the essential WordPress theme files. If you need something to start with, you can use a free sandbox theme like WP-Starter, although it does have a few “customization” features that can be scrapped, it’s pretty light-weight and will get you up and running quickly. You’ll need to hand-code any additional page templates your project requires.
!! Warning!! Don’t buy a “plugin rich” theme! It seems like a good idea, but it’s not.
Writing your own Worpdress theme is easier than you think. Here are a couple resources to get you started:
- WordPress Codex: Theme Development
- Rockable: Building WordPress themes from scratch
- Rock Content: A step-by-step guide to CREATE YOUR OWN WordPress theme
2. Add plugins for features not included in bootstrap
I can’t tell you how many times I ‘fix’ slow sites by simply removing duplicate features. Recently, I debugged a site that had a 13 second load time. I was able to get it down to 1.5 seconds after I removed the duplicate slideshow features. No kidding, there were 5 separate methods of creating a slideshow.
3. Use a Fast, Reliable Hosting Platform
4. Use a CDN
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a platform of servers that helps minimize delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. A ‘snapshot’ of the website or specific website files is saved on each server. When they are setup correctly they are awesome. When you are making a lot of website updates, it’s best to turn this function off.
Is your WordPress website slow?
If you have a slow website, you might have gGoogled solutions and come up with a consistent set of advice. Let me assure you those are just band-aids and will not create a significant improvement. You can read more about that here:
Don’t think a bloated, slow WordPress website will achieve a consistently fast load time with the typical “solutions” of adding a caching or optimizer plugin. If you want a truly lightning fast website – one that scores 99%, drop me an email. I will review your website and hosting setup and offer you a range of solutions.