Lots of things can slow down a WordPress site: too many large graphics, not enough bandwidth (something that can be optimized by a solid WordPress hosting service), and browser issues.
Website Code Can Take Much Space!
One thing that makes WordPress so popular is that it does the coding for the writer. In fact, it’s not all that unusual for WordPress hosts to learn that their clients have never checked out the HTML (Text) tab; for some, it’s akin to going over to the Dark Side.
- CSS is a language that creates templates for web pages, saving time on rewriting HTML over and over again
Websites can also get crowded — with codes.
Loads of code, though, will slow down your WordPress site, which is a huge turn-off for would-be visitors. The right plugin can fix this quickly and easily.
Minify & Combine Code
There are plenty of WordPress plugins that remedy the problem of coding hogs. What they do is cut down the amount of space these codes take by combining redundant codes and minimising space between codes. It’s like forcing the codes to go on a diet.
Why is this necessary? Because the line breaks a coder puts in means more space needed for that page. Coders need these breaks; it helps them keep track of their work and reduces errors. But taken together, these breaks simply require more bandwidth to work, which in turn slows download time. This, as you know, is unacceptable, particularly as more people search on mobile devices where fast download is essential.
Example of minified CSS
Minification takes out the line breaks coders need but the Internet doesn’t. According to CleanCSS.com, a site that demonstrates coding minification, this can reduce download speeds by up to 20%.
Most WordPress plugins that address minification do not aggregate, or combine, codes. Autoptimize is one that does both by:
- Creating links (“concatenate” in WordPress lingo) for scripts and styles spelt out in various codes
- Moves CSS style coding to headers, an element Google prefers
- Moves codes for scripts to footers
- Compresses HTML space
Autoptimize recommends installing page caching plugins like WP Super Cache.
W3 Total Cache offers similar compressing and minification services. Be careful to avoid using redundant plugins, as they will interfere with one another and compromise your website performance.
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Photo credits: Celso Floris, xmodulo