Everyone wants a speedy website. A fast website means happy customers and happy customers mean repeat customers. Even Google pays attention to your site’s speed and has even started penalizing slow sites in their search results and no one wants that.
To test the speed of your website you can use tools such as Google Page Speed Test, Pingdom, and GTMetrix. Perform a speed test before taking any actions to increase the page speed. Once you have taken steps to increase the speed of your website, perform the test once more to see the difference. These sites will also give you suggestions on how to improve your site’s speed and if you use WordPress to run your website a plugin like W3 Total Cache can fix most of them.
What is W3 Total Cache?
W3 Total Cache is a web performance optimization WordPress plugin. It has been around for a long time and has a 4.5 star rating in the WordPress plugin repository. While W3 Total Cache boasts numerous benefits, it’s biggest benefit is the decreased load time of a WordPress website.
The biggest features of W3 Total Cache include:
● SSL Support
● Content Management Delivery Support
Installing W3 Total Cache
Installing W3 Total Cache works just like any other WordPress plugin. In the administration area under the New Plugin option simply search for W3 Total Cache and click on the install and activate buttons. Setting the plugin up does take a little thought but it is not hard or complicated to do. There are just a lot of options. I promise it’s not as intimidating as it looks.
The first task to take, under the general settings tab for the plugin, is to make sure Page Cache is enabled so W3 Total Cache can do its job. Cache is a collection of your website pages that is saved and then shown to visitors as they visit the page reducing download speeds. This will allow W3 Total Cache to create the static pages needed to reduce the load time of your website. For a beginner or website with low traffic this is probably all you need to do in order to speed up your website and all the configuration needed.
According to CloudFlare a CDN “refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.” There are numerous CDNs available so do you homework and research before choosing one.
Other items to consider when troubleshooting a slow site is the size of images being used and the WordPress database itself. Both can be optimized. Also check to make sure your site is secure and hasn’t been compromised.
Overall W3 Total Cache is an excellent WordPress plugin to help enhance your website’s speed.Featured Image by alan9187 from Pixabay