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How to Optimize Your Website and Images for Speed

How to Optimize Your Website and Images for Speed

by Brenda Barron on Aug 20, 2018

Are you looking to speed up your website? Is your website moving slower than it should? Many different factors affect the experience that customers have when they come to your photography website. From the quality of your images to the services you offer, you’ll need a careful plan to keep people on your site for as long as possible.

By far, one of the most important things you’ll need to think about is how you can optimize for speed. After all, a one second delay on your site can reduce page views by 11%, conversions by 7% and customer satisfaction by 16%.

The question is, how do you optimize your website and images for speed?

In this article, we’ll look at how you can boost site performance by:

  • Optimizing your host
  • Improving PHP performance
  • Increasing WordPress functionality
  • Reducing the size of images, while maintaining quality
  • Helping images to load faster

Let’s begin.

Several lines of code on a computer screen

Step 1: Optimizing Your Host

Your hosting sets the foundation for your website’s performance. Without an excellent host, you simply can’t have a high-performing site. Here at Envira, we use SiteGround to keep our website running smoothly.¬†

Choosing the right host means figuring out what you want to do with your website, and finding one that can support those goals. Ideally, the server you select should be capable of PHP 7+ and above. This will help you to make the most out of your WordPress install and any plugins or extras that you might need. To find out what your PHP solution is capable of within Envira Gallery, go to:

Envira Gallery >> Settings >> System Info.

The location of your PHP version within Envira Gallery settings

Step 2: Optimizing your WordPress Website

When you’re trying to optimize your website and images for speed, it’s important to consider your WordPress set up. After you’re sure that your hosting is ready for excellent performance, it’s time to check that your WP solution is running smoothly. Remember, sites accumulate data and grow less efficient with time. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to overcome this issue, which will, in turn, assure your site ranks well, too.

  • Use the Latest Version of WordPress

WordPress continually updates and improves to feature new solutions, patches, and bug fixes. Staying up-to-date with the latest version ensures that your site can run as efficiently as possible. Keeping your website updated isn’t just a speed issue, it’s also a great way to make your site more secure. Nothing slows a business down more than a compromised or infected website.

  • Perform Regular Maintenance

Just as your website needs frequent updates, it also requires regular maintenance to keep running smoothly. The WP database can accumulate unused data that might slow down and overwhelm your system. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools out there like WP-Optimize to help clear out any problems.

  • Enable Caching

WordPress automatically creates HTML versions of your website whenever someone asks for them. Since this dynamic creation process slows your site down, it makes sense to always have the finished HTML page available. Caching ensures that the content you need is already up and running. WordPress has a number of caching solutions, including WP Super Cache.

  • Use a Content Delivery Network

Most companies don’t realize this, but the further away the database that hosts your site is from the person visiting, the longer it takes to transmit information. A CDN, or content delivery network, reduces this problem by hosting static files in multiple locations at once. A CDN can be a great way to optimize your website and images for speed.

  • Use the Right Theme

Remember that a great theme can be a decisive factor in whether your website performs quickly or not. Some themes are too bloated, while others don’t have enough features installed. As a photographer, it’s important to make sure that you choose a theme that gives you the functionality you need, without slowing you down. And once that’s settled, the right plugins make all the difference, too. That’s what where Envira Gallery comes in.

The Envira gallery banner, showing the gallery creation back end and an example gallery on a mobile device

Step 3: Optimizing your Images

Finally, your images will often take up a lot of space on your website. Because of this, if you want to optimize your site and images for speed, it’s essential to make your pictures as small as you can without reducing their quality.

A great way to do this is by compressing your images with a tool like TinyPNG. TinyPNG is an easy, online way to reduce the size of your pictures. If you want to automate the process of lowering your image sizes instead, you can use an optimization plugin like EWWW Image optimization.

TinyPNG, with a panda eating bamboo next to the place you drop your images for compression

Photographers can also:

  • Reduce images to a maximum width of 1920px.
  • Save pictures as .jpg files with a quality rating of 8
  • Losslessly compress images with services like ImageOptim. (check our our full list here)

Using the steps above, you’ll have a faster, more efficient website in no time.

You may also want to check out our other popular guides:

10 Best WordPress Themes of 2018

How to Choose the Best Photography Web Hosting?

SEO for Photographers: 31 Steps to Rank Your Photos in Google

14 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers

Top 12 Places to Sell Photos Online and Make Money

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