Installing WordPress Themes
The appearance of a WordPress tutorial site can be changed by applying themes. There are free and premium WordPress themes. Some of them are universal and can be used on any website. Others are created for very specific purposes, for example, e-masters themes.
WordPress theme makes installation super easy. It literally takes a couple of minutes to install free WordPress themes. To proceed, access the Appearance section and find a cool looking theme. You can also filter themes by features or colors.
The theme preview feature lets you see how your website will look with the selected theme. This is useful, as it will save you time – you don’t have to install multiple themes just to find a theme that fits your needs.
The above method is free and only suitable for freemium themes. What if you buy a nice looking premium theme? In this case, you will have to upload the theme files manually. Access the same look section, hit the upload theme button, and select the theme’s zip file. Uploading may take a few minutes to complete. Once that’s done, just activate the theme. Need specific steps? See a comprehensive tutorial on how to install themes.
Optimizing WordPress Performance
In this WordPress tutorial, we have now learned how to install and use WordPress to create and manage your own website. As your WordPress site grows, so does the amount of text, images, code, and other media files. A larger website means it will take longer to load. To avoid slow response times in WordPress, you should also invest some time in optimization. It will ensure that your pages load quickly and effectively, thus keeping your visitors happy and willing to come back for more. Everyone encountered a slow website at least a few times and felt frustrated when it came to endless waiting for loads. With that in mind, spending a while to improve your WordPress speed is a really good idea. The great thing about WordPress is that it’s really easy to optimize due to the number of plugins and other tools available. You can power up your WordPress site without any coding knowledge. To get you on the right path, we’ll cover some WordPress .optimization techniques that will provide significant speed to your website.
Using WordPress Caching Plugins
The first step to optimizing your WordPress site is setting up a WordPress caching plugin. In short, the cache is temporary data storage. In most cases, active data is cached which results in reduced loading time. For example, when you access frequently visited sites, a portion of the site’s static content in your browser will be located in its cache. As a result, the browser needs to request fewer files and information from the server which eventually leads to faster loading. WordPress caching plugins work by creating a stable version of your website and delivering it, instead of loading all the PHP scripts each time someone refreshes or re-enters your site.
The most popular WordPress caching plugins are:
WP Super Cash
3W3 Total Cash
WP fastest cache
You can find a detailed guide on how to implement the WP Super Cache plugin for your WordPress site here.
Image optimization is another crucial task that should be done to make your WordPress site faster. Generally, there are 2 main problems that cause images to load slowly:
Too many images to use. For example, you upload a 500 x 500 dimension picture but your site is resized to 100 x 100. As a result, the visitor’s browser has to download a large file first, scale it, and display it only after that. The correct way is to simply upload a 100 x 100 dimension picture so that the overlaying of the image is avoided. The image will also take up less space this way, resulting in the overall velocity of motion. A detailed guide on how to position and scale such images can be found here.
General Chat Chat Lounge The images are not completely compressed. You can save lots of space and bandwidth by compressing your images properly. Fortunately, WordPress has a really great plugin that can help you with this, called WP Smash. You can find a detailed guide on how to implement this plugin and optimize your WordPress images here.
The more images your WordPress site has, the more useful this optimization function will be.
Enabling Gzip Compression for WordPress
Enabling Gzip compression is the best way to increase speed and performance for a WordPress website. In short, gzip compression works by locating the same strings in a text file and temporarily changing them, resulting in smaller file sizes. HTML and CSS files have a lot of repetitive text and spaces, making gzip compression very effective. Overall, it can reduce the size of a WordPress page by 50-70%.
Here are some ways to enable GZIP compression:
Enable gzip compression via a .htaccess file (recommended). More detailed WordPress tutorials can be found here.
Z GZip Enables Gzip compression via WordPress plugins such as Ninja Speed.
One thing you should keep in mind is that gzip compression can increase CPU usage slightly. If CPU is not a problem, then gzip compression is really the best way to optimize your WordPress site.
Using the Content Distribution Network
Implementation of the Content Delivery Network (short CDN) will speed up WordPress through caching capabilities in many data centers around the world. After a visitor enters your site, the content will be delivered by a nearby data center, resulting in a better front-end experience. CDN also works great with WordPress caching plugins and has free solutions to get you started. For example, Cloudflare has a free plan that offers both the benefits of CDN when protecting your site from DDoS attacks. You can check out this WP tutorial for step-by-step instructions on how to implement it on WordPress.
Removing Query Strings from Static Resources
GTmatrix and other optimization tools suggest that you add query strings from CSS and JS to improve the caching of those elements. The WordPress Plugin Speed Booster Pack mentioned earlier is just a few others that can help you with this task. You can refer to this guide for WordPress for more specific information.
Enabling Lazy Loading
Generally, when a web page is opened, all content is loaded immediately, called eager loading. Alternatively, it is possible to delay initialization until some objects (such as images) are needed, which is called sluggish loading. The most common practice is to display images only when they are visible to visitors or on the screen. All you need to do to take advantage of this technology is to install and enable a plugin such as Lazy Load or Rocket Lazy Load.