The other day, InMotion Hosting posted an article on their blog about speeding up WordPress websites. While WordPress is one of the best content management systems available (in my opinion anyway), it isn’t by nature one of the fastest platforms out there. However, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your WordPress site’s performance.
Since I’ve previously written about these techniques, I won’t go into detail about all of them right now. I invite you to check out the InMotion Hosting Blog on their site to read their entire post. You can also do a search on our site to read some of my past articles on WordPress. A couple of examples of tips for speeding up your WP site are using a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache, and using a content delivery network if your site has a lot of static content such as photos.
For now, I want to focus on one of the tips mentioned in the InMotion blog post that you might not have considered: Using an efficiently coded theme. In WordPress, your theme acts as the interface between you and your site’s visitors. It controls the appearance of your posts and pages as well as your navigation system. As WordPress has become more advanced and able to provide more sophisticated websites rather than just static blogs, many themes are now offering slicker interfaces and more customization.
With WordPress themes now offering more options, it’s very important to choose one that is coded properly to prevent excess loading times and slower performance. I realize that not everyone is a tech expert knowledgeable in programming code. Nor would I expect everyone to try and decipher the code in your editor. Here, I would recommend a couple of things. First, have a clear idea of what kind of appearance and functionality you really need for your site. Remember that more is not necessarily better. Some of the best WP themes are very basic in appearance, yet very efficient.
Although there are a ton of sources for free WordPress themes you can find online, I would suggest you start by sticking to the themes you can find in the WordPress.org repository. I’ve had good experiences using some of these themes and you can now also take a look at how well each theme is rated by users.
At some point in time, you may find that you just can’t locate the right theme in the WP repository. In those cases, you could hire a WordPress professional to help you out. Or, you could try purchasing a premium theme from a company such as StudioPress. They sell a wide selection of customizable themes based on the Genesis Framework. Basically, the Genesis Framework is the foundation that handles the core functions of your theme. When you buy a theme from StudioPress, you select a child theme that handles the design elements and you also get the Genesis Framework. It may sound complicated, but it really isn’t difficult to use. In fact, the StudioPress themes have worked out very well for me in those cases where I couldn’t find a suitable one in the WP repository.