WordPress is the open source bullet train whose exceptionally fast and consistently regular updates has its fan base moving through stations (the WP upgrades) so fast that most of us remain glued to what’s new to the package. Hence, we often forget to notice the bag of tricks it leaves around at different turns and corners.
Here are some of the awesome tricks that you might have missed:
Tricks to Speed it up Several Notches
Compress Your Website To Make It Load Faster!
Your website has a file size, and when someone visits it your website’s server transfers the webpage to the visitor’s device (PC, laptop, or any smart device). This is similar to transferring data between two devices, except this time it can be really long distances.
What if you reduce the file size of your website by 30%?
It will transfer faster, and hence load faster on your visitor’s device! And we know that faster loading times translate into higher retention rate, greater engagement, and more conversions.
Gzip compression allows your website pages to be compressed to 70% of their original size while transferring it. Will it reduce the quality of the website? Not at all! The browser on the user’s end will automatically decompress the page and display it in its original form.
Enable Gzip from your WordPress options page.
Access the page from www.nameofwebsite.com/wp-admin/options.php. Enable Gzip by changing the field value to 1 (default is 0).
Speed Up WordPress by Emptying Your Trash
When we reached WordPress 2.9, we were introduced to the new trash system. From then onwards, whenever you delete any content from your WordPress site (page, post, comment, or any form of media) the “deleted” item is sent to trash.
It works like the recycle bin
Hence, to permanently delete the content, now you have to visit trash and choose the either options: delete it or restore. It was meant as an effective fail-safe backup in case of accidental deletion.
By default WordPress is set to delete any trash that has remained un-restored for thirty days. However, a lot of times the trash folder can take sufficient space on your website’s database within this time. This increases the time needed to access and retrieve data, and hence reduces its speed.
Reduce the time period by modifying the wp-config.php file. Before you make any changes, do save a backup copy of the original!
Let’s reduce it to a week only. Do this by changing the following line of code in your wp-config.php file:
define (‘EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS’, 7);
Enhance User Experience by Enabling Auto caching
It doesn’t make much sense for your server (hosted or otherwise) to resend the whole website to a repeat visitor (someone who has recently visited your website), especially if your website has not gone through any changes/upgrades.
Enable browser caching by adding the following code to your.htaccess file. Once again, save a backup copy!
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/html “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 1 month”
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
What happens when the time period expires?
Your website files will simply be resent again to the visitor’s device!
Note: For performing above tasks, you have to be more cautious and have some technical knowledge about WordPress. In case you don’t have enough knowledge, I recommend taking help from reputed WordPress development companies. To ease your searching hassles, I have suggested some best companies (on the basis of their reviews, pricing and project delivery time) which provide custom WordPress development solutions:
Tricks to Create Better with the WYSIWIG Editor
Add a Read More Option to Your Posts
Long form blog posts on the main blog page are cumbersome. They make scanning and skimming harder, and take away room that could be used to display the opening paragraphs of your blog posts. This translates into reduced engagement, and all the scrolling frustrating for the visitor.
Add a “Read More” button after the first few lines, or the first paragraph while writing or formatting your posts in the WYSIWIG editor. Use the following keyboard shortcut:
Keyboard Shortcut: (Alt + Shift + T)
This will add a link under the sentence where your cursor is, placing a break point after which the “Read More” will be displayed. When selectively added, it becomes a great way for increasing curiosity and increasing click-through rates.
What if you want to customize the text to something else?
Don’t want it to read “Read More”? Then use the “Excerpt” metabox by selecting it from the “Screen Options” at the top of the page. Select it to display the metabox below the WYSIWYG editor.
Remember that the excerpt you add will be separate from the post. It is a great SEO practice as this teaser text is displayed right under the title on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Paginate Longer Posts with a “Next Page” Option
Writing long articles, stories, or how-to guides? Then you know how long pages can make visitors apprehensive, not to mention creating a subconscious tiring perception “so much!” A great way to streamline the reading is to break down the content into smaller, more readable, and easily digestible chunks.
This can be done by breaking the long form into multiple pages, without making the visitors refresh the whole website.
This is called paginating, and you can use the built-in “Next Page” functionality directly from the editor. On a new line in the “Text” tab of the editor, simply type/paste the following line right after the paragraph/line where you want to add the page break:
Another exciting way for building up curiosity and retaining engagement for your readers!
And just so you can write distraction free in the WYSIWIG editor, use (Alt + Shift + W) to hide everything except your page/post’s title and the editor.
All the best!