So, you’ve purchased an excellent WordPress theme and installed it on your shared hosting. You’ve imported the demo content or filled your site with your content or products. The theme looks great and you’re proud of the final result. But you’re not happy with the performance. Maybe it takes 5 seconds to load, or maybe 10 or 12. You expect better.
The reason many cool WordPress themes suffer from poor performance often comes down to the fact that it takes built-in or add-on plug-ins to do many of the slick things you like about your theme. For instance, a rotating banner carousel with attention-grabbing images, or parallax effects when scrolling. Or a smart contact form. Or a nice review widget for your products on your WooCommerce theme.
But you’re not alone. This is not just a problem with WordPress. This is the nature of the beast when it comes to CMS (content management systems). It is a challenge in every CMS framework, and not just the open-source ones that run on free plug-ins. It is common, even among sites owned by powerful companies.
Luckily for WordPress themes, there other plug-ins that can solve and overcome some of the performance issues you may be experiencing. Below are a few that will help speed up your excellent WordPress theme. These are free, but upgradable to pro/paid versions with more features.
Smush is another great plug-in to bring down the total size of your pages, especially those with images. It compresses all your images when uploaded (or when you first install the plug-in). It also optionally removes image metadata such as such as focal length, date, time and location, which is stored within the image. You don’t really need that metadata unless you are running a photography site.
Produced by the same team who created Smush, Hummingbird is another great WordPress page speed optimizer. It features:
- Performance Reports – Pro tips for running your site at super speed
- Asset Optimization – Position, minify and combine files for top performance
As always when it comes to installing WordPress plug-ins, you have to pay heed to the warnings when turning on any of the plug-in’s features. It is always recommended to back up your site before activating and using plug-ins as they may not be compatible with older plug-ins that you already have installed. WordPress smart!