5 Monthly Efficiency Tests to Run on Your Website

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While you might hope that your website is a maintenance free asset for you and your business, the truth is that you have to stay on top of things to make sure that your website is functioning at its peak. If you have a site that is operating less than efficiently then you need to figure out why it is pulling so many resources.

Having a website can benefit your business or it can hurt your business. If your website is slow and doesn’t function well, it could be hurting you more than helping you. People are not patient and won’t wait for your site to load if it is underperforming.

Slow Sites – The Bane of the Internet

Steps to run website efficiency tests

It’s been a long time since people were willing to wait for slow sites to load. I am pretty sure it disappeared with the sound of dial-up internet. Now instead of waiting minutes for a site to load, we can’t be bothered if a site takes longer than 3 seconds. Running tests on your site to make sure it is still running efficiently is important and here are somethings you can test for to make sure that your site is running up to par.

1. Hosting

If you aren’t on the techie side, you might not understand how hosting works or what it does. Your hosting is where your website lives on the internet. Basically, when someone wants to view your website, it has to come from its home and show up on the screen and be served to the customer. If your host is slow, this can take a long time. While you can use browser caching to make your site load faster for people that have already visited it, people that haven’t visited will still get a slow site since there is no cache on their browser.

When you are choosing your hosting, make sure that you have a big enough package to take care of your site. If you choose a package that is too low, you are going to have slow loading packages and that could cause big problems.

2. Plugins

If you notice that your site is running very slow, it could be because of the plugins that you have uploaded on your site. Plugins can be very helpful, but they can also harm your site and cause it to be slow if the coding isn’t written right or if they require a lot of resources.

With over 55,000 WordPress plugins at your fingertips, I understand how tempting it can be to install just one more plugin. If you can resist temptation and you really don’t need the plugin to march your fingers away from the install button and get back to working on something else.

If you aren’t sure which plugins are slowing you down, you can install the P3 plugin from GoDaddy to see which plugin on your site is taking up the most resources. Don’t worry, you can speed up a WordPress site again and uninstall this plugin once you are done with your testing.

3. Poorly Coded Themes

If you have a theme that is poorly coded, this can wreak havoc on your website and its speed. If you are using a free theme or one that was a little on the cheap side, you might need to worry about it a little bit. Sometimes free isn’t free and there might be some extra code in there that you don’t want.

When you want to get a new theme that is free just go into the WordPress themes and choose from there. While there still could be some poorly coded themes, they are generally on the safe side.

Opting for a theme that is well coded and well designed is going to make for much better site performance. Read customer reviews and see what people think about each of the themes that you are considering.

4. Is Your Cache Working?

Having a plugin that allows you to cache your website so that people can view it faster. If your website is constantly having to be pulled from the server, this can cause major delays and make visitors that wanted to come to your site click the back button. You can check it out cache plugins like w3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache which are both great plugins. Understanding how they work is important so you might want to watch a video about how caching works.

5. Latest Updates

WordPress is always updating to keep it functioning as good as it possibly can. If you don’t keep your WordPress site updated, you could be leaving yourself vulnerable to acts from hackers and other unfriendly happenings that you leave yourself up to without an update.

Each WordPress update is done because there is a bug or a workaround that needs to be fixed. There could be a small update in features, but normally it is something to do with security so when you log in and it says there is an update, make sure that you update your site after backing it up.

Conclusion

Keeping a close eye on your site and making sure that you know what is going on with it is important. Doing a monthly check in these areas can help you ensure that your site stays healthy and continues to function and serve its visitors at the highest level possible.

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